Pen­sion fund cau­tious about 500-mil­lion-euro bridge project to Saare­maa

Baltic News Network - - Front Page -

Com­ment­ing on the idea that Es­to­nian pen­sion funds could in­vest into the am­bi­tious project of build­ing a bridge from main­land Es­to­nia to the coun­try’s largest is­land, Swedish Swed­bank has ex­pressed cau­tion.

The head of Swed­bank-ad­min­is­tered pen­sion funds in Es­to­nia, Krist­jan Tamla was cited by the Es­to­nian public broad­caster ERR on Tues­day, Jan­uary 16, as eval­u­at­ing: «With such projects the con­struc­tion risk, the devel­op­ment risk is likely to be the thing pen­sion funds don’t want to take on».

Project ini­tia­tor Raivo Hein has com­mented he un­der­stands the funds’ cau­tion, but ex­pressed his be­lief they could be con­vinced once the project is ready in de­tail: «When we get to the point where we have a very spe­cific plan, for which we al­ready have the fi­nanc­ing mod­els, by the way, then things will be dif­fer­ent.»

The rev­enue of the mas­sive con­struc­tion project are planned to come from fees peo­ple pay to cross the bridge, which, Hein sug­gested, would be in the same price range as a cur­rent ferry ticket, but it could be cheaper to lo­cal res­i­dents if the Es­to­nian gov­ern­ment would step in with a sub­sidy.

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