First Published: 2008-09-29

 
Doubts cast over Spain-Morocco undersea tunnel plan
 

New geological study reveals two clay sections under sea would make it difficult to build tunnel.

 

Middle East Online

Further tests would add an extra billion dollars to the project’s cost

MADRID - A new geological study has cast doubt on the feasibility of a project to build an undersea rail tunnel across the Strait of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco, a Spanish news report said Sunday.

Two clay sections under the sea would make it difficult to build the tunnel, the El Pais newspaper said, quoting a study recently presented to the Spanish public company SECEG, which is in charge of the project along with Morocco's SNED.

"It is not clear whether it will be possible," SECEG president Angel Aparicio said.

An engineer working on the project, Andrea Panciera, also said there were "huge uncertainties" and proposed building an exploratory tunnel from the Moroccan side up to the clay sections in order to carry out tests, El Pais quoted him as saying.

But such an option would add an extra billion dollars to the cost of the project, which is currently budgeted at five billion dollars (3.4 billion euros), and delay the start of construction by about eight years, it said.

"It is practically impossible to find an alternative solution," the paper said.

Rabat and Madrid commissioned a new study on the project in 2006, after a first plan was abandoned in the 1990s.

The mooted tunnel would be 38.7 kilometres long with 28 kilometres running some 400 metres (1,200 feet) under sea level.

 

Britain remembers London bombings under shadow of Tunisia

Iran nuclear talks to continue beyond deadline

Saudi Arabia arrests 3 brothers over Kuwait mosque bombing

‘Islamic State’, between hammer of US and anvil of Syria Kurds

UN struggling to raise funds for war-torn Yemen

Syria parliament approves deal on Iran line credit

Hamas accuses Palestinian Authority of ‘torture, mass arrests’

Posters threatening gays with death appear in Ankara

Turkey detains 800 crossing from Syria illegally

French Special Forces kill senior Qaeda terrorist in Mali

HRW: Tunisia must respect freedoms in state of emergency

Deadly suicide attack targets Syria army base in Aleppo

Iran nuclear talks: World powers get back to work on new deadline day

Turkish Airlines flight makes emergency landing over bomb threat

Over 150,000 South Sudanese taking shelter in UN bases

Unrecognised government in Libya announces army reforms

Spain arrests suspected female IS group recruiter

Shebab militants target northern Kenya in deadly gun attack

Scores of lawyers willing to defend Morocco women tried over ‘provocative’ dresses

US 'intensifying' campaign against IS base in Syria

Iran nuclear talks set to miss yet another deadline

Carrot and stick as ‘Islamic State’ seeks to win over Sunni tribes

In Saudi Arabia, number of security prisoners climbs again

'Islamic State' targets Iraq town in wave of bomb attacks

A year after Gaza war, Shijaiyah still trying to recover

Egypt arrests Brotherhood members over plot to disrupt shipping at Suez Canal

Egypt reveals number of Sinai militants killed in last five days

‘Islamic State’ seizes Syria town of Ain Issa from Kurdish forces

Crunch talks to seal Iran nuclear deal begin in Vienna

Warplanes target headquarters of Saleh party in Yemen capital

7 Iraqis killed in accidental warplane bomb

Egypt to reconsider parts of anti-terrorism draft law

Morocco journalist on hunger strike in Geneva told to return home

Iran-backed bomb attack foiled in Jordan

Iran nuclear talks enter in final straight

Near Gaza Strip, Israelis live in fear behind concrete walls

Tunisia declares state of emergency after beach massacre

After Tunisia beach massacre, tourists switch to other destinations

Deadly US raids target ISIS stronghold in Syria

Concern and grief as Britain remembers 2005 terror bombings

Iran nuclear talks: Will Ministers score diplomatic success?

Erdogan moots possibility of snap election

Coalitions of Syria rebels battle regime forces in Aleppo

Lawlessness in Libya poses real danger for Tunisia

Hezbollah backs Syria army in major assault on border city