P.M. BRIEFING : Funds Setback for Eurotunnel

From Times Wire Services

The Channel tunnel project suffered a setback today when the Anglo-French consortium building the undersea rail link said it was having difficulty winning support for a new $3.8-billion loan.

Eurotunnel SA/PLC said bank syndication of the loan is proceeding more slowly than expected and there is a risk that a deadline at the end of August for completion of the deal will not be met.

The group needs the extra money because estimates of the project's costs have risen steadily. The bill, initially expected to be $9.05 billion, has gone up to $14.5 billion.

The consortium originally won a $9.5-billion credit to dig the Channel tunnel, expected to open June 15, 1993. But the consortium said in May that higher tunneling and interest costs had made a new bank loan and capital increase necessary.

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