Roman Abramovich 'to drill US-Russia tunnel'

London Telegraph
Friday, March 28, 2008

Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich plans to buy the world's largest drill, sparking speculation that he intends to make a Channel Tunnel-style link between Russia and America.

Moscow media reports claim that the Russian billionaire is purchasing the £80 million drill-bit to tunnel a subterranean passage across the Bering Strait, between Siberia and Alaska.

The machine the oligarch has his eye on is 19 metres wide and eclipses by nearly five metres the world's existing biggest tunnelling drill.

Few details of the purported scheme have come to light, but industry insiders in Germany are said to believe that the plan is for a rail link between Chukotka, Siberia, and Alaska in the north-west United States.

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If the reports are accurate it will represent a remarkable turnaround in relations between the two nations, given that it is less than two decades since they were aiming nuclear missiles at each other.

Abramovich's firm Infrastruktura in Moscow announced the purchase on Thursday.

Whether or not the tunnel goes ahead, media reports in Germany say that renting out the machine will generate revenues of a billion euros - £630 million - a year.

Full article here.

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