The 2022 figures for the Vaasa-based operations of Kvarken Ports, the joint port company of the cities of Vaasa and Umeå, show strong growth across the board. The growth of industry in the Vaasa region and the positive trend towards environmentally friendly shipment by sea were reflected in several transport areas of Kvarken Ports Vaasa.
The increase in total tonnage from 2021 was almost 40%. Wasaline’s excellent year is also reflected in the port’s increased transport volumes, but there was clear growth also in other freight traffic.
“There was significant growth (+53%) in the transport volumes of machinery and equipment, including wind turbine components, and unsawn timber, which was a new type of freight traffic for us, serving the Vaskiluoto power plant. In the past, these types of cargo were transported solely by road. In addition, the number of vessel visits rose to over 800, which is an all-time record for the Port of Vaasa,” says Teijo Seppelin, Managing Director of Kvarken Ports, and continues:
“2022 was an excellent year for us and it is great to see how our collective efforts are paying off. The operating infrastructure for the world’s greenest passenger ferry, Wasaline’s Aurora Botnia, is now in place, and we will continue to focus on supporting industrial growth and the green transition in the region. There continues to be huge potential for a shift from road to sea transport.”
Kvarken Ports will continue to invest heavily in Vaasa-based projects aimed primarily at improving the competitiveness of the region’s industry. The construction of the first phase of the extension to the cargo berth is scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2023.
“The project will double the capacity for large cargo ships, which will create the conditions for more efficient handling of freighters and also ease the congestion experienced, for example, last summer. In addition, we are investing heavily in expanding the port’s storage areas and advancing development and planning to meet the needs of GigaVaasa operators in a timely manner,” says Tommi Tuominen, Development Director of Kvarken Ports.
Blomberg Stevedoring, the port operator in Vaasa, acquired a new 208-tonne mobile harbour crane at the end of 2022 to complement the two existing 104-tonne mobile cranes. With this acquisition, the Port of Vaasa has the largest mobile harbour crane capacity in the Nordic countries, enabling the handling of demanding projects well into the future.
“In terms of development projects, we have a clear plan on how to better serve the needs of the region’s industry, in line with carbon neutrality objectives. Another area in which we are investing heavily is enabling environmentally friendly transport for new operators in the future,” Tuominen adds.
Anna Måtts-Fransén, logistics expert at VASEK, is working on the port development project with Kvarken Ports and agrees with Tuominen:
“The role of the port has changed and evolved in recent years. The port is designed to be an enabler and to offer, both now and even more in the future, digital opportunities, different kinds of space and storage concepts and to act as an energy hub, etc. The Port of Vaasa has already taken strides in this direction, and we are witnessing an accelerating need for such things.”