In 2012, the western Finnish Port of Kokkola reported dry bulk traffic of 7.5mt (million tonnes) compared to the 7.8mt handled in 2011. According to port director,Torbjörn Witting, these broadly similar quantities are the result of good, long-term contracts signed with different clients in three market areas. Indeed, one-third of the port’s dry bulk traffic is generated by local heavy industry close to the port, another third from the mining sector in Central Finland, and a further third from northwestern Russia.
“We mostly serve the mining industry directly or via the various value-added products that it generates,” said Witting.
The year 2013 is also proving to be a very buoyant one, with the port currently 11–12% ahead of where it was last year, so a year end increase is forecast, although Witting suggests that the exact percentage is difficult to predict at this point in time.
In terms of investment, some €78 million has been spent in recent years as part of an overall development plan. This is spread across the port’s three main terminals, although the biggest on going project is in what is known as the ‘dark bulk’ deep port area, which is gradually being reclaimed from the sea. This project has been in place for the past 20 years, although investment last year was particularly intense, says Witting.
In many ways, Kokkola is unusual in that, once land is reclaimed from the sea, the port authority is not only responsible for providing all the necessary quays, but also supplies the cranes, warehouses and terminals on a case-by-case basis to the stevedores.
In addition, all specialist warehouses are built and managed by the port.
A tippler terminal for inbound Russian and Finnish rail wagons has been inaugurated in recent years to enable iron- based raw materials in various shapes to be handled more efficiently.
“Kokkola is the only port in the Nordic area to have an all- weather terminal, too,” reports Witting.
There is around 2mt of spare capacity at Kokkola at the moment, which means that there is sufficient room for dry bulk traffic to grow. This is important, since over the past eight years there has been a 160% increase in this type of traffic.
The most important commodity remains iron-based products, such as concentrated pellets, where Kokkola is already the leading national port for this traffic.
A second terminal specializes in so-called ‘white bulk’, such as limestone.
“Given the increase in traffic in recent years, we forecast that dry bulk volume will continue to grow steadily for the foreseeable future,” says Witting. Adjacent to the port, there are six large industrial units, which make use of zinc, cobalt and a variety of salts, all of which arrive by sea. However, inbound commodities coming from central Finland have no value added to them while they transit the port; they are simply handled and nothing more.
“In theory, about two-thirds of our current dry bulk traffic could we handled by other ports, but that leaves us with a good one-third base that we can always rely on,” says Witting.
Average vessel size are typically around 70,000dwt, being Panamax bulk carriers, although the largest vessel ever handled was a 170,000dwt Capesize. Most iron-based raw materials are shipped out on Panamax vessels, which have up to 13m of safe water through which they can navigate. Grab cranes are deployed on the largest ships, although there is also a conveyor loading system available for specialist cargo.
“In the case of Kokkola, it’s very much the business that dictates the size of vessels and not the draught. However, it’s always worthwhile to take oversize ships, because our cranes and equipment can handle really biggest ships, if necessary,” says Witting, who adds that the draught is being deepened, with the state providing money to dredge the fairways to a depth of up to 14 metres of safe water.
Leading Finnish stevedoring company, Steveco, handled around 660,000 tonnes of dry bulk in 2012, which spokesperson Tapio Mattila says is broadly similar to 2011. However, for the current year, he predicts that end-of-year volumes will amount only to 350,000 tonnes.
“The reason for this dramatically lower volume is very simple: we have sold a warehouse to a Russian company who will make use of their own stevedoring company in the handling of Russian fertilizer. In addition, they have built a new warehouse of their own at Kotka, where they also have their own conveyors and a shiploader. In contrast, Steveco’s focus at Kotka is to handle only import bulk for domestic industry located at Mussalo,” he says.
As a consequence of this hiving off of activities, Steveco has undertaken no investment at all in dry bulk at the port in recent times.
In respect of capacity, Mattila says that, in general, the company has enough, although not in Mussalo, given its strategy of selling this off.
“However, for smaller consignments and/or special dry bulk traffic, we intend to develop our presence in the port of Hamina via an affiliated company, called Saimaa Terminals.”
