Tunnel claim settled

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EUROTUNNEL yesterday agreed a settlement of the pounds 406m compensation claim from the consortium building the shuttle trains for the Channel tunnel, writes Michael Harrison.

Although the terms of the settlement are not due to be announced until early next month, Eurotunnel said they would not affect its pounds 10bn cost forecast for the tunnel, nor force it to seek money in addition to the extra pounds 1bn to be raised in the next year.

The shuttle-building consortium, led by Bombardier of Canada, submitted the claim against Eurotunnel and Transmanche Link, the tunnel builders, earlier this year. It argued that delays and design modifications had increased the cost of the 250 shuttle wagons it is supplying.

At one stage it ceased deliveries from its Belgian factory, threatening to hold up the tunnel opening unless its claim was met.