Tallinn tunnel Task Force: Unique mega-project requires private sector participation
The Helsinki-Tallinn Tunnel is a large-scale project that would require the involvement of the private sector in order to proceed. The tunnel would have wide-ranging positive effects on both countries, and it would enhance traffic between Europe and Asia.
The report of the task force chaired by the Ministry of Transport and Communications states that due to the scale and complexity of the tunnel project, its progress would require new, innovative solutions, especially regarding funding. Private sector involvement would speed up the progress of the project and strengthen its financial viability. One way to implement the tunnel would be to find multiple sources of funding for the project.
The report recommends that in order to proceed, the project would need a strong project organisation. The next step could be to establish a development vehicle, like a project company, that would take the project forward.
The task force underlines that Finland and Estonia should coordinate land use planning to enable the implementation of the tunnel project. Similarly, the countries should work together to ensure that the tunnel connection will be included in the EU's TEN-T core network when it is revised in 2023. This would create visibility for the project and enable applications for certain EU funding.
Building the tunnel would require exploring and utilising technology innovations. Exploring different solutions in, for example, drilling technologies and development of high-speed rail transport technology would be essential for the next stage of the project.
The report recommends that by the end of 2018 Finland and Estonia should agree on concrete involvement and participation in the implementation of the project.
In February 2018, the Ministry of Transport and Communications set up a task force to assess the need for further research on the Tallinn Railway Tunnel and the wider impact of the project. The task force has representatives from the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications, Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, and the cities of Helsinki and Tallinn. As part of the work, two consultancy studies were commissioned regarding further development and wider economic impacts of the tunnel project.
By the end of 2018, the responsible ministries in Finland and Estonia will draw up a proposal on what the next steps in the project will be.
Laura Eiro, Director of Unit, Task Force chair, Ministry of Transport and Communications, Finland +358 40 096 9293
Eva Killar, Excecutive Officer, Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, + 372 625 6485
Ulla Tapaninen, Senior Advisor, City of Helsinki, +358 50 525 8131
Liivar Luts, Project Manager, Tallinn Transport Department, +372 6404700