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€15bn Chinese funding deal for Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel

A proposed link between the Estonian and Finnish capitals is set for a boost from China’s Belt and Road initiative.

juna tunnelissa
Peter Vesterbacka says the tunnel will be ready by 2024. Image: FinEst Bay Area Helsinki

A private firm looking to construct a tunnel linking Tallinn and Helsinki is set to receive some 15 billion euros from a firm helping to advance China’s Belt and Road initiative.

The money will be provided by Touchstone Capital Partners as and when needed. Roughly one third of the money is an equity investment, with the remaining two thirds to be a loan.

FinEstBay, the company behind the project, says the project will run from Helsinki Airport to Tallinn airport and include ‘a couple of stations in between’.

“It’s a relief now we know how our funding plan will look,” said Peter Vesterbacka of FinEstBay. “We’re going full steam ahead and expect trains to be running by Christmas Eve 2024.”

That challenging timetable has raised eyebrows, with several planning stages including environmental impact studies still to be completed.

Former Angry Bird Vesterbacka says that FinEstBay will remain majority Finnish-owned.

“At the moment there is a global discussion in Finland and elsewhere, there is a desire to not have too much Chinese money,” said Vesterbacka.

FinEstBay had early agreed some 100 million euros of funding from ARJ Holdings.

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