Both Morocco and Spain are apparently keen to pursue the project, although the European Union would have to provide substantial funding.
Just over 27 kilometres would be submerged below water, while the rest would be above it The maximum depth would be 475 metres below sea level.
Rafael García-Monge Fernández, president of the Spanish Society of Studies for Fixed Communication through the Strait of Gibraltar SA (SECEGSA), told a recent conference in Algeciras – in the Bay of Gibraltar – that the project is back on, reports Spanish regional daily Diario de Cadiz.
Previous feasibility studies had cast doubts on the project but a new assessment by the University of Zurich and Herrenknecht, the world’s largest tunnel construction company, argues that the project is feasible. The next step would be to build a tailor-made prototype tunnel borer, estimated to cost €32 million.
The tunnel could be used to transfer solar energy from the Sahara to Europe, adds the report. Initial estimates suggest the project could cost €8 billion.
According to SECEGSA’s website, high speed trains operating in the tunnel could make cargo journeys between Madrid and Marrakech or Casablanca up to three times shorter.
The UK Independent had a few words to say about this, including:-
There is a blunt but not entirely unreasonable question. Why bother? The Strait of Gibraltar is already ably served by ferries and boats chugging from Algeciras (in Spain) to Tangier Med (in Morocco). Indeed, the Moroccan government has pumped enormous sums into Tangier Med, a port which now has a cargo capacity of eight million containers. Would an underwater train link complement this growing harbour’s efforts, take work away from it – or be rendered a white elephant by its prior existence?
Originally, they said that this would be completed by 2025, but ummm. maybe not now… writing the society name on all the paperwork will take that long!! Spanish Society of Studies for Fixed Communication through the Strait of Gibraltar SA (SECEGSA)