Mittwoch, Mai 19, 2010

Estonia, the land of megaprojects

Taken from here

If everything in Estonia went as businessmen and politicians want, Estonia would look a very different place today, writes Eesti Ekspress that listed some of the most ambitious of these projects and put them on the Google map.
The following is the list of some of the most mindboggling projects that have been proposed or are in the pipeline.

Pärnu Skyscraper

At the beginning of 2000, local businessman Elmar Lepp proposed to build Estonia's highest skyscraper in Pärnu that would have had more than 34 storeys. Lepp's partner in the project was scandalous Italian businessman Giovanni Sposato. Lepp himsself went bankrupt at the beginning of 2010.

Bridge to Saaremaa
The project to link Estonia's largest island of Saaremaa with mainland Estonia has been on the drawing board for years. The starting date for the construction works has been postponed so many times that no-one remembers them. Various consultants have promised the bridge by 2012, 2016 and, most recently, by 2022.

Nuclear Power Plant
This is a project that may actually become true since according to the Estonian energy sector development plan, it is realistic to build a nuclear power plant in Estonia by 2023.

Space Centre

In 2010 Estonian businessman Rainer Nõlvak made a proposal that instead of building a nuclear power plant on the island of Pakri, Estonia should build a space centre. Nõlvak estimated that it could cost about 80 billion kroons and said that it should be an "ecological" space centre that is using energy solutions of the next generation. "I believe that in 40 to 50 years all energy will be produced in space by solar panels and transferred to Earth by microwave or laser beams," he added, offering to build the facility near Aegviidu or close to the sea.

Naissaare Skyscrapers

The first to come up with this idea was former banker Sulo Muldia in 1990. The plan was to turn the island into a future Hong Kong.

Muuga F1 Circuit
At the end of the Soviet period in 1980s, it was proposed to build an F1 racing track in Muuga near Tallinn. Because of resistance of the Green movement, the plan never got off.

Casino Island
The father of the project is Märt Sults who proposed to build three artificial islands near Tallinn and locate all casinos to the island. According to Sults, it is realistic to open the first island in three years. By initial estimates, an island would cost about 1.4 billion kroons.

Tallinn-Helsinki Railway Tunnel

Since mid-1990s, there has been talk about the need to build an underwater railway tunnel between the capitals of Estonia and Finland. If completed, it would be the world's longest such tunnel (82 kilometres). A professor of Lappeenranta Technical University Olli-Pekka Hilmola has calculated that the tunnel project would cost between 6 and 7 billion euros.

Tallink City
The idea is a brainchild of Tallink's large shareholder and former banker Ain Hanschmidt who estimates that the total investment could be 5 billion kroons. The company announced in January 2006 that the centre would be a 160,000 square metre entertainment complex to be called the Tallink City that would have also included a ski tunnel and offices. According to plans, the centre would have been opened in 2010.

Kopli Skyscraper
Tallinn City Government has issued a permit to a group of Singapore businessmen who plan to build a skyscraper with up to 60 storeys in Kopli on the territory of the former Baltic Manufacture. The plan is expected to be implemented in 10 years.

Rapla "Hollywood"
This project dubbed Hollywood was proposed in mid-1990s by local businessman Toivo Kurmet who wanted to build a huge multimedia complex in the town of Rapla. Kurmet went bankrupt in 1995. The unfinished construction was demolished in 2002.

Lasnamäe Tram Line
The tram line that would connect the city centre with Lasnamäe and is backed by Edgar Savisaar, mayor of Tallinn, would cost more than two billion kroons. Savisaar says the project could be implemented in cooperation with Chinese businessmen between 2012 and 2015.

Statue of Kalevipoeg

The Tallinn City Government has proposed to erect a giant statue of Kalevipoeg in the Tallinn Bay. The project would cost up to 100 million kroons and the 21-metre-high statue would be made by sculptor Tauno Kangro.

Renovation of Linnahall
US investor Ronald S. Lauder has confirmed plans to invest more than a billion kroons in renovating the Linnahall near Tallinn Passenger Port, but keeps mum about what the money will be spent on exactly.


At the beginning of the new millennium Tivoli International together with local partner Arco proposed to set up a huge theme park on the Skoone bastion in Tallinn. The project that was estimated to cost about 1.5 billion kroons was buried in the ownership dispute between Mahyd&Skone that was leasing the bastion, Tivoli International and City of Tallinn.

Four-lane Tallinn-Tartu highway

This is a project that very many motorists who have to drive in the dangerous road between Tallinn and Tartu have long dreamed about. The initial plan was to spend 6.5 billion kroons in the project between 2008 and 2014, but, according to the Greens, the actual cost could be at least 15 billion kroons.

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