Loiste 2/2022, News from Port of HaminaKotka

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Port traffic at a good level, future of transit transport causes concern

Construction projects of the port making progress on schedule p. 3

Record number of international cruise ships at the Port of HaminaKotka p. 7

Photograph: Jarno Koivula

Impact of warfare by Russia on the Port of HaminaKotka

Industrial action in the Finnish wood-processing industry in early 2022 and the military attack by Russia on Ukraine have brought down the cargo volumes of the Port of HaminaKotka, but despite the challenges the total transport volume has remained at a very good level this year. Imports of wood from Russia finished in the spring as a result of the war, but raw wood is currently imported to HaminaKotka primarily from the Baltic countries, Sweden and Poland. In actual fact, the volume of raw wood has increased very rapidly during the summer and autumn, and raw wood has been imported to various parts of the port.

At the moment, the port has the biggest concern over transit transport, since there is a threat that it will stop as VR Transpoint has announced that it will desist goods transport to and from Russia by the end of this year. Transit transport has accounted for over one quarter of the total transport volumes of the Port of HaminaKotka. If it is left out, it will have a crucial impact on the transport volumes of the port. What makes it all even more significant is the fact that from the beginning of 2023, almost all transit transport carried via the Port of

HaminaKotka will be fertilizers, which are experiencing bad shortage globally. Continued agricultural production in the world and retaining at least a remotely reasonable price level of food relies heavily on fertilizers and grain acquired from Russia and Ukraine. “Fertilizers and grain

are basic necessities if we want to avoid a food shortage. That is why fertilizers and grain have to find their way out into the world despite the war. This is a moral duty of seaports, rail companies and operators,” says Kimmo Naski, CEO of Port of HaminaKotka Ltd.

Major accident exercise in Hamina

The Hamina Harbour and the Poitsila railway yard used for the transport of chemicals were the venue for a major accident exercise arranged on 19 October 2022. In addition to the enterprises operating at the port, the participants included all key authorities: Kymenlaakso Rescue Service, Emergency Response Centre Agency, Kymsote emergency medical services, Southeast Finland Police, Gulf of Finland Coast Guard, Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency and VTS Traffic Management Finland. The event comprised exercises in accordance with Section 48 of the Finnish Rescue Act at Seveso plants, and in addition to this, enterprises operating at the port area practiced the functioning of their own rescue plans. The exercise also tested the use of the 112 Suomi mobile phone application in providing information on an accident.

Seamless co-operation

The exercise went as planned from the point of view of both the rescue service and the port company. There were naturally issues requi-

ring development both in the exercise scenario and in the execution of the exercise in general. The importance of communication in an accident cannot be overemphasised, and it was stated that the flow of information requires further improvement. The port company and the

rescue service will focus on this jointly to find effective communication solutions. The companies participating in the exercise had paid exemplary attention to the practising of their own rescue plans, and the co-operation between all parties was fluent.

The authorities that participated in the exercise gathered outside the Kuorsalo office building for briefing. Photograph: Port of HaminaKotka Ltd Raw wood has been imported to several parts of the Port of HaminaKotka. Photograph: Port of HaminaKotka Ltd

Construction projects of the port making progress on schedule

Since 2018, Port of HaminaKotka Ltd has been upgrading the D-area of the Mussalo Harbour to improve the service level and to enable the increasingly efficient handling of larger vessels and bigger cargo volumes. In the first phase of the project, areas of land operations were filled with material derived from the sea, a harbour basin was dredged, and a breakwater, the first part of the quay and a rail connection were built. At the same time, the port operator Steveco had a 20,000 square metre pulp terminal built in the area.

The second stage of the project is in progress now. In it, the end quay of 150 metres will be finalised by the end of 2022, and the 300metre extension of the quay completed in 2019 will be ready by the end of 2023. The additional rail connections (length 1.3 km) at the industrial area behind the D-area have also been completed this year. The other warehouse terminal of 24,000 square metres built for Steveco became ready in the summer. This year, the City of Kotka has continued the filling of the background area of the D-area to become an industrial site, which will enable the construction of almost 50,000 square metres of additional warehouse space north of the area in the future.

