The tunnel would have wide-ranging positive effects on both Finland and Estonia, and it would enhance traffic between Europe and Asia, said the task force set up by the Ministry of Transport & Communications.
The report says that that the project’s scale and complexity mean that 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 the inclusion of the tunnel connection 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 using various technology innovations, said the task force. 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.
A study published in February confirmed the feasibility of the project (link opens in new tab).
The task force was set up in February 2018 by the Ministry of Transport & Communications to assess the need for further research on the tunnel and the wider impact of the project. The task force has representatives from the Finnish Ministry of Transport & Communications, Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs & 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 Finnish and Estonian ministries in Finland and Estonia will draw up a proposal on what the next steps will be.