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Estonia's government has doubts over the feasibility of the Helsinki - Tallinn Tunnel

    Raalfu Leinonen
    By Raalfu Leinonen Replies (7)
    According to an article published on Estonian Government's website on July 30, 2020, Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab will recommend the Estonian Government not to initiate the state plan for the Helsinki - Tallinn tunnel and artificial island project.
    Minister is quoted as saying "I commend the developer FinEst Bay Area Development OÜ for their ambitious and innovative plan to establish an important connection for the two countries," said Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab. "However, in the light of the information known to the state today, we have reason to doubt the feasibility of this project for environmental, economic and security reasons. In addition, the creation of a transnational connection is possible only with the will of two countries and full cooperation. To this end, the common interest of the countries must be agreed before the tunnel is designed."
    According to the Estonian side, Finland wants the tunnel but sees is as a project in distant future.
    After consultations with Finland, other ministries and sectoral authorities, including security experts, the conviction is that this project is not economically viable and it is not in public interest. According to state officials, issues like the funding for the construction and the operational economics of the project are not clear.  They also think the projected passengers and the cargo volumes are over-optimistic. It is feared that the project would bring unforeseen extra costs to the state. In addition, the Estonian government has not been convinced over the replies of the developer regarding security issues.

    Though the Minister Aab thinks such a tunnel is good for the development of the region and that it deserves further consideration, he is likely submit a draft order not to initiate a special state plan to the government for a decision in the autumn.