Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2015 - Page 24

Going the Extra Mile The Western metro went for an encore before the line is even operational – the “bonus stretch” enables smoother logistics and more effective construction September 29, 2014, provided ample cause for a celebration. The City Council of Espoo decided to issue an absolute guarantee for the loans that finance Espoo’s share in the construction of the West Metro line Matinkylä-Kivenlahti. This means, in effect, that the continuation line for the western metroline with five new stations will, indeed, be built. A t the same time, it was decided that Länsimetro Oy shall be responsible for the line’s construction, which was, pretty much, a no-brainer. After all, the same company has been in charge of the metro project from day one, with City’s Deputy Mayor Olavi Louko even serving as the Chairman of the Board. More significantly, however, the expansion project had also managed to secure the financial support of the state. The government headed by newly appointed Prime Minister Alexander Stubb saw the value in continuing the “biggest infrastructure project in the country.” 22 Nordicum “Now that the original project is nearing its conclusion, it made perfect sense that we keep going,” says Matti Kokkinen, Managing Director of Länsimetro Oy. According to Kokkinen, continuing the project on-the-fly is clearly the way to go since there are labour, expertise and equipment available. Don’t Stop Me Now Having to stop now and pick up the pieces, say, five years from now, would have been very costly indeed. Olavi Louko agrees with Kokkinen: “We have a great momen- tum going and are glad for the political will that saw this project through.” The City of Espoo is asking for the state to pay 30 % of the investment, but not right away. The government money should come in around 2017–2020. “Also, it is no small thing that the Government is helping to secure jobs for 4,500 people by giving the green light for this extension. It is difficult to imagine another project of this scope which yields so much benefits and provides such a stimulus during an economic downturn,” Louko says, crediting Stubb’s government for making the right move. After all, the parliamentary