Loiste 1/2023 - News from Port of HaminaKotka

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Second best year for the port despite challenges

Haminan Merivesilaitos Oy established to produce process water for industries

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International cruise season at Port of HaminaKotka to start in May

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NEWS FROM PORT OF HAMINAKOTKA 1/2023 Photograph: Jarno Koivula

Second best year for the port despite challenges

Even though the early part of 2022 was challenging, the Port of HaminaKotka reached the second best transport volumes ever last year. A total of 16.3 million tonnes of goods were handled, which is 11.6% more than in 2021.

The spring of 2022 of the Port of HaminaKotka was characterised by industrial action in the Finnish wood-processing industry, and after the strikes ended, it took all of June for exports to recover. In February, Russia attacked Ukraine, and the war caused a lot of uncertainty at the port, too. Due to the war and the resulting sanctions, transport to and from Russia has decreased significantly, and now the most important remaining type of transport from Russia are fertilizers that are part of the food chain.

After the strikes ended and after the effects of the sanctions became clear, the latter half of 2022 was nevertheless good and especially the autumn was very strong. To ensure the availability of raw materials, the Finnish wood-processing industry started to bring significant volumes of wood from countries other than Russia to the Port of HaminaKotka since the summer. In addition to this, imports transferred from Russia to other countries and the transfer of transport from the Saimaa Canal to the Port of HaminaKotka boosted the transport volumes

so much that the total volume grew towards the end of the year above the level of the previous year.

Exports via the Port of HaminaKotka grew by 2% over 2021, with the biggest increase in general cargo as well as liquid and dry bulk. Imports increased by 41.7%, which is mainly due to the above-mentioned imports of raw wood for the wood-processing industry, but also to an increase in the volume of all other cargo categories. Transit transport decreased by 0.4%. The number of containers handled at the port grew by 6.0% from the previous year, and the number of calls by ships also increased by 9.8% compared to the previous year.

Investments to secure operating conditions in the future

The investments made progress in 2022 despite the turmoil: a 153-metre long D0 quay was completed for the D-area of the Mussalo Harbour and the operation of the Hietanen Harbour was enhanced with a floating pontoon quay. Kotka Pax, the development project on

the cruise and passenger ship terminal at Kantasatama in Kotka, was completed towards the end of the summer. The investments at the port will continue this year as well, when quays with lengths of 250 and 300 metres will be completed in the D-area at Mussalo by the end of the year. The D-area has already become an internationally significant logistics hub for pulp transport. When the entire area is complete, it will provide a first-rate operating area for the international cargo flows of the wood-processing industry.

The development projects of individual operators at the port have also made progress when, for example, one of the world’s biggest tall oil refineries built in Hamina by Fintoil Oy started operation, and Hamina LNG Oy’s commercial operation started last year. Last year, the state-owned investment company Finnish Minerals Group and the Chinese technology company CNGR Advanced Material established the joint venture CNGR Finland Oy to promote the building of a pCAM factory producing precursor material in Hamina. Its operation has

Photograph: Jarno Koivula

progressed to the permit stage.

“The investments by both the port company and other companies operating at the port create good preconditions for the favourable development of port traffic also in the future,” says Kimmo Naski, CEO of Port of HaminaKotka Ltd.

Positive expectations for this year

The outlook of the port for this year’s transport volumes is currently quite positive. However, the decisive factor in terms of overall traffic is whether eastward rail transport will continue. At the port, this is mainly transport of fertilizers being part of the food chain. The strong trend in transport that started at the beginning of 2022 slowed down due to the strikes of stevedores and locomotive drivers in the latter half of February. After the strikes ended, however, transport volumes turned to rapid growth again, being +7.5% in January to March as compared to the corresponding period in 2021. From the beginning of this year, the port company also took on responsibility for the construction of the seawater facility at the Hamina Harbour and its initial management and marketing. Exports*

Cargo transport at the Port of HaminaKotka 2022

*Also includes export transit

**Also includes import transit

Cargo volumes by types of cargo 2022

Haminan Merivesilaitos Oy established to produce process water for industries

The Town of Hamina has established a company by the name of Haminan Merivesilaitos Oy, whose goal is to turn seawater into process water for industrial uses. The plant is designed to be located in the Hamina Harbour of the Port of HaminaKotka, where it will produce process water primarily for use by the battery material factory to be built in the area. The battery material factory planned in the Hamina Harbour will need thousands of cubic meters of process water per day for its production. It is not possible to obtain such a volume of water from the water supply network, so the water needed by the process is produced from seawater. Even though the seawater plant will produce process water primarily for the use of the battery material factory, other industrial enterprises can also use it for purposes such as cool-

ing or as part of chemical processes.

