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Finnish Port Days attracted a record-high audience to Naantali

A total of 230 people representing port industry management, decision-makers and experts of different fields participated

Content: Tarja Siekkinen

Organised by the Finnish Port Association, the Finnish Port Days brought a record-high audience to Naantali from 14–15 September 2023. The event is arranged annually in different parts of the country.

This year the Port of Naantali had the pleasure to host the event together with the City of Naantali which turned 580 years on 23 August 2023. Mayor Laura Leppänen presented the City’s greetings at the event. The exquisite setting for the event was provided by the Naantali spa hotel.


Port of Naantali´s Managing Director Pasi Haarala in Naantali Spa hotel.

The event gathered a record-high audience, and the two-day programme was built in an interesting way. A total of 230 people representing port industry management, decision-makers and experts of different fields participated, with a slightly smaller audience on Friday. As before, the comprehensive programme had been compiled by Annaleena Mäkilä, Kirsti Tarnanen-Sariola and Helmiina Latvanen from the Finnish Port Association.

The participants visited Finnlines´s new hybrid vessel M/S Finnsirius

In addition to topical programme, one attraction factor was certainly the opportunity to visit on board M/S Finnsirius, Finnlines’ newest Superstar class hybrid vessel which started regular liner service on the Naantali–Långnäs–Kapellskär route on 15 September.


In addition to presentations, the event comprised of panel discussions, and the programme had been planned by the Finnish Port Association on current themes:


Resilience of ports

Digitalisation of transport chains

EU funding programmes

Competition law issues in port services

Wind power

Biogas and electricity in ports


The Finnish Port Association also celebrated its 100 years of operations in the event, at a dinner party in Kaivohuone restaurant. Ville Haapasaari, Chairman of the Board of the Finnish Port Association welcomed everyone, and on behalf of the Port of Naantali the welcome speech was given by Markku Tuuna, Chairman of the Board of the Port. Annaleena Mäkilä, Managing Director of the Finnish Port Association gave the main speech, and music entertainment at the dinner was provided e.g. by Lenni-Kalle Taipale.



Tour of Naantali port was arranged with four buses and guides


Friday’s programme also included a tour in the Port of Naantali, and the guides on the buses were Port Director/COO Yrjö Vainiala, Managing Director Pasi Haarala, Operations Manager Hannu Kallio, and Harbour Master, PSO Jussi Lehtonen. On the tour, the guides gave a comprehensive presentation on the port related  industry in Naantali and explained in what areas the Port of Naantali is “number one”.


The route to the Port went from the Naantali Spa through the Luolala industrial district where e.g. a hydrogen ammonia plant is planned to be built. The buses route passed  Ahola Transport´s office and truck field, Turun Seudun Energiantuotanto Oy’s (TSE) multi-fuel plant, Suomen Viljava’s grain silos, ExxonMobil Finland’s lubrication oil plant, Finnfeeds Finland’s betaine plant, port Operator Stevena’s bulk warehouses, and Schwenk Finland’s cement terminal which was expanded last autumn, and then continued via the completely renovated passenger terminal and office building towards the car inspection hall of the Customs under construction, and the area for trucks. On the shore, before embarking, the guests saw the Port’s new adjustable loading ramps, automooring equipment and shore-side electricity supply system acquired by the Port for Finnlines’ Superstar class vessels.

The Port’s Operations Manager Hannu Kallio told that the Port of Naantali is the biggest in Finland e.g. in grain exports and cement imports. Furthermore, most of the maintenance transports to and from the Åland islands is carried in ro-ro transports between Naantali and Långnäs.

The guests learned that Naantali is the biggest port in Finland e.g. in grain exports and cement imports. The silos located next to the Port have the highest capacity in Finland and together with the Port’s deep fairways they make the Port of Naantali the biggest grain harbour in Finland. In addition, the majority of Finland’s recycled glass is carried via the Port of Naantali. The guests also got to hear that around 80% of the district heat for the Turku region is produced at TSE’s multi-fuel power plant in Naantali, and the fuels used include e.g. wood chips transport through the Port. Most of the maintenance transports to and from the Åland islands is also carried in ro-ro transports between Naantali and Långnäs. M/S Fjärdvägen has operated on Naantali-Långnäs sea route since 1994 and it is a Ro-Ro vessel (cargo).

Furthermore, nearly half of the truck transports between Finland and Sweden on ropax and ro-ro vessels are carried on the Naantali–Långnäs–Kapellskär route.

