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Greenland plans deepest subsea tunnel

ENGINEERS HAVE given the green light to what would be the world's deepest tunnel below sea level, in a fjord in Greenland.

Danish consultant COWI last month completed an investigation of the Nuuk Fjord for a 15km road tunnel, 300m underground, to link Greenland's capital Nuuk with the presently uninhabited Akia area where a new airport is planned.

Sonar equipment was used to trawl the bottom of the fjord. It was feared the bedrock surface would be too deep to tunnel beneath, but COWI tunnel specialist Poul Marinus Neilson said the job would be 'not too far beyond the range of present experience'.

He pointed out that the Nuuk tunnel would be only 13m deeper than Norway's Eiksund Tunnel, due for completion in December 2007, which at 287m below sea level will be the deepest sub-sea tunnel in the world.

COWI said the Nuuk provisional government is discussing whether to go ahead with the project. It would be built using drill and blast techniques, as the cost of transporting a TBM to Greenland via Norway was too high.

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