As for the main commodities handled, these are kaolin clay and lime, with volumes relatively stable given the current limited warehousing capacity that the company can leverage. Furthermore, at the moment, Steveco simply handles the bulks it receives and undertakes no processing.
The largest vessels handled by Steveco tend to be around 70,000 tons in weight when loaded, requiring draft of up to 15.6 metres. Kaolin clay invariably gets shipped in 15,000-tonne vessel, while lime is imported in small quantities, hence vessel size Is modest.
In February 2010, the Fertilog group was founded in Finland. It consists basically of three companies: Fertilog, Logifert and BTK, each of which owns its own storage facility, wagon discharge equipment and shipload. In November the following year, it acquired permission to set up two storage complexes for the transshipment of bulk cargo at Mussalo Harbour in the port of Kotka, specializing particularly in the transshipment of fertilizer, which would be brought in by rail from Siberia and the
Ural region of Russia. Total investment was in the region of €20 million, with co-financing provided by OP-Pohjola, among others. The masterplan for the terminal was drawn up by EP-Logistics. The first consignment of transshipment cargo from Russia commenced in December 2011. In the first three months of operation, the new terminal handled more than 300,000 tonnes of fertilizer, which was shipped to destinations in Central America, Europe and Southeast Asia. According to spokesperson,Yuri Pystin, in 2012, around 1.2mt of cargo was generated.
In total, the Fertilog installation can handle more than 4mt per year. It is accessed via a 600m-long berth, alongside which there is draught of between 13.5m and 15.3m. Dockside loading equipment, which was built in Russia by OMT, can handle around 30,000 tonnes in one day and two vessels can be work simultaneously. Vessels of up to 100,000 tonnes can be accommodated.
The terminal itself has three transshipment complexes and 52,000 m2 of warehousing, which can hold up to 170,000 tonnes of fertilizer. The company offers the option of the pre-packaging of transshipped cargo, if required. Up to 300 wagons a day of inbound rail cargo can be unloaded at one of four and loading stations, while shiploaders on the dock, which were built by the Russian manufacturer OMT, provide productivity of between 600 and 1,200 tonnes per hour.
The installation was essentially set up to handle chemical fertilizers, such as cardamide, ammophos, NPK, diammonium phosphate and phosphate raw materials. In addition, facilities are such that both alumina and other ores can also be handled.
In terms of development, the forecast is that volume of cargo handled will increase to around 2.8–3mt annually in the short term, thanks to available capacity of the rail terminal.
Significantly, in its first full year of operation, Fertilog encountered problems with the ACT port union, which commenced a blockade of the terminal as a means of influencing the signing of a collective bargaining agreement with the port stevedores. In response, stevedores were brought in from a Latvian company, which prompted the port union is to commence a blockade of the port. However, Fertilog went to the District Court of Helsinki, which found in favour of the company and ordered ACT to cease the blockade or be fined €500,000. Previously, Fertilog had used stevedoring services provided by both Steveco and Stella Stevedorica, which it claimed it wanted to go back to.
The choice of Kotka was determined by its close proximity to the Russian border, which is just 130km distant, while St Petersburg is 250km away. About a quarter of all current cargo at the port comes from Russia. In part, this is because Kotka offers ice free access all year round. Other ports where Fertilog might well have set up business include the Russian port of Ust- Luga.
Nowadays, Fertilog relies on three major clients. PhosAgro is one of the world’s largest integrated manufacturers of high-great phosphate raw materials, phosphate fertilizer and feed phosphates. Kemerovo-Azot is one of the largest chemical companies in Russia and the only producer of mineral fertilizers for the agricultural sector east of the Urals. Finally, Uralchem is one of the world’s largest producers of nitrogen and phosphate fertilizer in Russia and the CIS. It is the second-largest ammonium nitrate producer in the world and the leading one in Russia, where it is also the second-largest nitrogen fertilizer producer.
The Port of Pori relies on the brand of Mäntyluoto
The Port of Pori in Finland has plenty of free space inside the port gates and in the areas nearby the port. Recent investments have also brought plenty of capacity to handle all kind of cargoes and vessels of all sizes. The Port of Pori has strengthened its marketing activity in the property business. The Port and the City of Pori have launched a campaign to market the M20 Industrial Park. The ‘M’ in the brand M20 stands for Mäntyluoto Harbour which, for decades now, has been a highly valued port in the seafaring circles of the world. Actually M20 Industrial Park is divided into three different operational business areas: Mäntyluoto, Tahkoluoto and Peittoo Recycling Park.