The tour of the Port ended with a visit on board Finnlines’ new hybrid vessel M/S Finnsirius where the guests had the chance to see the stylish and light Scandinavian interiors of the ship and various cabin alternatives. On board the ship the guests were guided by the service-oriented and friendly personnel of Finnlines. We wish to thank Finnlines for excellently executed presentation of the ship. One of the often repeated sentences heard during the tour was “…I think I’m going to book a cruise.”

Port of Naantali Ltd’s Operations Manager Hannu Kallio spoke at the Finnish Port Days on subject “Green transition – towards carbon neutral port operations”


Use of bio-energy and recycled fractions


Mr Kallio said that Turun Seudun Energiatuotanto Ltd has switched from coal to wood chips in electricity production. Switching to wood chips in energy production has contributed significantly to the decrease in the power plant’s CO2 emissions, but the volume and supply frequency of wood chips have increased, which on the other hand is good from the Port of Naantali’s point of view. Producing the same amount of heat requires around 2–3 times the tonnes of wood chips and about six times the cubic volume compared to using coal.


Green North Energy is building a production plant for green hydrogen and ammonia in Naantali

Hannu Kallio told that Green North Energy is building the first production plant for green hydrogen and ammonia in Naantali. Naantali offers optimal conditions for manufacturing green hydrogen products. The company aims at producing synthetic fuel and chemicals for the needs of the current market and creating an opportunity for new markets. The plant is intended to be in production within the next few years. The location of the future plant in Naantali already has the key infrastructure for green hydrogen products in place, including electricity, heating and premises. Other strengths of the area include logistics enabled by the TEN-T transport network – ammonia is most commonly transported by ship.


Naantali’s strengths include among other things the possibilities of a powerful electrical network, excellent sea, rail and road transport options, and waste heat can be utilised in the district heating network of the entire city area. The project also allows for emergence of a circular economy ecosystem/hydrogen valley in the nearby area.


At the moment, ammonia is mainly produced outside the EU, which means that enabling domestic production will significantly enhance Finland’s security of supply. Green ammonia will replace the fossil-based ammonia being used at present. Its markets may grow even faster than those of green hydrogen, as its logistics network already exists. In the future, green ammonia is expected to play a major role as a maritime fuel in particular. In addition, it may speed up the emergence of the hydrogen economy, as ammonia can be utilised as a carrier of hydrogen. Ammonia is also a critical chemical for agriculture and industry. The company produces green ammonia through an electrolysis process. The production is based on renewable electricity rather than on commonly used natural gas, and that will reduce the emissions considerably. (Green North


Port of Naantali’s Operations Manager Hannu Kallio presented the Port’s solutions for sustainable development


Project by project towards more sustainable development – Port of Naantali’s solutions

Hannu Kallio presented Port of Naantali Ltd’s already realised measures and solutions for sustainable development which include, for example, the basic renovation of the terminal building due for completion at the beginning of 2024.


Port of Naantali’s Operations Manager Hannu Kallio presented the Port’s solutions for sustainable development.


The Terminal building switched to geothermal heat during this year. Shore-side electricity supply and automooring system for automated mooring and unmooring of vessels were installed on quay L27. The system improves the safety of port operations and speeds up the mooring and unmooring of vessels. Finnlines’ Superstar class vessels can use shore-side electricity when berthed and at the same time reduce emissions, because the ship’s auxiliary engines need not be running. 100% wind powered electricity was adopted in the Port already in 2021.


”We have also developed further the traffic arrangements in the Port, we introduced more efficient field area arrangements for heavy vehicles in 2020 which have significantly decreased unnecessary driving of trucks in the field area as well as fuel consumption and idling of trucks. Hence this also benefits transport companies. The lighting in the Port’s outdoor areas was replaced with LED lamps years ago”, says Hannu Kallio.


Mr Kallio also presented the Port’s latest plans and preliminary studies;

Solar power plant

New charging points for electric cars

Supply of alternative fuels


Panel discussions focused on the general cyclical conditions, economic outlook in ports and geopolitical tensions – ports have a big role in industrial projects of the green transition


Port Director/COO Yrjö Vainiala participated in an interesting panel discussion with Markku Mäkipere, Managing Director of port operator Stevena and Ville Haapasaari, Managing Director of the Port of Helsinki. They talked about e.g. the general cyclical conditions and the economic outlook in ports, geopolitical tensions and their impacts on the operations of ports, as well as the role of ports in industrial projects and energy solutions within the green transition. The skilled and engaging presenter of the event was Tapio Nurminen.



Photo by Finnish Port Association: Panel members Ville Haapasaari, Yrjö Vainiala and Markku Mäkipere in discussion led by Tapio Nurminen.


Read Annaleena Mäkilä`s article about Finnish Port Days in Naantali 

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