FinEst Bay Area Development, the company behind the project to build an undersea tunnel between Estonia with Finland, signed a memorandum of understanding with three Chinese contractors to design and build the 100-kilometre link.
The project’s developer picked China Railway International Group, China Railway Engineering Company, and China Communications Construction Company for the job. China is keen to build the tunnel as part of its Belt and Road initiative to link Asia with Europe, Middle East, and Africa by infrastructure facilitating trade.
The Chinese financing company Touchstone Capital Partners is providing €15bn funding for the project.
“The partner companies are the largest in the world in their own fields of expertise,” Peter Vesterbacka, the co-founder of FinEst Bay Area Development, said in a statement last week.
“These new partners are needed in addition to the best in class local Finnish, Estonian and other European design and construction [as there are] very limited resources in Finland and Estonia in tunnel boring and highspeed train technologies,” Vesterbacka added.
The developer expects the tunnel could be completed as soon as in 2024. The Estonian and Finnish governments concluded in a feasibility study carried out in 2017 that 2040 was the more likely date.