M20 Industrial Park offers diverse sites for industrial companies, international trading and logistic businesses utilizing the services of the port. The industrial area includes over 200 hectares of free plots. The shape and location of the plots can be customized to needs of the individual companies. Some of the plots are shovel-ready. In the brand new office building of the Port of Pori (see picture above), there is free office space for example to the logistics companies. The M20 Industrial Park is one of the few industrial and logistics areas in the Baltic Sea Region where there is room for growth for both small and large businesses within the immediate proximity of a well-functioning general port.
The number 20 in M20 refers to the 20 advantages settling in the area offers for the companies. Many of these advantages can be derived directly from the benefits of the Port of Pori. The fairways are deep. There is a 15.3-metre fairway to the Tahkoluoto deep harbour, where energy products and other dry bulk is handled. All the vessels passing the Danish Straits are able to call the Port of Pori. In Tahkoluoto, there is also a chemical port. The latest investments to the 12-metre fairway ensure that Panamax vessels can call at Mäntyluoto, where project cargo, containers, sawn timber and dry bulk are handled. “In Pori, water under the keel will not run out. This in important as the average ship size is continuously growing,” underlines Jaakko Nirhamo, Port Director of the Port of Pori. Surprisingly Pori is probably the best winter port in Finland due to the lacking archipelago, deep waters and favourable wind conditions. Ice breakers are rarely seen in the waters of Pori. For example in the past winter vessels calling at the Port of Pori didn’t need ice breaking assistance.
Uncongested land transport connections in all directions, railways and a connection to the Russian border create good accessibility also from the land. Finland has the same railway gauge than Russia. The M20 Industrial Park is developed to be a node with already existing excellent traffic connections to Finland as well as to Russia, Scandinavia and continental Europe. The marketing campaign is thus international. The Finnish route to Russia is awakening more and more international interest. It must be said that the grade of co-operation between Finland and Sweden has been low in the questions of shipping and ports. Ice breaking is an exception from this rule.
The ports on the Swedish side of the Gulf of Bothnia don’t know the strengths and opportunities of the Finnish ports and vice versa. For example, the Port of Pori has the deepest fairways in the Gulf of Bothnia, the sea area between Finland and Sweden. Thanks to the EU projects, the situation is changing. New routes must be found to the Russian and Eastern Europe markets. Finland, Sweden and Norway are acting co-operatively to resolve that question. The fact is that Finland is a gateway to Russian. The Port of Pori is taking part of the Bothnian Green Logistic Corridor (BGLC) project. The corridor is a strategically important link within the transport system of goods in Northern Europe. In the BGLC project, the Port of Pori is making a feasibility study of re-opening a railway line Pori-Parkano- Haapamäki, which could open a new route to Russia, but also a new route to the booming Finnish mining industry.
The mining industry is one example of the branches of industries that could take advantages of the co-operation in the M20 Industrial Park. The big question of Finnish national economy will be in the future where the further processing of ores and minerals will be done: in Finland or abroad. Several international industrial companies have already settled in M20 Industrial Park and nearby the park. The most significant Finnish cluster specialized in copper and nickel refining operates already in the Pori region. The production chain extends from primary refining stages to finished products. For example, copper concentrate delivered from the mines is refined into pipes and other copper products. This cluster has created some important international innovations related to production techniques.
Cluster is a broad concept including logistics of raw materials and end-products. For example mining cluster needs chemicals, but also manufacturing of mining equipment and machineries are part of the mining cluster. This means that the cluster needs the services of a real general port such as the Port of Pori, where all kind of cargo is handled. The Port of Pori has, for example, the best crane capacity in Finland. It has the strongest fixed harbour crane with the lifting capacity of 200 metric tonnes and a Liebherr mobile crane of 144 tonnes. Even heavier lifts are possible with the fixed crane of the neighbouring shipyard. “The versatile and efficient business network” perfectly
describes the operations of M20 Industrial Park. The mining and metal clusters are only examples of the possible networks. Finnish heavy industry is mainly located in the belt which starts from the west coast and reaching the Russian border in the east. The Port of Pori is the westernmost point of this iron and
timber belt. In this belt are located the most industrialized cities in Finland. M20 Industrial Park is thus an excellent choice also to logistics companies and value-added industry serving the heavy industry. Pori is the capital of the Satakunta region, the most industrialized region in Finland. The Helsinki Metropolitan region is the home base for the headquarters of industrial companies, but production is not done there. It is done mostly in the iron and timber belt of Finland.
