Vesterbacka Hopes to Get the Government’s Decision on National Designated Spatial Plan by End of February

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At today’s meeting in Ülemiste City Peter Vesterbacka’s team presented four possible routes that could be used for building the undersea tunnel between Finland and Estonia. They also described the latest developments concerning the project, namely, the Estonian Government is expected to make a decision about the application to initiate the preparation of a national designated spatial plan by 28 February.

The participants were told that preliminary surveys for building the tunnel between Finland and Estonia had been carried out already. The next steps of the tunnel project are initiating planning proceedings and the environmental impact assessment. In Finland the procedure for adopting a county-wide spatial plan is currently underway and the environmental impact assessment proceedings are about to start.

In Estonia the necessary applications have been submitted and now the government’s decision is required in order to catch up with the developments in Finland. „The application to initiate the preparation of a national designated spatial plan has been filed with the government and according to law, the government has to make a decision in 90 days. The last government session before the deadline is on 28 February,” said Paul Künnap, Partner of the Sorainen Law Firm.

Künnap presented four subsea routes on which the environmental analyses had been conducted. On the Estonian side the Ülemiste terminal would be 50 metres underground and cover an estimated area of 380 x 40 metres. „In order to catch up with Finland, discussions should start already today concerning the possible routes and the location of the terminal, so that the decisions could be made on the basis of careful and thorough considerations, taking into account all the relevant opinions,” Künnap noted.

The leader of the project Peter Vesterbacka explained that the amount of 100 million euros had been raised for planning purposes already. The funding comes from foreign investor ARJ Holding Dubai, which is in the process of founding a company in Estonia. „We plan to use phased funding, with 30% coming from equity and 70% from loans,” Vesterbacka said at today’s presentation.

Other speakers at the event included Ludovico Lombardi from Zaha Hadid Architects, who spoke about the world’s best practices in planning terminals, Andres Marandi from the Geological Survey of Estonia and environmental researcher Toomas Pallo.

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