The NextGen Link project is progressing on schedule
The Port of Turku is part of the European TEN-T Scandinavian-Mediterranean transport network, which connects Turku all the way to southern Europe. The idea of the transport network is to make the European internal market function fluently, improve accessibility and unite Europe, not forgetting environmental issues.
Europe is investing in transport networks using the Connecting Europe Facility funding instrument. The Port of Turku has received CEF funding for the NextGen Link project aimed at updating the sea connection to Stockholm. The project includes the environmental and port investments of Viking Line’s new passenger car ferry Viking Glory. The project partners are the Port of Turku, the City of Turku, Viking Line, the Port of Mariehamn and the Ports of Stockholm.
The Port’s role in the project covers the development of the port area logistics in terms of traffic arrangements and vehicle measurement equipment, as well as the automation of ship mooring and unmooring. All sections of the project will be completed by the end of the year.
Traffic arrangements are being developed by eg. improving Tallink Silja’s field area. Over the past year the field has been levelled out and traffic control is being developed by centering passenger and cargo traffic on the same field and installing digital signage. All these improvements will make the flow of cars smoother and the loading of ships faster.
Truck traffic services will be developed with a heavy traffic measurement and identification system to be built at Viking Line’s field, which will significantly improve the loading of trucks on the ship. Identifying, weighing, measuring and photographing trucks brings safety and facilitates more efficient and balanced loading of the vessel, which in turn brings energy efficiency.
The third big part of the project is an automatic mooring and unmooring system to be built in our port. In practice, this system is powered by six suction cups which attach to the side of the ship and keep it at berth under reduced pressure. The system will be installed at Viking Line’s berth and will be used by both Viking Grace and Viking Glory, which is still under construction and will be operational next year.