M20 Industrial Park has own web-pages on the port’s website. The Port of Pori is leading the marketing campaign of the M20 Industrial Park. The next step is the international trade fairs. The Port of Pori is taking part in Break Bulk Europe in Antwerp from 14–16 May and TransportLogistic in Munich from 4–7 June.
E-Crane’s growing success in the Scandinavian market
E-Crane, the only Belgian manufacturer of port cranes with subsidiary companies in the Netherlands (E-Crane International Europe) and Ohio, USA (E-Crane International USA), keeps on expanding its market with a brand new 1500 series crane in Sweden for Mälarhamnar AB. This is another success on Scandinavian territory for the company in only two years’ time: in December 2010, the Port of Kokkola, located in mid-west Finland, officially put into service a 2000 series E-crane.
SECOND E-CRANE FOR MÄLARHAMNAR AB
The Swedish company Mälarhamnar AB has recently installed its second E-Crane in the port of Västeras, situated in the heart of Sweden’s industrial belt. This is the second machine for Mälarhamnar AB who commissioned a rail-mounted 1500 series back in 2003.
The brand new 1500 series E-Crane commissioned late in 2012 is being used to unload Handysize vessels. It can load and unload a large number of different bulk materials and break bulk as well as logs from vessels of up to 10,000dwt. Bulk materials handled include peat, coal, peat, and scrap.
The new Equilibrium crane has an outreach of 104ft (31.7m), and a lifting capacity of 17.1 US tons (15.5 metric tonnes). Mounted on a rail-bound gantry, the crane is electrically powered. Benefits of this setup include smooth crane movement and high operator comfort.
PORT OF KOKKOLA
The Port of Kokkola purchased a rail mounted 2000 Series E-Crane, model 17359 GA-E for unloading iron ore, zinc concentrate, and coal. The crane has a maximum outreach of 35 metres (117ft) and a duty cycle capacity of 21 metric tonnes (23.1 US tons).
E-Crane was chosen by the port due to its high transloading capacity and precise operation. The balanced E-Crane can reach capacities of up to 1,300tph (metric tonnes per hour)
and can be operated easily, with utmost precision.
The E-Crane at Port of Kokkola successfully loads and unloads iron ore oxide into large handy-class sized vessels (shore-to-ship operation). More demanding jobs are no problem either; the E-Crane also offloads zinc concentrate from coasters into an existing travelling hopper, located on the side of the dock (ship-to-shore operation). It also obtains fast cycle times of 40 seconds per cycle. Utilizing the E-Crane, equipped with a 7.5m3 hydraulic clamshell bucket grab, results in a net payload between 14 and 16 metric tonnes, and peak offloading capacities in the 1,150 to 1,300tph range (zinc concentrate).
THE ORIGINAL ‘GREEN’ SOLUTION The E-Crane is a truly unique and revolutionary machine with the lowest power consumption cost in the industry. The E-Crane runs on clean electric energy, saving customers large amounts of money when compared with diesel powered equipment. E-Cranes also have very little associated maintenance costs due to E-Crane’s innate design.
The key to the E-Cranes’ efficiency is the parallelogram design linking the stick to the moving counterweight. This unique four-bar mechanism ensures that the E-Crane remains in near-perfect balance throughout its working range. Compared with conventional cranes that require as much as 80% of their available energy just to move the boom, stick, and grab, the E-Crane allows gravity to work for you instead of against you, reducing horsepower
requirements and power consumption by up to 50%, reducing maintenance and operating costs.
E-Crane Worldwide can supply the E-Crane® in five model ranges, the size of which is based on the maximum jib length and lifting capacity. Each E-Crane and auxiliary equipment/systems are custom engineered for the customer’s specific application type, production goals and profit potentials.