Tallinn, Stockholm and Hamburg focus on being 'green'
The largest ports of the Baltic Sea gathered in Tallinn in May during the Green Cruise Port (GCP) seminar, Smart Cities, Smart Buildings and Smart Solutions to share their approach to sustainable, innovative and environmentally-meaningful solutions.
GCP is a project in the EU Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014-2020. 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.
"Being 'green' is not merely a fad word, but our clear business goal," Valdo Kalm, chairman management board Port of Tallinn, 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 Vartahamnen in Stockholm, Sweden. The new terminal building meets the requirements for the Swedish Green Building Council certification, according to Anna Lindblad, project manager of the development project department Ports of Stockholm. 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 Vartahamnen is one key factor to enable a sustainable urban development of 236 hectares urban space, 12,000 new homes and 35,000 new workplaces, and is located at walking distance from the city centre.
Meanwhile Sacha Rougier, managing director Cruise Gate Hamburg, commented: “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.”
“From the guest experience perspective, the terminal should fulfil 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.”
Ukko E Metsola, vp Royal Caribbean International, (pictured) 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 hoped 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 Moller Pedersen, coo Copenhagen-Malmo Port, who said that one of the main challenges for new ports, like Visby due to open in spring of 2018, is the region's capability to provide the port with water and fuel.
*The owner of Port of Tallinn, the government of the Republic of Estonia has decided to proceed with listing up to 30% of the company’s shares on the Estonian stock market by the end of the first half of 2018 at the latest.