Article: Well-organized sewage management advances comprehensive sustainability of boating and marinas

A new article from the Kotka Maritime Research Network recently came out in the international science journal Marine Pollution Bulletin. The article is based on data collected during the 30MILES project, that focused on sustainable development of the marina network in the Eastern Gulf of Finland.

While analyzing the answers of queries and interviews, the researchers noticed the aspects most frequently commented by boaters in connection to sustainability of marinas  were the waste management issues – especially those related to boat-sourced sewage management. Recreational boaters in the study area often seemed to face boat-sourced sewage management issues that the port actors were not aware of. A literature review indicated similar issues are faced by boaters in other parts of the world, too.

Since 2005, discharging boat-sourced sewage in the Finnish coastal areas has been banned by law. The contents of the boat-toilet should be stored in sewage holding tanks for later disposal at sewage pump-out stations. In Finland, the pump-out stations are usually located either in natural harbours or built marinas. In natural harbours, floating stations are maintained most often by an environmental association (Keep the Archipelago Tidy Association). Shore stations located in marinas are maintained by marina operators in accordance with the marina municipalities. Boat-sourced sewage is still often dumped in the sea, locally contributing to the eutrophication of the Baltic Sea. The article of the KMRC researchers explains the reasons and suggests improvements. (Photo: Keep the Archipelago Tidy Association, HL-Metal Oy / Erik Saanila)

The researchers conducted an actor-network theory -driven analysis to understand and describe the mechanisms through which boat-sourced sewage management plays a role in sustainable marina development of the study area. The article presents a comprehensive description of one socio-eco-technical system, in which the various identified actors and factors, in interaction with each other, can either advance or hinder the manifestation of sustainable port operation and recreational boating. Sewage pump-out stations installed in the marinas are recognized as core marina services, valued by boaters. At the same time, they serve as so-called governance artefacts, steering the boaters’ environmental behavior in marinas, but also at sea, which simultaneously affects the sustainability of both marina operation and boating.

The results of the article indicate paying special attention to waste management services in marinas is likely to put forward a positive sustainability loop. This virtuous circle produces synergies between objectives of environmental management, local well-being, and economic development. Adequate environmental management preserves the ecosystem services that are part of the tourism product and prevents them from turning into disservices that would likely make visitors to abandon the site and its surroundings in the long run. Waste management connects concerns of both visiting boaters and locals, enabling the first group an environmentally conscious and legal way of action, at the same time sustaining the good environmental state in the home locality of the latter group.

The article provides evidence-based ideas and recommendations for improving the boat-sourced sewage management, as well as the sustainable development of marinas in general.

 

Original article:

Renne Vantola, Emilia Luoma, Tuuli Parviainen and Annukka Lehikoinen (2021). Sustainability manifesting as a multi-material and -sited network effect: How boat-sourced sewage management facilities serve as governance artefacts advancing sustainability in nautical tourism. Marine Pollution Bulletin 173, Part B. (Open access link)

Doctoral dissertation on the use of AIS-data for vessel collision risk analysis

Mr. Lei Du defended his doctoral dissertation on 1 October 2021 at Aalto University, in the field of marine technology. The opponent was Associate Professor Rafał Szłapczyński from the Gdansk University of Technology, Poland. Assistant professor Osiris Valdez Banda – a member of the Kotka Maritime Research Centre’s management group – was the supervisor of the doctoral thesis.

The thesis, titled as Maritime Traffic Risk Analysis in the Northern Baltic Sea from AIS data, consists of five scientific articles and a summary section. It reviews and develops framework and methodology of maritime traffic risk analysis to support decision-making for the prevention of and response to accidents, particularly ship collisions.

The focus of the thesis is in advancing the latest methodology of utilizing non-accident critical events, in other words near misses, detected from AIS data, as the basis to risk assessments. AIS refers to Automatic Identification Systems tracking the ship movements, being commonly used by vessel traffic service (VTS) centres worldwide.

”Through this work, we can identify the waters where dangerous encounters happened frequently and provide evidence for the identified causes of serious ship encounters,” Mr. Du says.

He continues by telling the results can help developing preventive measures to reduce the ship collision probability, or to minimize the negative consequences of ship collisions by allocating more reponse resources to the most risky areas. The expected end-users of the results include the authorities responsible for maritime traffic planning and management, as well as pollution prevention and response agencies.

The thesis summary can be downloaded from the Aaltodoc publication archive.

Oil Spill Response in the Northern Baltic and Arctic Areas-Twitter conference 14.1.2021

Three EU funded Research projects, all developing countermeasures against oil pollution, will have the joint Twitter conference 14th January 2021, at 10:00 am – 2.00 pm (UCT+2).

ACBR (Arctic Coast Bioremediation) will show some of the latest results how to use biotechnology for comprehensive remediation of oil-contaminated marine coastal areas in the Arctic.

