STRENGTHENING THE VITAL LINK BETWEEN FINLAND AND SWEDEN

Midway Alignment of the Bothnian Corridor is an EU-project designed to expand the connections between strong, fast growing, internationally important regions that are in need of a ferry (e.g. Ostrobotnia and Westerbothnia). In other words, the Midway Alignment project will result in a secure, environmentally and economically sustainable transport system for goods and passengers traveling through the Bothnian Corridor.

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Strengthening the vital link between Finland and Sweden

Midway Alignment of the Bothnian Corridor is an EU-project designed to expand the connections between strong, fast growing, internationally important regions that are in need of a ferry (e.g. Ostrobotnia and Westerbothnia). The aim is to improve the transport routes in the Bothnian Corridor and support the existing multimodal TEN-T network, making use of multiple modes of transport (sea, road, railroad). Improved connections also enable economic development, bringing the regions closer to each other and to other regions within the EU. In other words, the Midway Alignment project will result in a secure, environmentally and economically sustainable transport system for goods and passengers traveling through the Bothnian Corridor.

Sea. Road. Railroad..

Midway Alignment unites many forms of transport. The aim is to create a stable connection between Finland and Sweden, thus generating connections all around the EU. Over the mountains and across the seas transportation is done through cooperation, utilizing logistics in a creative way.

  1. A NETWORK connecting Northern EU countries, Norway and other EU countries
  2. 4 ROADS of strategic importance (E12, E10, E4, E8)
  3. Year-round MARITIME CONNECTION between Finland and Sweden
  4. The new BOTHNIAN RAILWAY LINE (first part of the Bothnian Corridor)

More than a line of transport

The Midway Alignment project will result in a secure, environmentally and economically sustainable transport system for goods and passengers traveling through the Bothnian Corridor.

siltaloppi-laivakuva
© Esa Siltaloppi

Midway Alignment aims to

  1. DESIGN and build a new, environmentally friendly ferry for the Bothnian Corridor strait
  2. CONNECT the North to other parts of Europe
  3. DEVELOP and promote innovative solutions (technical, operational, environmental and safety related)
  4. IMPROVE port operations and regional logistic systems (environmentally and economically)
  5. SECURE long-term operational stability

Explore the Midway Alignment!

Introducing a Greener Ferry

A reliable connection across the Kvarken strait and the Bothnian Corridor boosts trade and cooperation along the expanding multimodal road. Every link in the transport chain has to make the next one stronger in order to keep deliveries quick and stable. The ferry traffic between Vaasa and Umeå, a floating bridge, is still a strategically important link on the E12-road, reaching from Helsinki to Mo i Rana. As the maritime route covers the shortest distance between Finland and Sweden it is also popular for those who wish to trade with Eastern Europe or reach the all-year ice-free Atlantic ports in Norway.

New, flexible, environmentally friendly transport routes are needed all around Europe. Therefore Midway Alignment aims to build a modern ship that meets the needs of both passengers and transport companies. New, innovative materials and technologies allow for a light, strong, energy efficient vessel that can run on alternative, environmentally friendly fuel.

kiikarikuva

Project Phases 2012 – 2018

PHASE 1: 2012–2015

  1. Preparatory activities and feasibility studies
  2. Concept development (improving the transport link and land/port infrastructure)
  3. Designing the new ferry (environmentally friendly alternative fuels, sufficient icebreaking capacity)
  4. Budget: MEUR 20.7

PHASE 2: 2016-2018

  1. Building the ferry, land-based infrastructure
  2. Construction (incl. alternative fuels transportation and storage)
  3. Implementation of the logistic system and operations
  4. Reporting of results and findings

Creating a Logistic Shortcut

Did you know that the North is a source of supply for raw materials? A considerable amount of goods (raw materials, paper, building materials) are constantly being exported to the EU markets – briskly and at a low-cost, if possible. To enable this equation, the northerners demand a reliable transport route.

Although good alternatives already exist (e.g. the maritime connection between Finland and Sweden), their full potential is not put to use. Midway Alignment means to change that. Operators, cargo owners and the general public all stand to gain!

The shift from road to sea and rail would

  1. Interconnect TWO NATIONAL RAIL NETWORKS
  2. Bypass MORE THAN 800 KM of existing road routes
  3. Have POSITIVE EFFECTS on the environment, safety, service quality and transport costs
  4. Create TAILORED TRANSPORT SOLUTIONS along the Midway Alignment
  5. Increase the EFFICIENCY AND COMPETETIVENESS in the transport sector

Project Financing & Partners

Municipal, regional and national financers from Finland and Sweden, private companies and European Union TEN-T Call funds finance the Midway Alignment of the Bothnian Corridor.

