Proudly presenting: West Terminal 2 is open
The West Terminal project has been the most significant investment in recent years for the Port of Helsinki. The new West Terminal 2 was completed ahead of schedule and under budget. The harbour complex has proven functional and will continue to serve fast liner traffic from the West Harbour far into the future.
At the beginning of January, Tallink’s new ro-pax ferry MS Megastar, bigger than any of the fleet’s previous vessels, began sailing from the West Harbour’s new quay. The shipping company’s need to start using the new terminal building sped up the inauguration of West Terminal 2. The opening ceremony was held on 28 February, about a month ahead of the initial schedule.
The budget for the terminal complex was 45 million euros, but the actual cost was over 5% lower.
In addition to the new terminal building, the West Terminal project included two new berths, three disembarkation bridges, 350 metres of passenger bridge, the dredging of the Pihlajasaari route, improving the street connections and extensive land transport and field arrangements.
The West Terminal project is part of the TWIN-PORT II EU project, carried out in cooperation between the Port of Helsinki, the Port of Tallinn, and Tallink Group. The development project aims to improve travel comfort and create more efficient and environmentally friendly connections to Central Europe. The Port of Helsinki West Terminal project was granted funding from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme.
Eckerö Line’s MS Finlandia began using West Terminal 2 in June, once the last of the new passenger bridges had been installed.
Speed and environmental aspects have been taken into account
From the start, the aim has been to use the new terminal for passenger traffic, and various environmental aspects could be factored in during the terminal’s design phase. For example, the harbour now includes the option of bunkering vessels with LNG, i.e. liquefied natural gas, which produces less harmful emissions than traditional fuels.
The implementation of an automated mooring system speeded up the vessel traffic, improved work safety and reduced the fuel consumption and emissions of vessels.
For passengers, the new terminal means smooth and comfortable travel and short walking distances to the ships, and it even provides some architectural wow factors. Ship turnaround times have decreased and traffic has become more flexible with the introduction of an automatic ship mooring system and a dual ramp for driving vehicles onto and of the ship in two levels at the same time, as well as the development of the check-in system.
Challenges in road traffic are being solved through cooperation
Traffic arrangements to the West Harbour’s new terminal were constructed in several phases. The harbour commissioned the construction in Tyynenmerenkatu, which leads from West Terminal 1 to the new West Terminal 2. The street and the tram traffic running alongside it were already put into operation in January, but the end section of Tyynenmerenkatu was not completed until the end of the year.
Even thought though running the harbour operations was challenging while the streets of Jätkäsaari, currently under construction, were incomplete and the harbour was surrounded by a constantly changing surroundings, particularly during the high season in summer, loading and unloading ships was managed with only the occasional congestion in Jätkäsaari’s streets. The City of Helsinki, which is in charge of the street network, and the harbour are working in close cooperation to help the traffic run smoother. The implementation of the agreed measures, will be sped up where possible. When it comes to vehicle traffic and the parking solutions, the intense development work at the West Harbour will continue yet for a long time.
Alterations to Katajanokka Terminal have been completed
The entry hall’s renovation at the Katajanokka passenger terminal was completed in May, as planned. Already at the end of January, Viking Line was able to begin using the new, functional and stylish customer service desks, after which the work to make the facilities more spacious and architecturally clear progressively continued in the entry hall.
Investments and waste management development in international cruise traffic
The City of Helsinki is planning to turn Hernesaari into a residential area, but also a centre for marine tourism and leisure activities. At the beginning of April, the Port of Helsinki began constructing a new quay in Hernesaari for the largest cruise vessels to accompany the existing cruise traffic quays. During the year, the construction work progressed as planned, and the quay will be welcoming its first vessels during the cruise season of 2019, when the harbour is due to give the Melkinlaituri area on the West Harbour’s side over to the city for housing construction. Focusing the vessel and passenger services to Hernesaari will improve their efficiency.
The Port of Helsinki improved its vessel waste management and hired a waste management manager for the cruise season of 2017 to further develop the working methods. The feedback received from vessels has been very positive, and the harbour has been quickly able to use the data collected from waste management. Optimising the time spent on vessel waste management and using the waste management companies’ equipment cost effectively were the main reasons behind improved cost-effectiveness. Also a 10% decrease in the amount of mixed waste left in the harbour was achieved by raising the recycling rate of cardboard and glass, for example.
During 90% of all visits, cruise ships pumped their waste water into the harbour’s reception system, and from there the water runs directly to the city’s waste water system and onwards to be treated. The amount of received waste water increased by 5.4% compared to the previous cruise season of 2016.