SIMREC (Simulators for improving Cross-Border Oil Spill Response in Extreme Conditions) will highlight effort s to use simulators as novel platforms for training and research to develop joint procedures for the cross the border co-operation in the Eastern part of the Gulf of Finland

OILSPILL (Enhancing oil spill response capability in the Baltic Sea Region) will focus on the oil spill response capability on the Baltic Sea region.

Join us in January: #BAOIL21

Programme

Potential Cargo Flows and Routing in Inland Waterways of Lake Saimaa and Volga-Balt area

The Saimaa Canal has been in operation for 164 years. Today, the largest cargo flows to Saimaa region come from Russia, which is the region’s largest trading partner. The next largest and important partners are the Netherlands, Estonia, Germany, and Latvia, which all have active traffic and trade in the Saimaa region. Cargo is exported even as far as to France and to the United Kingdom from Saimaa. There is no year-round operation in the Saimaa Canal, and therefore the freight figures are not comparable with seaports.

Russia’s inland waterway network is significant, and its south-eastern part in particular is important to Finland. 120 million tonnes of cargo passes through the Russian inland waterway system annually, and there are 131 inland ports in its inland waterway network. For comparison, the total volume of cargo in Finland is about 100 million tonnes. Within the framework of the INFUTURE project, Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping has conducted a study of inland waterway traffic and freight flows between Russia and Finland and based on the performed analysis possible potential has been identified.

Inland Waterway Fleet

The current fleet operating on inland waterways is very old, and there is a need for new vessels. The INFUTURE project has concentrated on this issue as well, and the new vessel types for the new Saimaa Canal are under planning. The demand for Volgo-DonMax vessels (max length 141.0 m; max width 16.98 m) is still high. Russian Marine Engineering Bureau is building dry-cargo river-sea going vessels. Total order book is 60 vessels, of which 27 have already been delivered, 22 are under construction, and the rest 11 are in reserve. Most of the delivered ones are modern river-sea going vessels. In addition, there are also two tug barges under construction. Unfortunately, these vessels are too big to navigate via Saimaa canal even after the extension of Saimaa Canal lock chambers.

Development of the Inland Waterway System

Another important issue is also the investment of about EUR 100 million made by the Finnish government for the extension of the lock chambers of the Saimaa Canal. This will allow larger vessels to pass through the Saimaa Canal with bigger cargo volumes. In Russia, there is also a need to develop the inland waterway system. Today the guaranteed depth is 3.6 m in the European side of the Russian Federation, but there are two parts where the depth is even shallower than 3.6 m. The Russian government is investing into inland waterway system to grant the depth of 3.6 m everywhere. There is a need to shift cargo from roads and railroads into inland waterways.

The Russian Federation Strategy for inland development is to modernise and expand their main waterway infrastructure by 2024:
• increase of the capacity of domestic seaports by a third
• increase of the throughput of inland waterways
• the development of the Northern Sea Route
• the development of professional education and training

New cargo flows and routes to Saimaa are of high importance for Russia, including action for shifting cargos from roads and railroads into river-sea going vessels. Inland ports development in both countries and their wider connection into trade will foster local development on multiple fronts: industrial, social, etc. Saimaa’s infrastructural development shall stimulate the replacement of old fleet with new vessels. The limitations of the navigation period on Saimaa and on the Volgo-Balt is also hindering the smooth waterway operations between Finland and Russia.

Harmonisation of Rules and Procedures

There are differences in the legislation of Finland (EU) and Russia on inland water transport and on customs and border procedures. These require some harmonisation in order to develop the passage efficiency via Saimaa Canal. According to the plans of the Russian Federation, the maritime checkpoint will be located exactly in the middle of the canal, and if we do not start a dialogue on the optimisation of customs and border control procedures in advance this may cause problems for shipping from the beginning of operation under the existing rules.

Cargo Volumes via Volgo-Balt, White sea-Onega, and Saimaa

The annual cargo to and from Saimaa is almost 1 million tonnes, and with domestic cargo altogether around 2 million tonnes/year. For comparison, almost 17 million tonnes of cargo is transported annually at Volgo-Balt. Nowadays the main cargo from Russia to Saimaa is timber: raw wood and wood chips. Fertilisers and chemicals as well as iron scrap, metal/iron pigs, and gravel could be potential cargo for this inland route. The most important regions for wood producers are Karelia, Vologda region, and Leningrad region. Neva Hagen shipping company is the Russian company that has been operating with Saimaa cargo for several years.

Pilot Voyage from Saimaa to Cherepovets

In the frames of the INFUTURE project we plan to carry a pilot voyage from Saimaa to Cherepovets with the company Meriaura. For Finnish partners, the idea behind this is to be able to estimate how it is to navigate with their own fleet in the Russian inland waterways. At the moment we are looking for a suitable vessel, and the VolgoBalt Administration has promised to help in defining the right size of the vessel for the pilot. UPM is willing to participate in the INFUTURE pilot project as a cargo provider. It would be a really good addition for the company, if vessels under the Finnish flag could enter the Russian inland waterways. Currently, wood is imported using Russian tonnage, and there is a need for more tonnage.