The company was established at the beginning of 2023 and is currently undergoing a permit phase, where a permit application according to the Water Act has been submitted to the Regional State Administrative Agency for taking seawater, discharging reject water

into the sea and placing pipes on the seabed. The goal is to have the facility in operation at the beginning of 2026. Port of HaminaKotka Ltd is involved in the project and is responsible for the permits, construction development and management, administration and marketing of the seawater company.

•Exports 44%
• Imports 27% • Transit 24% • Domestic 5%
11,279,507 t +2.0% Imports** 4,985,735 t +41.7% Total 16,265,242 t +11.6%
• Wood products 25%
• Fertilizers 15% • Other goods 17% • Paper and pulp 24% • Liquids 18%

European battery industry built through the Port of HaminaKotka

Terrafame which operates in Sotkamo in Finland made a decision in 2018 at the dawn of the transport electrification boom to invest in a battery chemical factory, where the nickel and cobalt produced by the company would be processed into chemicals used in the batteries of electric cars. Terrafame has since claimed its place in the supply chain of the European battery industry. The company’s current core mission is to reduce the carbon footprint of transport.

Due to the method based on bioleaching, the nickel sulphate produced by Terrafame has one of the smallest carbon footprints in the industry. Moreover, Terrafame offers its customers a transparent, traceable and genuinely European production chain of battery chemicals, where the production process from the mine to battery chemicals is located in a single industrial area.

The transition from a mining operator to a partner of the European battery industry has required Terrafame to find new types of logistics solutions that match the company’s sustainability principles. In the spring of 2021, Terrafame signed co-operation agreements with Port of HaminaKotka Ltd on the development of its container transport and with

Rauanheimo and VR Transpoint on a comprehensive logistics solution that covers the entire supply chain from the production facility in Sotkamo via the Port of HaminaKotka to the international market.

Innovative, efficient and low-emission logistics solution

In line with the start-up of the battery chemical factory, the transport operations also started in the winter of 2022–2023.

“An innovative, efficient and low-emission logistics solution consolidates Terrafame’s delivery capability and supports our position as an enabler of climate-friendly battery production. Maintaining high quality and making deliveries according to the agreed schedules are of paramount importance to our customers,” says Henrik Hagström , Terrafame’s Export Manager.

“The key features of our battery chemical transport are efficiency, safety and climate aspects. The trains are driven efficiently by electricity from Sotkamo to the Port of HaminaKotka. The cargo capacity of the trains has also been maximised, and our partner VR Transpoint has modified the structure of the waggons so that a waggon can hold three sea

transport containers instead of the normal two,” says Henrik Hagström. Rauanheimo, which is responsible for the logistics services of Terrafame’s battery chemical factory, together with other partners has planned the transport schedules so that the loading and unloading of the waggons is as efficient as possible.

Being the biggest container port in Finland, the Port of HaminaKotka can offer several daily connections to all parts of the world via the key seaports in Europe.

“At full capacity, the exports of Terrafame’s battery chemical factory mean a daily loading of 25 to 30 sea containers and transporting them to the port on three weekly trains. The partnership with Terrafame has been a significant new sector for us in the battery industry business,” says Kimmo Naski , CEO of Port of HaminaKotka Ltd.

Battery chemicals are taken to Terrafame’s customers, such as European car manufacturers, through the Mussalo Harbour of Port of HaminaKotka. Terrafame’s battery chemicals may soon be found, for example, in the batteries of Renault, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Jeep or Opel electric cars.

