Turku and shipping companies consider three alternative locations for the passenger terminal
The City of Turku, Port of Turku Ltd and shipping companies Silja Line and Viking Line have begun to study three alternative locations for Turku’s new passenger terminal. The original joint terminal project planned for the Linnanaukko area is turning out to be too expensive a solution considering the functional and economic goals to be reached.
The planning of the joint terminal was initiated in 2018, because the land lease agreements of the current terminal and outdoor areas will expire at the end of 2025.
The City of Turku and Port of Turku Ltd have now begun to study two other alternative locations together with the shipping companies.
The other two alternatives are transfer of the passenger harbour to Pansio and the so-called 0+ alternative. The latter would mean that the passenger terminals would partly use Viking Line’s current terminal building and partly Tallink Silja’s terminal area in such a way that loading and unloading of vehicles would take place approximately from the direction of Tallink Silja’s current traffic area.
”The total costs of a joint terminal in accordance with the original plan were approaching the cost of the tramline project. Hence we had to start looking for alternatives that allow on one hand to lower the investment expenditure and, on the other hand, to gain income from real estate development to balance out the investments”, says Jarkko Virtanen, Deputy Mayor of Turku.
The alternatives were presented to the Turku City Board in an evening session on Thursday, 18 June, and to the inhabitants of the city and the media at a press conference also on 18 June.
All three alternatives to be studied were presented to the Turku City Board as equal options. No stand is taken on the order of priority of the alternatives at this point, but the proposal for a solution will be achieved as a result of the studies to be carried out together with the shipping companies by the end of 2020.
”We have had positive co-operation, although we understand that the change of the situation is challenging to the shipping companies. I am sure that together we will find the best and most functional solution that will enable the goals of urban development while securing the continuing operations in the matter that is extremely important to the shipping companies”, says Jarkko Virtanen, Deputy Mayor of Turku.
The validity of the letter of intent concerning the terminal project will be extended to the end of the year, so that the parties can carefully draw up all technical-economic reports that affect the choice of the future alternative.
Shipping companies are closely involved in planning
“Viking Line is happy to contribute to the planning of the Linnanniemi district. At the moment, we are very satisfied with the current terminal and hope that we will also in the future get to welcome our passengers at the mouth of the River Aura, near the Turku Castle”, says Jan Hanses, President and CEO of Viking Line.
”It is very important for Tallink Silja to have efficient terminal services for future use from the point of passengers, those travelling with a car, cargo, and personnel. The location of the terminal also plays a key role in the smooth flow of the passengers and above all the ease of travelling. We hope that a solution suited to all parties will be found”, says Margus Schults, CEO of Tallink Silja.
Erik Söderholm, Managing Director, Port of Turku Ltd, +358 50 553 3100