Q&A about the Scenarios

The initial situation

1.  Why were these three particular scenarios selected for the study? Did the Port of Helsinki make the choice? Could other scenarios also have been explored?
The Port of Helsinki carried out scenario work on various scenarios for the parts of the port in spring 2019. The most likely scenarios were selected, as was the Vuosaari scenario, for which there was the need for refining the decision-making process through the discussion of the underground collector street last autumn.

2. Are these the Port of Helsinki’s own studies? Wouldn’t an external study have been more impartial?
The report is a summary of the Port of Helsinki’s numerous studies. The port has carried out and commissioned numerous studies in different areas. In addition, Logscale carried out a comprehensive impact study with the shipping company association and the City of Helsinki, including the urban economy survey carried out by the city. 

3. What does the confidential background material consist of, and why was it not published?
The confidential background material contains more detailed financial models of the Port of Helsinki Ltd, as well as more detailed reports on the studies carried out and the necessary investments. The publication was not considered appropriate for trade secret reasons and for reasons relating to the level of detail of the material. However, the Hesarama study responds very broadly to the questions presented. 

The scenarios

4. What new information does scenario 0 present? It seems to be only about keeping things as they currently are?
Scenario 0 is the development of port operations in existing port parts based on the long-term leases of the Port of Helsinki for the areas, the investment programme and the business operations plan. It is the current valid plan, against which alternatives are assessed. 

5.  Is the Satamaväylä port route presented in scenario 1 an attempt by the Port of Helsinki to start implementing a central tunnel for the central ports?
No. It is a special underground solution for port transport designed to meet the needs of port transport, for which the company is prepared in principle for implementing. In the long run, it makes sense to implement this in such a way that it does not contradict the policy related to a possible underground collector street. The Satamaväylä port route would only solve the transport challenges in the West Harbour altogether, but the associated concentration of traffic would also significantly ease the traffic situation in the South Harbour and Katajanokka.

6.  How realistic is the Satamaväylä port route as a solution to the acute traffic problems of the West Harbour?
The Satamaväylä port route would remove congestion spikes from the street network caused by port traffic, and would streamline entry to and departure from the port. It would also fulfil the desire of the Port of Helsinki to be a good neighbour to the residents of the surrounding area. It would be possible to implement the port route in the 2020s. At present, there is no solution that goes beyond the area’s congestion problem. 

7.  How does the Port of Helsinki intend to develop the Jätkäsaari traffic situation and eliminate traffic disruptions from the street network?
Traffic disruptions are intermittent but repetitive occurrences. In this scenario work, the underground link outlined for the West Harbour would be a solution based on preliminary reviews in order to manage traffic disruptions. In the basic scenario, the Port of Helsinki aims to streamline traffic through smart traffic solutions and guiding pricing. However, it does not eliminate the need to streamline the street network.

8. Why did scenario 2 not address the option of separating passenger and freight traffic from each other when transferring to Vuosaari?
This has already been examined previously and was found to be unworkable, above all because it would lead to a reduction in the level of service and the number of passengers. This would also be the worst option with regard to CO2 emissions. The Hesarama results reinforce this view.

9. How have the environmental impacts of the scenarios been calculated? What are they based on?
As part of the Hesarama study, the environmental impact assessment has been carried out by Assistant Professor Tomi Solakivi and as the Port of Helsinki’s own work. The focus of the calculations was on carbon dioxide emissions from land and maritime transport due to the carbon neutrality targets of the City of Helsinki and the Port of Helsinki.

The results of the Port of Helsinki’s own calculations and the Hesarama calculations support each other, although the method of calculation is different in some respects. The calculations are based on a comparison of the three scenarios and, with regard to CO2 emissions, the distances and speeds of transport for land and maritime transport and CO2 emissions during construction became key factors. Technical progress is assumed to be the same in the different scenarios.

10 How will the project affect the neighbouring and protected areas in Vuosaari?
The implementation of the new passenger port and the northern part of the new route requires fairly extensive excavation and dredging. The operation of the new passenger port and vessel traffic cause noise, which is a potential disadvantage for holiday and permanent housing and for protected areas and their use. 

