The ports of Tallinn and Helsinki will receive up to EUR 10 million of European Union support from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for infrastructure investments. The total volume of planned investments is EUR 33 million.
Valdo Kalm, Chairman of the Management Board of Port of Tallinn, pointed out that TWIN PORT 4 investments are aimed at the development of both Tallinn-Helsinki as well as Muuga-Vuosaari vessel traffic and are related to the implementation of the sustainable development objectives of the Port of Tallinn. “Vessel connection between Finland and Estonia is one of the busiest vessel connections. Even today, in the post-crisis period, there are a record number of visits between the two neighbouring countries. In the Tallinn Old City Harbour, we are developing an infrastructure for servicing passengers and vehicles and are creating a high-quality public space connected to the local community. We will build new shore ramps in Muuga Harbour to divert even more of the heavy goods traffic from the Tallinn city centre to Muuga. We follow the principles of environmental sustainability in all investments.”
As the project number suggests, this is the fourth TWIN PORT project, the aim of which is to develop one of the most active shipping routes in Europe between two capitals on the shores of the Gulf of Finland. The first two TWIN PORT projects focused on the development of passenger terminals (Terminal D in Tallinn and West Terminal 2 in Helsinki), opening the Muuga-Vuosaari route, and establishment of the route for the LNG-fuelled passenger ferry MEGASTAR. The TWIN PORT 3 project, which is currently being implemented, is focused on the reduction of environmental impacts of the increasing Tallinn-Helsinki vessel traffic in ports and in their near vicinity by establishing, among others, the automatic mooring capacity and opportunities for using shore electricity both in Tallinn Old City Harbour as well as Helsinki West Harbour. With the fourth follow-up project, the ports continue making investments in both Tallinn and Helsinki ports as well as for the development of the Muuga-Vuosaari shipping route. Among others, double ramps that enable faster and more convenient embarkation and disembarkation of vehicles, especially trucks, are being built in the ports on the latter shipping route. The first storey ramp of one berth will be reconstructed and a new second storey ramp for servicing vehicles quicker and better will be built in Muuga Harbour. The Port of Tallinn intends to divert some of the heavy goods vehicles transporting goods between the two countries from Tallinn Old City Harbour to Muuga Harbour.
As a result of the project, passenger terminals running from Terminal D to the ship in Tallinn Old City Harbour are reconstructed and, among others, solar panels are installed on the roofs to use even more renewable energy in operations. In addition, the area in front of Terminal D is fully reconstructed in accordance with the development plan Masterplan 2030 covering the area of the Old City Harbour. The aim of the new solution is to reduce traffic congestion in the port area and to create more convenient solutions for arriving in and departing from the terminal on foot, by public transport as well as by car. In addition, the new solution will make it easier for passengers to travel between the two passenger terminals across the new open pedestrian bridge to be built within the context of the TWIN PORT 2 project.
The Port of Helsinki will continue to establish automatic mooring for ships and shore electricity systems to reduce noise and air pollution in the port area. In addition, digital port solutions will be upgraded and a second storey ramp will be built in the Vuosaari Harbour to service ships sailing on the Muuga-Vuosaari route.
The TWIN PORT 4 project will be implemented in 2020–2023. The largest volume investments in the project are made by the Port of Tallinn, whose estimated volume of investments is EUR 22 million. The Port of Helsinki is planning investments in the amount of EUR 11 million.
The Connecting Europe Facility programme supports infrastructure investments of member state similarly to the previous TEN-T programme under which the first TWIN PORT project was implemented in cooperation of the two ports. A fourth project of the same name, TWIN PORT 4, is already receiving support. The Tallinn-Helsinki maritime connection is being developed as part of the North Sea-Baltic transport corridor, and it is important for connecting the northern areas of Europe with the southern transport network.
Kallo Keelmann, project manager for EU projects, Port of Tallinn, [email protected]