Nytt

Prosjektet som skal forbinde Spania og Marokko med en undersjøisk tunnel vil bli presentert for EU av de to landene 13 oktober, sier den spanske utenriksministeren, Miguel Angel Moratinos.

Tunnelprosjektet skal presenteres på et møte mellom EU og Marokko i Luxemburg. I følge Moratinos er den planlagte 40 kilometer lange tunnelen et «ambisiøst prosjekt av som vil forene Afrika og Europa»:

The direct railway link through the tunnel under the Strait of Gibraltar is an old project of historical proportions, whose first studies started with an agreement signed by King Hassan II and King Juan Carlos of Spain in 1978, but which only now has received the needed impulse for its execution. In March 2007, Spanish Prime Minister Jose’ Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and Moroccan Prime Minister Driss Jettou confirmed the willingness of the two countries to begin the construction of the 40 km-long underwater tunnel, indicated in the feasibility study under a technical and economical point of view, to be built by the two specially set up companies, Spanish Seceg and Moroccan Sned.

»It will represent for the XXI century what the Suez Channel represented for the XIX century and the Panama Channel for the XX century», the Infrastructure Minister at the time, Francisco Alvarez Cascos, had said while signing, in December 2003, the agreements with the Moroccan government to study the feasibility of the project.

Arbeidet er anslått til å koste rundt 5 milliarder Euro, men det er foreløpig ingen som kan si hvilke kostnader den direkte veiforbindelsen mellom Marokko og Spania kan komme opp i på grunn av forventede vanskeligheter ved konstruksjonen. De ukjente tekniske faktorene er mange.

It is enough to mention that in the Strait’s sea bed the water pressure is very strong, some 500 tonnes per cu m, a fact which requires the arrangement of an adequate pumping installation. On top of this, there are geological problems, because it is a seismic area: in 1755 an earthquake devastated this region south of the Iberian peninsula. If the geological studies, the preparation of the funds and the problem of the strong sea currents in the Strait are solved in time, the construction works might start by the end of 2008, and, according to the most optimistic forecasts, the first railway carriages might pass under the Strait by 2025.

Så snart EU godkjenner prosjektet, er det forventet det at tunnelen blir finansiert av Verdensbanken, den Europeiske Investeringsbanken og Utviklingsfondet for Afrika samt flere arabiske investeringsfond.

ANSAmed: GIBRALTAR: TUNNEL UNDER THE STRAIT, PROJECT LAUNCHED