Pontoon ramp at Hietanen in active use

Port of HaminaKotka Ltd has also been developing the infrastructure of the Hietanen Harbour due to the increasingly bigger vessel sizes, and invested in a floating pontoon ramp made of steel. The ramp enables the operation of new three-lane RoRo vessels and hence increases the cargo handling capacity at Hietanen significantly. The design of the ramp has paid attention to the needs of both shipping companies and the port operator as well as the outlook for ships and cargo handling in the near future.

The pontoon ramp manufactured by Enersense Offshore Oy was towed from Pori at the end of June and installed at Hietanen at the beginning of July as an extension to the stationary ramp H3. The new ramp was taken into use immediately after installation, and currently an average of 3 to 4 ships per week use the new ramp.

The development of the D-area at Mussalo is part of the Eastern Baltic Hub project, which is co-funded by the Connecting Europe Facility of the European Union.

Further information: www.haminakotka.com > About the port > EU projects > Eastern Baltic Hub

The pontoon ramp at Hietanen enables the operation of new three-lane RoRo vessels. Photograph: Jarno Koivula Mussalo Harbour in autumn 2022. Photograph: Jarno Koivula

Co-operation can find the best practices for reducing discharges from fertilizer loading

Port of HaminaKotka Ltd conducts co-operation with port operators and the John Nurminen Foundation in order to reduce the discharges from fertilizer loading operations. The Fertilizer Shipping project of the John Nurminen Foundation is examining the nutrient discharge risks related to fertilizer loading at seaports and to the cleaning of cargo holds, as well as the best techniques and practices to prevent such risks. The goal is to reduce fertilizer discharges not only at Finnish ports handling fertilizers but also to exchange expertise and experiences with other fertilizer ports in the Baltic Sea region.

“When the project was launched in 2020,

not much attention was paid to the discharge risks from the loading of fertilizers. The John Nurminen Foundation started to find ports and fertilizer industry operators to become partners in the project. The Port of HaminaKotka was the first port where the nutrient load resulting from port operations has been monitored over a longer period of time,” says Project Manager Eeva Tähtikarhu of the John Nurminen Foundation.

The nutrient load of the port can be monitored by measuring the nutrient contents of stormwater that becomes washed off into the sea from the quay area. The environmental permit of the port requires stormwater monitor-

ing to some extent, but in the co-operation conducted between the John Nurminen Foundation, Port of HaminaKotka and the operators, there has been intensified stormwater monitoring since the autumn of 2021. Samples are taken during rain from various loading sites. The samples are measured for total phosphorus, phosphatic phosphorus and total nitrogen.

According to Suvi-Tuuli Lappalainen, Operations Manager of Port of HaminaKotka Ltd, stormwater monitoring showed that at the end of 2021 fertilizer loading was the biggest single eutrophicating discharge source at the Port of HaminaKotka. The second round of stormwater monitoring will take place during this autumn to obtain further results.

“It is noteworthy that fertilizers are a bigger source of discharges than waste waters from vessels, and these waste waters still receive much more attention. The matter calls for increased awareness, and the employees involved in fertilizer loading need further orientation. The cleaning of quays also requires more attention. There are simple and easy ways to reduce the discharges,” Suvi-Tuuli Lappalainen says.

Kimmo Naski, CEO of Port of HaminaKotka Ltd, highlights the importance of fertilizers in global food supply, taking environmental considerations into account.

“Fertilizers are an extremely important component of the food chain. Both António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme, have made an appeal that fertilizers from both Russia and Ukraine should find their way to the world market to prevent famine, and all states should do their best to promote the transport of fertilizers. Port of HaminaKotka Ltd puts its full focus on this as part of its Baltic Sea approach. The same approach essentially includes the fact that fertilizer loading aims at maximally reduced discharges,” Kimmo Naski says.

