Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Gibraltar Strait Link study well advanced


Minister for Development Magdalena Álvarez and Moroccan Transport MinisterKarim Ghellab meeting in Tangier yesterday
The offshore seabed geological study for the construction of a permanent link between Africa and Europe across the Gibraltar Strait has been completed at 95%, said Moroccan transport minister Karim Ghellab on Monday.

At a press briefing, attended by Magdalena Alvarez, Spanish transport minister, Ghellab said the geological study has been unfolding according to schedule set by the Moroccan and Spanish companies in charge of the study of the liaison (SNED-Morocco and SECEG-Spain).

The British Seacore company has conducted a record of drillings part of the study since January 2005, said Ghellab adding the parties involved are resolved to carry on efforts to persuade other European Union countries to join in the project.

Mrs. Magdalena Alvarez said the project is in an advanced stage, adding the seabed drillings are of utmost importance in identifying the nature of the seabed soil along the projected channel line.

She also said she talked with Ghellab on the Moroccan-Spanish project regarding sailing security in the strait, adding a copy of the report in this respect will be presented to the European Commissioner in charge of sea transport.

The permanent link consists in three railway galleries, including a security one, to stretch over 37.7 km between Malabata land end, Morocco, to Paloma land end, Spain.

The Study programme amounting to 27 million euros is funded by the SNED and SECEG.
The annual traffic to be secured by the 4 billion euros tunnel is estimated at 1.6 million cars, 500,000 trucks, 5 million passengers on cars and 11 million train passengers. At its final phase the channel will ferry 50 million passengers and 6 million vehicles.

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