In the spotlight

Vuosaari doubles capacity

The Vuosaari fairway and harbour basin deepening project will double cargo vessel loading capacity

The Vuosaari fairway and harbour basin are being deepened to meet the transport requirements of growing shipping traffic. Work began in May 2020 and the new fairway will be taken into use at the end of 2021. The Vuosaari deepening work is a joint project of the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, Port of Helsinki Ltd and the City of Helsinki.

Terramare will deepen the Vuosaari fairway and harbour basin from 11 metres to 13 metres navigation depth. The project will involve the dredging of around one million cubic metres of clay and moraine material, and around half a million cubic metres of bedrock will be drilled and blasted, says Project Manager Jani Vyyryläinen.

“The project is challenging in the sense that there is a lot of sea traffic at the location and different parties are involved. We frequently hold meetings to ensure that information flows freely about what is happening and where,” explains Vyyryläinen, reminding us that safety is the number one priority in the project.

Blasted rock for re-use

In the contract, the soft materials generated are disposed of in a dumping area in the open sea, while the blasted rock is transported by barge by sea for use in sea-filling in the construction of the new Hernesaari district. Another blasted rock  disposal location is Ruusuniemi.  

“Sea transport of the blasted rock not only brings cost savings, but also reduces noise and traffic disruption in the urban area,” says Vyyryläinen.

The upgraded, deeper fairway and harbour basin will help Vuosaari Harbour meet the challenge set by growing ship sizes. For some container vessels, cargo capacity may be almost doubled, which in turn will bring savings in transport costs and reduce the environmental impact of shipping traffic.

Reins tightly in own hands

According to Vyyryläinen, the project represents Terramare’s core expertise, but it also has its own special features: for example, a small local marina and some power plant seawater intakes must be taken into account at the various stages of the contract. And there are also the fragments of an old stern door that needs to be cleared from the seabed.

“Coordination is needed over a fairly wide area, because sometimes we operate as far as 20 kilometres out at sea.” 

As part of the dredging and the drilling and blasting work, various navigation aids have also been moved in the harbour basin and fairway area.