The active monitoring of the nutrient discharges at the port has turned out to be a good and necessary way to motivate the parties to reduce their discharges and at the same time the fertilizer spillage. The objective of the John Nurminen Foundation is to disseminate the monitoring method to other seaports both in Finland and in other parts of the Baltic Sea. There is also active co-operation through HELCOM, the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, to reduce the discharges internationally.

Photograph: John Nurminen Foundation


Tens of millions of tonnes of fertilizers are carried annually through seaports on the Baltic Sea. Fertilizer transport causes spillage, some of which ends up directly into the Baltic Sea to eutrophicate it. The problems in fertilizer loading include careless handling of fertilizers or loading technology that is in a poor condition. As a result of these, easily-dusting fertilizers are spread to the environment either through air or stormwater. After fertilizer transport, vessels often wash their cargo holds on the open sea, and residual fertilizer in the cargo hold may end up in the sea with washing water.

At busy fertilizer ports, up to hundreds of kilos of phosphorus and hundreds of tonnes of nitrogen may be carried into the sea annually with stormwater alone. The scale of this load corresponds to the nutrient load coming from the waste water treatment plants of a major city. There are very simple and inexpensive ways to prevent these discharges, such as paying attention to reducing spillage and to good cleaning practices. Source: https://johnnurmisensaatio.fi/en/projects/fertilizer-shipping-project/

Theme day in port safety in Hamina on 4 October 2022

Finnish ports have had a joint theme day in occupational safety for several years now with different themes and at a point in the year when the dark and slippery season is already at hand. In addition to highlighting the importance of good visibility and a sure footing, the theme day has served as a reminder of the importance to maintain concentration, make observations, follow instructions, and report near-miss situations and incidents. Several different operators work at the port, and occupational safety is a concern shared by all. It can be achieved through the co-operation of all parties involved. The occupational safety day also highlights the fact that every person is ultimately responsible for their own safety.

This year, occupational safety at ports was not a special topic for just one day but during the whole week from 3 to 7 October 2022 under the theme Occupational Safety through Co-operation. The actual event day at the Port of HaminaKotka was Tuesday 4 October 2022, when diverse events such as occupational safety training, equipment demonstrations and workshops were arranged in Hamina for those working in the companies operating at the port.

Most of the events took place in the old canteen and its surroundings. VR Transpoint gave rides in a locomotive, Saimaa Terminals displayed its cargo handling equipment in the parking area, and the L7 quay was a venue for a diving accident rescue exercise organised jointly by Uponor, Kymenlaakso Rescue Service and Kymsote’s emergency medical services. The interior of the canteen displayed workwear and personal protective equipment by Grolls, Tools, Skydda and Würth. Xamk presented a virtual safety park, and the Safe Future of Logistics project provided two safety workshops focusing on safe movement at the port. VR also offered coffee with buns to the visitors in the canteen. NEOT and Prefere Resins

joined forces in organising vocational qualification and occupational safety card training in office centre Kuorsalo. The Ö2 quay was used for presenting the extinguishing of fire on the oil quay.

The event day was active and diverse. For this, thanks go to all those who contributed to the arrangements. “In keeping with this year’s theme, we can promote matters related to occupational safety through co-operation,” says Suvi-Tuuli Lappalainen, Operations Manager and Occupational Safety and Health Manager of Port of HaminaKotka Ltd.

The participants were able to ride in a locomotive to see what the visibility from the locomotive is like and what types of challenges the driver faces from the point of view of traffic safety at the port.