Terrafame’s battery chemical containers being unloaded at the Mussalo Harbour in March (photograph: Jaakko Jaskari/Jaskari Worldwide)
The demand for electric cars has continued to grow rapidly despite the uncertain geopolitical situation: in 2022, 10.1 million electric cars were sold globally, which is about 53 per cent more than in 2021.

Power-to-Gas production plant planned for the Mussalo Harbour of Port of HaminaKotka

In March this year, Nordic Ren-Gas Oy and the local energy company Kotkan Energia Oy signed a project development agreement for a Power-to-Gas production plant to produce renewable methane, green hydrogen and district heating. The plant contemplated in Kotka features unique implementation, because the main processes of the plant will be located separately from each other. A carbon dioxide recovery unit will be built in Korkeakoski in Kotka to recover carbon dioxide from the flue gases of the local power plant. The production processes of green hydrogen and synthetic methane will be located at the Mussalo Harbour of the Port of HaminaKotka, where Ren-Gas has reserved a land area for the project from the City of Kotka. At full capacity, the plant is due to produce 35,000 tonnes of renewable synthetic methane annually, which corresponds to the fuel

needs of approximately 1,800 heavy goods vehicles. The process heat generated in fuel production is recovered and utilised in district heating. When the production is operating at maximum capacity, the district heat generated in the process would account for up to one third of the district heat produced by Kotkan Energia.

“This project is a significant part of the road map of Kotkan Energia, according to which district heat production will be carbon neutral in 2030,” says Sami Markkanen, CEO of Kotkan Energia Oy.

Ren-Gas has projects in different parts of Finland, and Kotka has been considered from the outset as a highly favourable location for a Power-to-Gas production plant. The existing plot and infrastructure and the short distance from the carbon dioxide recovery plant to the production plant all speak for Kotka.

“The location in the port area creates an excellent framework for exporting products to other parts of the world and will definitely be a significant opportunity and competitive edge for Ren-Gas in the future,” says Saara Kujala, CEO of Nordic Ren-Gas Oy.

The project is currently in the permitting phase, and the goal is to start construction in 2024 and commercial production by the end of 2026. Ren-Gas is taking the project forward with Kotkan Energia, and both companies are very satisfied with the smooth co-operation.

“I want to highlight the excellent co-operation with both Kotkan Energia and the City of Kotka. The project has strong support, and we will go forward in a determined manner,” says Saara Kujala.

Conceptual image of the Kotka plant (photograph: Nordic Ren-Gas Oy)..

International cruise season at Port of HaminaKotka to start in May

In the new season, the Port of HaminaKotka will be visited by both ships that make their inaugural call and ships that have already called several times.

The Port of HaminaKotka is looking confidently at the new cruise season, during which 13 ships are expected to visit the port and the region based on current information. The season will be opened by the Balmoral of the cruise line Fred Olsen, making its inaugural call in Kotka at Kantasatama on May 18th. The cruise business market is still in transition, so there can be changes to the number of calls.

Under normal circumstances, St. Petersburg has been the main destination for cruise ships in the Baltic Sea, but after it is no longer included in the routes of cruise ships, other

cruise ports in the Baltic Sea have increased their marketing efforts towards international cruise lines. Port of HaminaKotka has also enhanced its marketing co-operation with other Baltic cruise ports in order to attract cruise ships.

“One of the shared assets of the ports of HaminaKotka, Helsinki, Tallinn and Stockholm is that they are all located close to each other, which saves fuel costs for the cruise lines. Still, each of these places is unique and offers international cruise guests many from eachother different types of experiences,” says Petra Cranston, Project Manager, Cruise Business,

of Port of HaminaKotka Ltd.

In addition to making preparations for the upcoming cruise season, there is also constant work for any subsequent years.

“In terms of future seasons, we are following the pre-set objectives. According to estimates drawn up by analysts, the market disturbances are expected to be corrected on the eastern Baltic Sea in 2025, which would mean that international cruise traffic would return to the level of 2019, to the status of preCOVID 19,” says Petra Cranston.