Midway Alignment Action Partners

The Municipality of Umeå

Municipality of Umeå

 

Umeå holds a unique position as a dynamic growth region in northern Scandinavia. A strong export industry exists along with a steadily increasing population. Today approximately 118 000 people live in the municipality. Recently, Umeå was highlighted by the EU’s Eurostat office as one of the leading growth cities in Europe.

 

The city offers world-class art, drama, films, industries, music and research. Umeå aims to attract more companies, break new construction records and, not least, become the European Capital of Culture 2014.

The growth really sped up in 1965, the same year that the university threw open its doors. Umeå University gives priority to many different areas of research. These include life sciences, human technology interaction, social welfare, ecology and gender perspectives. The university with its 37 000 students works collaboratively with companies such as ABB, Volvo, Skanska and Ericsson. Another center for world class research is the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Umeå.
Business growth is occurring primarily in the private sector, both through industrial investments as well as business-oriented services. Rapid growth means a steadily increasing flow of goods to and from the region and that is dependent on a fully developed, intermodal transportation system. To meet these demands, Umeå has invested in a new freight yard and logistics areas, (NLC Park and Terminal) with strategic proximity to the Bothnia Line, the main railway line, E4/E12, the airport, the Port of Umeå and ferry traffic to Finland. The city has the natural conditions to become a transport hub in northern Sweden and for northern Scandinavia and Russia.

The City of Vaasa

The City of Vaasa is one of the key growth centres of the future. Relative to its population, it is the largest university city in Finland and boasts 12,000 students studying on six university campuses. Vaasa offers work for all kinds of people. The energy cluster, for example, employs 10,000 people. The city’s self-sufficiency in jobs is the best in Finland. The largest employer in Vaasa is the city itself, employing roughly 6,000 people. The city is also a home to representatives from a hundred different nationalities.

NLC Vaasa

Port of Umeå

The Port of Umeå in brief

  • Strategically located where the European motorways E4 (north-south) and E12 (east-west) converge. Excellent rail and road connections thanks to its position at the northern end of the Bothnia Line.
  • Sweden’s northernmost container port, with frequent liner traffic to and from the continent and Finland.
  • The last outpost in the Bothnian Sea, with open waters all year round and manageable ice conditions even during harsh winters.
  • Covers a large area of 92 hectares. Prepara­tion is underway for further expansion.
  • A multipurpose terminal which is in increasing use. It handles load carriers for transport by sea, road and rail.
  • An integrated part of the Nordic Logistic Center (NLC) in Umeå.

Port of Vaasa

The Port of Vaasa is strategically located in the very vicinity of the leading Nordic business concentration in energy technology. The port handles import and export cargos related mainly to fuel transports, agricultural produce, chemistry, paper industry. It also has the specialized know-how and resources to handle the heavy-duty project cargos of the energy technology and metal industry companies in the region. The Port of Vaasa also provides the world’s northernmost sea-crossing operating all year between two nations. This maritime link, Vaasa-Umea, to Sweden completes the E12 highway, which runs from Russia all the way to the Atlantic coast of Norway.

The Kvarken Council

The Kvarken Council is a Nordic cross border cooperation association for the Ostrobothnian counties in Finland as well as Västerbotten and Örnsköldsvik in Sweden. The Kvarken Council was founded in 1972 and is one of the official Nordic cross border bodies, which are co-funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

NLC Ferry Ab Oy

Welcome to Wasaline! We take you across the Gulf of Bothnia every Day in only 4 hours. M/s Wasa Express provides a shortcut between the cities of Vaasa and Umeå, which saves hundreds of kilometers by car. M/s Wasa Express offers excellent conference facilities and our group and conference booking will help you with all the arrangements needed. Welcome aboard!

The Regional Council of Västerbotten

Through Region Västerbotten, the county’s 15 municipalities and Västerbotten County Council take clear political responsibility for development in Västerbotten County. This includes for example modern, sustainable communications and good social services that transcend municipal and administrative boundaries. Region Västerbotten also promotes business and commerce.

The Regional Council of Ostrobothnia

A statutory joint municipal authority which strives to build up the necessary conditions for balanced development and economic growth. Responsible for regional and spatial planning in Ostrobothnia and deeply involved in promoting and developing cross-border transport networks.

The Swedish Maritime Administration

The Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA) offers modern and safe shipping routes with 24 hour service. We take responsibility for the future of shipping. SMA is a governmental agency and enterprise within the transport sector and is responsible for maritime safety and availability.

Wärtsilä

Wärtsilä is a global leader in complete lifecycle power solutions for the marine and energy markets. By emphasising technological innovation and total efficiency, Wärtsilä maximizes the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers.

In 2013, Wärtsilä’s net sales totalled EUR 4.7 billion with approximately 18,700 employees. The company has operations in more than 200 locations in nearly 70 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki, Finland.