Photograph: Port of HaminaKotka Ltd

Insurance company LähiTapiola Southeast Finland donated a movable speed display to Port of HaminaKotka on the port safety day 4 October 2022. Shown in the photograph are Suvi-Tuuli Lappalainen, Operations Manager and Occupational Safety and Health Manager of Port of HaminaKotka Ltd, and Risk Manager Esko Häyrinen of LähiTapiola. Photograph: Port of HaminaKotka Ltd


Wibax seeking growth in Hamina

Wibax is a Swedish family-owned company that sells, buys, processes and distributes liquid chemical products and bio-oils to the European basic industry. Wibax has several terminals in Sweden and Finland and one terminal in Estonia. Wibax established a unit in Kotka in 2013, and in 2020 Wibax acquired Baltic Tank, which operated in places such as Hamina and Kotka, and its operations became part of the Wibax Group. As a result of the acquisition, the company’s operations in Finland expanded to cover both terminal and chemical sales operations. This spring Wibax acquired JJ Kuljetus Oy, and Wibax’s entire sales, storage and transport concept for chemicals and bio-oils consequently became available in Finland as well. Through the acquisitions, Wibax has grown in Finland from a company of a few people

to an organisation employing 60 people.

The Kotka-Hamina region is important to Wibax, and the company’s goal is to carry on its growth in the region. As a result of the acquisition of the terminals in Kotka and Hamina, Wibax has become a significant company providing storage services for liquids and chemicals in the region. The operations in Hamina will expand even further at the beginning of 2023, when the company has access to its own transport fleet and starts to take care of transport operations from Hamina directly to its customers. Next year, Wibax’s trucks will be seen at the Hamina Harbour on a daily basis.

Central location of the terminal is important

The location of the terminal at the Hamina Harbour is focal, and the terminal that is close to the customers enables cost-effective solutions. The terminal provides good facilities for sea, rail and road transport, and the excellent location also gives synergy benefits with other operators.

“We work closely with many facilities and industrial operators located at the Hamina Harbour,” says CEO Tero Väyrynen, who is responsible for the operations in Finland.

Kymenlaakso houses, among other things, a significant customer base in the wood-processing industry, and the new vehicle battery factory pro-

jects in the region can provide Wibax with considerable growth opportunities. The Hamina Terminal offers versatile storage space for products such as bitumen and tall oil products as well as various chemicals.

“We have positive expectations for the near future. Our main customers are doing well, and the general activity in capital investments in industries such as the battery industry benefits us. We also intend to put even more focus on sustainable development. In Sweden, for example, Wibax has launched an electric tanker truck, and the company is planning to invest in more electric trucks next year,” says Tero Väyrynen.

In the photograph from the left: Olli Paasio, CEO of Wibax Logistics Oy, Regional Manager Marja Pönkä and Terminal Manager Harri Metsola. Photograph: Wibax
WIBAX Group in a nutshell: Established in: 1986 Founder: Bo Axel Wiklund Employees: 280 Trucks: 65 Products: 150 Terminals and warehouses: 19 Further information: wibax.com
Wibax will soon start transport operations from Hamina using its own fleet. Photograph: Wibax The Hamina Terminal is one of Wibax’s key terminals. Photograph: Wibax

Record number of international cruise ships at the Port of HaminaKotka this season

The targeted number of cruise ships was attained despite the fact that the ships did not call St. Petersburg, which under normal conditions is the main attraction of the cruises in the Baltic Sea region. The actual number of passengers was about half of that originally anticipated. Seven cruise ships made their inaugural call to Port of HaminaKotka, and they all called again several times during the season. These cruise ships will call HaminaKotka also in the future

Positive customer feedback

Despite the fact that the main destination for cruises in the Baltic Sea, St. Petersburg, was no longer included in the routes, feedback indicates that the cruise customers were happy that they did not cancel their cruises due to the changed geopolitical situation. The Kotka-Hamina region was perceived as a very interesting and unique new destination. The versatile natural environment of the region with its different activities and the unique maritime, cultural and border history were thought to be very interesting by the cruise guests. Some of the passengers took part in guided tours and some explored the destination on their own.

“Since the attractions are relatively close to each other, the guests had sufficient time to explore sights and meet local people. The cruise customers felt themselves comfortable and safe and got

a good impression of the local culture. According to the feedback, however, they would have liked to have better shopping opportunities,” says Petra Cranston, Project Manager, Cruise Business, of Port of HaminaKotka Ltd.

