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First external financing for Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel

The privately-led project to construct a rail link under the Gulf of Finland has received 100 million euros from a Dubai construction firm.

Piirroskuva junasta.
Image: Burhan Saifullah

The project to dig a rail tunnel from Helsinki to Tallinn has received 100 million euros from a Dubai-based construction group ARJ Holding – the first external financing for the 15-billion-euro venture.

FinEst Bay Area Development, which plans to have the 20-minute rail link complete by 2024, said the funds would be used for design and permits.

The project is headed by Peter Vesterbacka, the former marketing boss of game firm Rovio, and investor Kustaa Valtonen, a former HP and Microsoft executive.

Valtonen told Uusi Suomi last week that the company has toured some Asian cities since the summer looking for funding.

In addition to FinEst Bay, city and regional councils in Helsinki and Tallinn areas have established a consortium called FinEst Link, which looks into constructing a tunnel under the Gulf of Finland. The Estonian capital lies about 80 km south of Helsinki, and is now accessible by ferry, which generally takes just over two hours, as well as by air.

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