World’s Longest Undersea Rail Tunnel Back on Agenda in Estonia

(Bloomberg) -- Estonia’s incoming government plans to restart talks about building the world’s longest undersea rail tunnel, a move that may revive the $17 billion Chinese-backed deal.

The incoming government agreed on the plan as part of its agenda on Sunday. The cabinet still needs to be confirmed by a vote in parliament.

The government is seeking “positive” talks with Finland on the national level on the plan to link the two nations with the tunnel, it said in its program.

Estonia, a member of the European Union and NATO, rejected a planning application from a Chinese-backed Finnish venture for the rail tunnel for reasons including security concerns. Finland’s government said in 2020 it had no plans to back the project with public funds.

Finnish entrepreneur Peter Vesterbacka had received a promise of about $17 billion from China’s Touchstone Capital Partners Ltd. for a tunnel between the two capitals. The project would span more than 100 kilometers (62 miles) and require the construction of at least one artificial island.