SSAB

We are a leading producer of high-strength steel and have a capacity for producing six billion tons of crude steel. Our goal is to increase our sales of high strength steel so they make up half of our sales by 2015.

At SSAB, we work towards a stronger, lighter and more sustainable world. By working closely with our customers we find solutions that will solve their challenges while making their business more profitable and environmentally friendly. That means that we need to take the lead in our field and develop steel solutions that are at the very forefront of technology.

Komatsu Forest

Komatsu Forest is an international group with its headquarters and technology center in Umeå, Sweden. Komatsu Forest produces the Komatsu brand of forest machines and is one of the world’s largest manufacturers in this sector. Komatsu Forest has some 1,400 employees and is represented in all markets where mechanized forestry is used. The company has two manufacturing units, one in Sweden and one in the US. Komatsu Forest has customers all over the world, served by own sale companies or dealers in Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Oceania and Asia. Komatsu Forest AB is owned by the Japanese company Komatsu Ltd.

ABB

ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies. ABB marine solutions secure reliable, safe and environmentally-friendly shipping. The spearhead products include Azipod® propulsion system, EMMA energy management system and shore-to-ship equipment for connecting vessels to onshore power.

Det Norske Veritas

The leading classification society, with a 24% share of the world’s classed ships and mobile offshore units, DNV GL Maritime supports a safe and sustainable future for the maritime industry.

Further, our 16,000 employees in 100 countries provide services within the business areas of: Technology & Innovation, Oil & Gas, Energy, Business Assurance, Software

Merinova technology center

Technology Centre Oy Merinova Ab promotes utilisation of new technologies and the growth of companies by, together with its partners,  offering development services especially for companies in the energy technology sector. Merinova is, in co-operation with its associated company Oy Vaasa Parks Ab, responsible for the technology centre services in the Vaasa region.

Volvo Trucks, Umeå

Volvo is one of the world´s leading manufacturer of heavy duty trucks. Volvo Trucks, Umeå, is the main producer of cabs for Volvo Trucks and one of  the largest manufacturing site in northern Sweden with 2000 employee.

SCA Transforest

SCA Logistics provides an extensive sea and land transport service within Europe and other overseas destinations. The business is supported by a network of terminals at strategic locations in Europe.

SCA Logistics is part of SCA’s Forest Products business unit, which produces paper for packaging and print, pulp, solid-wood products and renewable energy. SCA Forest Products also manages SCA’s extensive forest holding, supplies SCA’s Swedish industries with wood raw materials, in addition to offering cost-efficient transport solutions.

PROJECTS WE FOLLOW

These are projects that we would like to spread the word about.

Green Bridge on Nordic Corridor

The Action is built around the piloting equipment of two large, multi-engine RoPax ships with exhaust gas cleaning technologies, in form of wet-scrubbers and the preparation of the corridor for operating next Baltic RoRo/RoPax ship generation. To allow efficient future handling of the modified ferries and to ensure most flexible and smooth port operations, ferry berths in all three ports have to be re-constructed. In Trelleborg also port navigation conditions (breakwaters, water depths) will be adjusted to the dimensions of the converted ships. The Action further includes installation of shore side electricity in the ports of Travemünde and Trelleborg. Together with the environmental performance upgrades and operational improvement respectively extension of the intermodal terminal capacity in Rostock and Trelleborg, the Action will contribute to a better integration of the upgraded maritime services within multimodal transport chains.

  1. Methanol: The Marine fuel of the future
  2. TWIN-PORT
  3. Pilot: LNG Bunkering Infrastructure Solution and Pilot actions for Ships operating on the Motorway of the Baltic Sea
  4. Fjalir project
  5. Design and environmental studies to improve the efficiency of port of Dunkirk's railway system regarding the TEN-T hinterland connection
  6. Adriatic Gateway: the improvement of northern adriatic ports and the building of a strategic corridor for multimodal transport
  7. Study for the creation of the intermodal platform Seine-Metropole Port
  8. Technical and design studies concerning the implementation of a LNG bunkering station at the port of Dunkirk
  9. Make a difference
  10. Sea2Sea: Developing a multimodal freight corridor to connect the Aegean to the Black Sea
  11. Green Bridge on Nordic Corridor
  12. TrainMoS
  13. Intermodal Logistics Platform
  14. LNG in Baltic Sea Ports
  15. Design and environmental studies regarding the creation of a multimodal transport system at the Port of Dunkirk
  16. Railway Seinajoki-Oulu
  17. E18 Helsinki-Vaalimaa studies
  18. COSTA
  19. IMPROVEMENT OF THE EFFICIENCY OF INTERMODAL RORO PLATFORM IN THE PORT OF DUNKIRK
  20. Sustainable Traffic Machines-On the way to greener shipping
  21. WiderMoS
  22. Winter Navigation Motorways of the Sea, WINMOS
  23. MONALISA 2.0
  24. LNG Rotterdam Gothenburg
  25. NAPAPROG - Acceleration of terminals and multimodal facilities in the ports of Trieste and Koper towards an integrated North Adriatic Port system
  26. LNG hub in the northwestern Iberian Peninsula
  27. PILOT SCRUBBER – New Generation Lightweight Pilot Scrubber Solution installed on a Ro-Ro Ship operating on the Motorway of the Baltic Sea
  28. Flexible LNG bunkering value chain in the Spanish Mediterranean Coast
  29. LNG infrastructure of filling stations and deployment in ships
  30. Motorway of the Sea Rostock-Gedser
  31. IBUK-intermodal corridor
  32. MoS 24 -ICT based Comodality Promotion Center for integrating PP24 into Mediterranean MoS

