Finnish tunnel developer plans underground innovation hub

The company behind the Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel scheme, Finest Bay Area Development, is making plans to build an underground research center in one of Europe’s deepest mines in Pyhäjärvi, Finland.

Kustaa Valtonen, Finest Bay Area Development founding partner stated that the company has newly signed an agreement with Callio, the development company of Pyhäjärvi’s for development of a new test hub.

The site of the center is going to be First Quantum Minerals’ Pyhäsalmi mine, which is set to finish underground operations this year. With a 100km tunnel network and by reaching to a depth of 1.4km, this site is presently Europe’s deepest base metals mine.

“We are planning on running various tunnel building related tests and innovation pilots at Pyhäjärvi,” explained Valtonen.

He asserted that “the mine would also be suitable for the training of underground construction workers, particularly to address the future needs of the proposed Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel project.”

Finest Bay Area Development is planning to construct a 100km undersea rail tunnel between the capital cities of Estonia and Finland.

The China-based Touchstone Capita Partners pledged €15bn (£13bn) in financing for the project in 2019, which could cost €20bn (£17bn) to construct. Also, the Chinese contractors were appointed for the scheme.

Due to environmental, security and financing concerns, Estonia declined Finest Bay Area Development’s planning application for the project Last year. However, Estonia’s incoming government is currently planning to resume talks about constructing what could become the world’s longest subsea rail tunnel.

Although, the Finnish Government mentioned that it will not get back to the project with public funding.

Finest Bay Area Development (the private project developer) is headed up by Peter Vesterbacka, the Finnish entrepreneur, who has lately declared the project could be completed by 2025.

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