China-based Touchstone Capital Partners has signed a memorandum of understanding for €15bn (£13bn) in financing with Tallinn-Helsinki tunnel project promoter Fin Est Bay Area.
The planned 100km subsea rail tunnel will link Finland with Estonia cut travel times to 20 minutes, compared with the current two hour ferry journey between the two cities.
The project has an estimated price tag of €15bn to €20bn (£13bn to £17bn) and secured its first external funding in December in the form of €100M from Dubai-based construction company ARJ Holding.
Fin Est Bay Area project leader Peter Vesterbacka said that the project can move ahead now the “financing is sorted” and said that the project could be completed by the end of 2024, 16 years earlier than predicted by a feasibility study commissioned by the governments of Finland and Estonia and published in 2017.
Roughly one third of the new funding from Touchstone is an equity investment that give the investment firm a minority stake in the project, with the remaining two thirds as a loan.
A spokesman for Fin Est Bay Area said that financial details will be negotiated over the next six months.