The Spirit of Adventure, which called at the Port of HaminaKotka last year, is coming again in the 2023 season. (Photograph: Jarno Koivula)

One part of the exercise was to recover oil-stained birds. (Photograph: Port of HaminaKotka Ltd)

Oil spill exercise for the personnel of Port of HaminaKotka

There are several oil terminals in the area of the Baltic Sea, six of which are on the Gulf of Finland. Moreover, twenty or so oil tankers pass through the Gulf of Finland every day, so there is a real risk of an oil accident in the Gulf of Finland. Oil spill response in Finland is based on a model involving several authorities, where either the Border Guard or the rescue service is responsible for the response, depending on the situation. In the Baltic Sea area, only mechanical oil spill control is used, in other words the oil is collected, and no chemicals, burning or submersion agents are used.

In April, WWF organised an oil spill prevention exercise for the personnel of Port of HaminaKotka. The exercise involved putting on oil spill protection equipment, oil collection and the practical operation of the oil spill response group. The training day consisted of the theory part in the morning and the actual exercise in the afternoon at the Santalahti beach in Kotka.

The theoretical section discussed issues such as Finland’s preparations for oil accidents, the environmental impacts and health risks of an oil accident, occupational safety regulations and what to do in the event of an accident under the command of the group leader of the oil response forces.

In the practical exercise carried out on the beach, the participants were divided into two groups and group leaders were chosen for the groups. The group leaders then divided the tasks and took care of communications with the team leader. In the exercise, peat was used to mimic oil. In the imaginary accident, oil had washed ashore in several places, and it was collected with appropriate equipment. The event was also used for practicing the recovery of oilstained birds.

The training day provided the basic facilities to work in a volunteer oil spill response team. Any healthy person between the ages of 18

and 69 can join WWF’s oil response forces as a volunteer. Joining the forces does not oblige you to participate in the events. In addition to the basic course, WWF also arranges training for group and team leaders and for taking care of oil-stained animals.

Teemu Niinimäki, WWF Finland’s conservation specialist who worked as a trainer in the oil spill response exercise, points out that the prevention of major oil accidents is above all about co-operation between different organisations.

“The cleaning of beaches is very slow and can take months. All available resources are needed, and it is great to see that companies such as the Port of HaminaKotka also train their personnel in oil spill prevention. Of course, we always hope that the results of the training do not have to be used in practice,” Teemu Niinimäki says.

The accident area was marked with a sealing-off line, and the oil, or peat in the exercise, was collected in containers using shovels and brushes. (Photograph: Port of HaminaKotka Ltd)

Port at international trade fairs

This year, the Port of HaminaKotka will participate in a number of international trade fairs. In addition to the fast and competitive routes of the biggest general port in Finland, the port will market the comprehensive range of logistics services provided by the port for the needs of both international trade and industry.

Transport Logistic, Messe München

9–12 May 2023

Hall B3, stand 321 transportlogistic.de

BreakBulk Europe, Rotterdam Ahoy

6–8 August 2023

Hall 1, stand 1G25-H24 europe.breakbulk.com


TransLogistica Kazakhstan, EXPO International Exhibition Center, Astana 4–6 October 2023

Stand C16


TransLogistica Poland, EXPO XXI Warszawa 7–9 November 2023

Stand number to be confirmed later.


Oskari Aarnio, Sea Captain (Bachelor of Marine Technology) and Master of Engineering, has started as a Port Officer at Port of HaminaKotka Ltd on 12 December 2022.

He shifted to the position of Port Officer from the position of a Duty Officer of Port of HaminaKotka Ltd, which he held for about six years. Before working as a Duty Officer, he worked at Finnish Customs and at sea as navigating officer and first mate.

Esa Paronen, B.Sc. in construction, started as the Technical Manager of Port of HaminaKotka Ltd on 2 January 2023.

Esa Paronen moved to the port company from Sitowise Oy, where he worked in infrastructure construction duties as a project manager and supervisor in projects undertaken by Port of HaminaKotka Ltd, among others.

Topi Vehmaa started as a Foreman at Port of HaminaKotka Ltd on 2 May 2023.

Before the port company, Topi Vehmaa worked as a Service Manager at Lujatalo Oy.

Port of HaminaKotka Ltd Merituulentie 424, FI-48310 Kotka, Finland • office@haminakotka.fi haminakotka.com • tel. +358 20 790 8800
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to meet us at trade fairs!