It is to be expected that the the cruise lines will not include St Petersburg on their itinera-

ries in the near future. According to the customer feedback, the number of cruise ships at the Port of HaminaKotka is likely to remain in line with the targets in the next few years. There are currently approximately 20 confirmed calls by cruise ships for 2023, but the geopolitical situation involves many uncertainties that could affect the ultimate number of cruise ships.

Cruise and passenger ship terminal completed at Kantasatama

Kotka PAX, the development project on the cruise and passenger ship terminal started at Kantasatama in Kotka in 2019, was completed in August 2022. The project originally had a goal of having a regular passenger ferry connection to St Petersburg, but due to the changed global situation this is no longer planned. The terminal still served cruise ships during the past summer, and new possibilities for utilising the terminal are being actively devised. The terminal complements the complex which is under construction at Kantasatama. The foremost components of this complex are the Event Centre Satama and the new campus of the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences.

The necessary port infrastructure has been built in the cruise and passenger ship terminal at Kantasatama in Kotka. The infrastructure enables smooth and efficient check-in and provides a setting for customs and border control functions.

Photograph: Port of HaminaKotka Ltd The Port of HaminaKotka has made determined efforts to develop international cruise traffic in the past few years. In accordance with the pre-set objectives, a total of almost 20 cruise ships visited the port this season at Kantasatama, Mussalo and Hamina. The Spirit of Discovery opened the cruise ship season at the Port of HaminaKotka on 4 May 2022. Photograph: Jarno Koivula The Norwegian Dawn arriving in Hamina at Midsummer on 25 June 2022. Photograph: Jarno Koivula

Christmas donation of Port of HaminaKotka Ltd to WWF’s Baltic Sea efforts

This year, Port of HaminaKotka Ltd will donate the funds intended for Christmas greetings to WWF for efforts aimed at protecting the Baltic Sea. The port company wishes to be actively involved in the work done for the well-being of the Baltic Sea, because the Baltic Sea is one of the most sensitive and polluted seas in the world. The Baltic Sea is a vital transport corridor for Finnish foreign trade, and it is important that its cleanliness is protected by all means.

With the support of companies, WWF:

• Prevents eutrophication and promotes the condition of coastal waters by building wetlands and restoring peatlands together with landowners.

• Maintains and trains volunteer oil spill response crews that assist the authorities in the event of an oil spill.

• Gives a reward to the most environmentally friendly farmer in the Baltic Sea region and shares information on farming methods that help the Baltic Sea.

• Conducts co-operation with fishers, farmers, governments, industry and other nature conservation organisations within the Baltic Sea Network, among others.

• Influences the maritime policy of Finland and the EU and supervises the protection measures of the states surrounding the Baltic Sea.

• Contributes to enhancing the protection of underwater nature.

• By using volunteer efforts, participates annually in research projects and field projects by means such as restoring endangered traditional habitats with valuable species on the coast and in the archipelago.

• Produces material and information on the future problems of the Baltic Sea and their solutions.

• Provides information on sustainable fishing to consumers and fishmongers.

Port of HaminaKotka Ltd Merituulentie 424, FI-48310 Kotka, Finland • office@haminakotka.fi haminakotka.com • tel. +358 20 790 8800

Port of HaminaKotka involved in the Pink Ribbon campaign

Port of HaminaKotka Ltd has been involved this year in the Pink Ribbon campaign of Cancer Foundation Finland by giving a Pink Ribbon to all members of its personnel. The proceeds from the Pink Ribbons purchased from the local association are used for work to support cancer patients and their loved ones in the Kymenlaakso region.

Port of HaminaKotka Cruise Port HaminaKotka WWF Finland is part of the international WWF network, which has operations in more than 100 countries and offices in about 50 countries. Founded in 1961, WWF has grown from a small organisation focused on the protection of endangered species to the most influential environmental organisation in the world. WWF has operated in Finland since 1972.