In addition, vessel traffic can cause periodic increases in water turbidity. Depending on the direction of flow and other factors, this may have adverse effects on the Uutela Särkkäniemi nature reserve and the Pikku Niinisaari nature reserve. Modelled joint noise effects with the cargo port is at the level of the limit values of 54 dB and 51 dB for both daytime and night-time noise. The western part of Pikku Niinisaari and Uutela are the most critical subjects of scrutiny.

Nearby are the Uutela Särkkäniemi nature reserve and the wide-ranging nature reserve of the Natura area consisting of the Kallahti eskers, meadows and water areas and the Kallahti shoals. The new passenger terminal would be located only about 200 to 300 metres from the Uutela Särkkäniemi area, depending on its final location, and a distance of 150 metres at its nearest from the new route in the northern part of the routing.

11. How have the shipping companies responded to the different scenarios?
From the point of view of the business operations of shipping companies, scenario 0 is the most recommended, although the traffic challenges it presents are a shared problem. From the point of view of the shipping companies, scenario 1 has also been identified as a possible development route, although it involves certain challenges due to a slight decrease in passenger numbers, for example. From the shipping companies’ point of view, scenario 2 is the worst option.

Investments

12.  How realistic is it that investments in each scenario would be made by the Port of Helsinki or the City of Helsinki? Are other financiers needed?
The port itself has the necessary investment capacity. In terms of profitability, scenario 2 is the most challenging due to the size of the investments combined with the lowest development in turnover. 

13.  If the Satamaväylä port route were to be implemented and the Port of Helsinki financed it with EUR 180 million, what part of the port areas would not be implemented? Where would the money be found?
The investment would be made over a long period and would be funded by port fees. It does not exclude any other development of the port.

14. How have the additional investments in Vuosaari been calculated? Have they been assessed only by the Port of Helsinki, or have they been assessed by some more impartial party?
Concentration of traffic in Vuosaari as a whole would mean both port and public transport investments, and so the investment estimates are provisional in nature. 

The estimates are based on the usual technical calculations by experts by which infrastructure projects are generally calculated in the initial preparatory phase. 

Business risks

15.  What are the business risks of the different scenarios for the Port of Helsinki?
The risks have been assessed as part of the scenario work. Scenario 0 poses the least business risk. The risks associated with scenario 1 are mainly related to project management for a significant investment and the development of passenger volume in this scenario. The business risks associated with scenario 2 are noticeably high, and the passenger volume would be expected to decrease significantly at the same time as the very large investments are made. The long-term outlook and commitment of the City of Helsinki is important to the Port of Helsinki with regard to the investments that can be made and the port operations that can be developed.

16.  How has the board of directors of the Port of Helsinki discussed the scenarios? Has the board outlined some policy?
As part of the board of directors’ normal work, the board of directors of the Port of Helsinki discusses various future possibilities. The board has also been actively involved in this process. The Port of Helsinki Ltd has prepared the scenario work from its own point of view, while also considering the impact on the various stakeholders. 

Other questions

17. Why does Helsinki have a port – could the port be located somewhere else? What are the benefits of the port for the city? 
The aim of the Port of Helsinki Ltd is primarily to carry out port business operations in the Helsinki area. According to studies, port operations create and maintain a significant number of jobs in the region and generate more than EUR 100 million in municipal tax revenue per year for the towns and cities in the region. In addition, port management is a profitable business in itself, and the Port of Helsinki Ltd annually declares as income dividends, rental income and interest income for the City of Helsinki. Taking port traffic far away from the area where demand is concentrated would be a bad economic and environmental option.

18. Why not just divert heavy traffic to Vuosaari through pricing?
The customers of the Port of Helsinki Ltd will eventually make a choice of route between the Helsinki ports and other ports. For this reason, pricing cannot fully steer any part of the traffic to another route, although in some cases it can be used as an incentive. There are also competition law obstacles to steering through pricing, especially if it were to be implemented in the interest of some party other than the Port of Helsinki Ltd. In this case, what would be especially difficult from the perspective of the shipping companies’ business operations is if there were a desire to direct only the freight share of the operations to another port. This would break the efficient and environmentally friendly concept of shipping companies to offer transportation to passengers and freight at the same time.

19. Who decides on the follow-up of scenario work?
The Port of Helsinki has been asked to provide a report, which has now been carried out in this work.  The City of Helsinki will decide on how to deal with the issue from the city’s perspective in the future. As part of its normal management operations, the Port of Helsinki will continue to assess various forecasts and future possibilities.