New fairway to be completed by the end of 2021
In June, the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, Port of Helsinki and City of Helsinki launched a joint project to deepen the Vuosaari fairway and harbour basin from a depth of 11 to 13 metres in order to meet new transport requirements.
“Work began with the harbour basin and moved on to the fairway in early September,” says Jukka Kallio, Vice President, Cargo at the Port of Helsinki.
“Dredging has progressed well, and the project is on schedule. According to the reports, everything has gone smoothly.” The new fairway is scheduled for completion by the end of 2021.
During the project, many work vessels sail through the fairway and in its vicinity, such as barges, tugboats, dredgers, and boats carrying personnel. Barges carrying quarried rock also sail between the Vuosaari fairway and Hernesaari. The project website has a map that shows where dredging is being carried out and when. A transport meeting is held once a week (on Mondays) to decide on dredging work and traffic arrangements for the coming week.
All interested parties can use WhatsApp to follow communications about blasting work for the fairway project. During the summer in particular, the area may be used by swimmers, divers and summer cottage residents.
The new fairway will enable larger vessels to visit Vuosaari. Once the fairway has been deepened, some cargo vessels will be able to almost double their cargo capacity.
This will generate considerable transport cost savings, while also reducing the environmental impact of vessel traffic.
“The maximum keel depth for vessels will be 13 metres, which means that ships of about 5000TEU will be able to use Vuosaari in the future. Actual cargo volumes will, however, largely depend on the type of vessel. Some older ships that require a 13-metre fairway may hold considerably less cargo than this. The width of a ship plays a large role in determining how much cargo it can carry.”
“In Finland, the assumption is that winter will be coming, and there aren’t really any large ice-class container vessels. Maersk’s vessels are the largest ice-class ships that come here, and they can hold 3600TEUs,” says Kallio.