Midway Alignment Q&A

All you ever wanted to know – and more!

Why is the transport connection between Vaasa and Umeå so significant?

Midway Alignment of the Bothnian Corridor is an EU-project designed to expand the connections between strong, fast growing, internationally important regions that ensure bustling ferry traffic (e.g. Ostrobotnia and Westerbothnia). The aim is to improve the transport routes in the Bothnian Corridor and support the existing multimodal TEN-T network, making use of multiple modes of transport (sea, road, railroad). Improved connections also enable economic development, bringing the regions closer to each other and to other regions within the EU. In other words, the Midway Alignment project will result in a secure, environmentally and economically sustainable transport system for goods and passengers traveling through the Bothnian Corridor.

Why is the project needed?

Midway Alignment unites many forms of transport. The aim is to create a stable connection between Finland and Sweden, thus generating connections all around the EU. Over the mountains and across the seas transportation is done through cooperation, utilizing logistics in a creative way. The following are important checkpoints along this vital part of the Nordic Logistics Corridor:

A NETWORK connecting Northern EU countries, Norway and other EU countries
4 ROADS of strategic importance (E12, E10, E4, E8)
Year-round MARITIME CONNECTION between Finland and Sweden
The railway line BOTNIABANAN (first part of the Bothnian Corridor)

What will the project do in practice?

Midway Alignment aims to

  1. DESIGN and build a new, environmentally friendly ferry for the Kvarken strait
  2. CONNECT the North to other parts of Europe
  3. DEVELOP and promote innovative solutions (technical, operational, environmental and safety related)
  4. IMPROVE port operations and regional logistic systems (environmentally and economically)
  5. SECURE long-term operational stability

What are the project’s benefits?

Although good transport alternatives already exist (e.g. the maritime connection between Finland and Sweden), their full potential is not put to use. Midway Alignment means to change that. When transport companies use ships and/or trains instead of driving around the Gulf of Bothnia, they save fuel, time and kilometres. The shift from road to sea and rail involves interconnecting two national rail networks and bypassing more than 800 km of existing road routes. Besides the obvious environmental benefits it has positive effects on safety, service quality and transport costs.

Moreover a reliable connection across the Kvarken strait and the Bothnian Corridor boosts trade and cooperation along the expanding multimodal road. Every link in the transport chain has to make the next one stronger in order to keep deliveries quick and stable. Midway Alignment aims to build a modern ship that meets the needs of both passengers and transport companies. New, innovative materials and technologies allow for a light, strong, energy efficient vessel that can run on alternative, environmentally friendly fuel.

What is the project’s timetable?

PHASE 1: 2012–2015

  1. Preparatory activities and feasibility studies
  2. Concept development (improving the transport link and land/port infrastructure)
  3. Designing the new ferry (environmentally friendly alternative fuels, sufficient icebreaking capacity) – Budget: MEUR 20.7

PHASE 2: 2016–2018

  1. Building the ferry, land-based infrastructure
  2. Construction (incl. alternative fuels transportation and storage)
  3. Implementation of the logistic system

How much will it cost?

The Budget for phase 1 is MEUR 20.7. Municipal, regional and national financers from Finland and Sweden, Private companies and European Union TEN-T Call funds finance the Midway Alignment project.

Growth Needs Trade

The European Commission has adopted a proposal to transform existing patchwork of European roads, railways, airports and canals into a unified transport network (TEN-T). The new core network will remove bottlenecks, upgrade infrastructure and streamline cross border transport operations for passengers and businesses throughout the EU. It will improve connections between different modes of transport and contribute to the EUs climate change objectives.

THE CORE NETWORK

  1. 83 main European ports with rail and road links
  2. 37 key airports with rail connections into major cities
  3. 15 000 km of railway line upgrade to high speed
  4. 35 cross border projects to reduce bottlenecks

 

 

ten-t
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