The ports of the Baltic Sea connect sustainability to convenience and modernity
The largest ports of the Baltic Sea gathered in May during the Green Cruise Port seminar ‘Smart Cities, Smart Buildings and Smart Solutions’, held in the Estonian Centre of Architecture to share their approach to sustainable, innovative and environmentally meaningful solutions.
According to Valdo Kalm, chairman of the management board of Port of Tallinn, sustainability and smart solutions for higher effectiveness have become the key words in global marine transportation and the Baltic Sea region alike.
"Being ‘green’ is not merely a fad word, but our clear business goal," Kalm said. He added that in the future, developments of the port, smart and environmentally friendly solutions will give us a definite competitive advantage and, consequently, contribute to success in the business.
"The new cruise terminal, catering for the demands of passengers and operators as well as the future trends of the global cruise business, will be environmentally compatible and full of innovative smart solutions so that the guests of Tallinn arriving by cruise ships can enjoy smooth and convenient services," Kalm said. "At the same time, we aim to open the cruise pier area for city residents by creating a well-planned and easily accessible urban space."
This is also the case for the new passenger terminal in Värtahamnen in Stockholm, Sweden. According to Anna Lindblad, project manager of the Development project department of Ports of Stockholm, the new terminal building meets the requirements for the Swedish Green Building Council certification. The terminal building project has received the highest possible grade in all three criteria – for its choice of materials, use of energy and indoor environment.
The rebuild of Värtahamnen is one key factor to enable a sustainable urban development of 236 hectares urban space, 12 000 new homes and 35 000 new work places, and is located at walking distance from the city centre.
Expectations to ports
According to Sacha Rougier, md of Cruise Gate Hamburg, operating the three cruise terminals in Hamburg and subsidiary of Port of Hamburg, a healthy development of the cruise activities ensures growth and prosperity for the city and the entire metropolitan region.
The future of the port is not only tied to spatial development, but also to new, smarter approaches and in this regard various traffic and information flows must be merged to ensure efficient port operations
“Ports should, on the one hand, reduce their dependence on traditional energy sources by offering alternative power supply, as in Hamburg on the three terminals, and, on the other hand, strive to keep pace with the industry´s new solutions that would decrease energy consumption and expenses,” Rougier said. “From the guest experience perspective terminal should fulfill its purpose and deliver efficient and smooth operations. No passenger should come to stand. As a terminal operator we should work smart check-in and smooth luggage handling in cooperation with airports other transportation hubs and the cruise lines itself.”
Challenges for operators
Ukko E. Metsola, vice president of one of the world’s leading cruise operators Royal Caribbean International, noted at the seminar that the solution of environmental issues (for example, vessel waste and sewage reception) and compliance with the relevant stringent requirements are becoming more and more of a challenge for ports and vessel operators.
He hopes for a more clarified maritime regulation pertaining to the matter so that ships would be allowed to start visiting those ports of the Baltic Sea, considered to be an especially sensitive area, where there are no sewage reception pipelines permanently connected to the shore network. “Providing cruise operators with a continuing opportunity to visit ports with no sewage pipelines and to dispose of sewage at the next stop if the vessel has sufficient container facilities as well as creating the appropriate compensatory mechanisms will be of use for the entire sector, including the ports of Tallinn and Helsinki, which have already made the necessary investments,” he added.
The concern for the capabilities of Port facilities and destination points was also raised by Arnt Møller Pedersen, COO of Copenhagen-Malmö Port. According to him, one of the main challenges for new ports, like the Visby Port to open in spring of 2018, is the region’s capability to provide the port with water and fuel.
Green Cruise Port Seminar was held on 18-19 May in Tallinn, at the Estonian Centre of Architecture. The first seminar day focused on topics of smart city, smart buildings and smart terminals and the second day on more cruise specific themes.
GREEN CRUISE PORT (GCP) is a project in the EU Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014-2020. In GCP, port authorities from around the Baltic Sea and the neighbouring North Sea are working together with other main cruise stakeholders, to make the BSR more innovative, more sustainable and better connected, from a cruise tourism perspective.
GREEN CRUISE PORT elaborates a multidimensional strategic approach for a sustainable and qualitative future development for cruise shipping in port areas.