Request for Cargo Integrator

Within the framework of the INFUTURE project, a customer survey of Saimaa region stakeholders was conducted. In these discussions the environmental issues came up, and also the role of SMEs in shared cargo transport was underlined. The inland waterways could also be used in some project transports. Reliable cargo integrators with experience in a wide range of cargo and cargo groups in Lake Saimaa region are needed and they could develop new business models to serve for example SME. Currently, there is no container traffic in Saimaa, and very little in Russian rivers. European ports compete for the efficiency of transport chains and how to ensure logistics and make the whole chain competitive. Saimaa’s new dimensions and new vessels would also enable container transport. This possibility should be studied more, and there already is a particular interest in special containers.

A cost-effective, safe, and fast transportation route interests the stakeholders.

XAMK is preparing an analytical simulation model that can be used for simulating navigation in the Saimaa on larger ships in different conditions. At the same time, the utilisation of smart devices in navigation can be simulated. Calculations can be made of how long the journey would take by visualising different situations and repeating them. By analysing the results, new businesses can be developed. Within the framework of the project, there has also been discussion on a “transshipment hub” to serve the waterway traffic between Finland and Russia. The digital services play a key role here, with a possibility to assemble complete cargos, book ships and cargo space, get real-time information on fairways and ports, see descriptions of transport chains and alternative routes – and get clear offers on competitiveness of waterways.

New Business Models

New business models and a new attitude towards inland waterway transport are needed. Could there be some kind of incentives to support the companies in shifting their cargo into inland waterways and to develop the whole supply chain environmentally friendly? Lappeenranta, the port of Mustola, is the largest port in the Saimaa region, and has served as a transit port over the years. In addition to the Mustola logistics center, Lappeenranta has a passenger port and a marina, as well as an airport. Mustola has 7 piers and the location is ideal; 10 km from the center and 15 km from the border. Mustola is also significant as a storage area. The Saimaa Canal is close by and has good rail and road connections.

How to further develop Lappeenranta’s Mustola multimodal logistics centre, and specifically how to support the better utilisation of water transport? How to get industry and trade involved? How to manage the development of the entire transport chain and new service concepts, as well as marketing cooperation and information systems? Could the “Port of Saimaa” be the answer to all this?
The idea of the “Port of Saimaa” is to form a network of active cargo ports in the Saimaa region; Lappeenranta, Joensuu, Kuopio, Savonlinna, Imatra, and Varkaus. The “Port of Saimaa” would be presented to the clients and in the market as one big cargo port. If there is a commercial interest, it will be possible to solve most of the organisational and legal problems, including attracting new cargo, and issues on shifting cargo from road and rails into waterways. Continued dialogue and collaborative meetings such as round tables are needed between the stakeholders and administrative authorities.

Author:
Heli Koukkula-Texeira, Finnish Waterway Association

Round Table speakers:
Pekka Koskinen, Partner, Brave Logistics Oy
Anatoly Burkov, Admiral Makarov State University for Maritime and Inland Shipping
Esa Korhonen, UPM Metsä
Toomas Lybeck, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences
Hannu Lappalainen, Lappeenrannan Satama
Maksim A. Nevezhin, Head of FGU Saimaa Canal
Andrei L. Yushchenko, Marine Freight Bureau
Anton A. Svechkarev, Neva-Hagen
Dmitry S. Neslukhov, Neva-Hagen

The Russian RT discussion was held on 22.10.2020 and the Finnish on 26.10.2020

Text originally published in https://www.vesitiet.org/post/potential-cargo-flows-and-routing

Installation and start of practical testing of Finnish buoys

November 10th was a benchmark for Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping (GUMRF) and other partners within the Future Potential of Inland Waterways (INFUTURE) transborder cooperation project.

Thanks to the joint activities of the university and the Administratsiya Volgo-Balt organisation (FBU), the first buoy made by SeaHow by Arctia (Meritaito) Ltd. was installed in the Neva River water area near Schlusselburg.
The event took place as an independent practical experiment, part of the second working package “Inland navigation using advanced technologies and navigation equipment.” The experiment’s goal is to check the usability of the innovative buoys for the year-round operation in the Russian north-west.

The ice testing will be carried out in the Volga-Baltic water area. The installed buoy has an innovative structure that keeps it vertical under the pressure of the current. It also has a double anchor chain fixture. This should keep the buoy vertical despite of river current and ice. If one fixture breaks, then the other should keep the buoy in place. The buoy also has a regulated lamp with an adjustable visibility of two to five miles. More than 25 thousand similar buoys operate in Finland year-round and are not taken out of the water before freeze-up. This saves a substantial amount of resources and the effort of the companies in charge of navigation equipment operation.

Vladimir Karetnikov, head of the Inland Shipping Chair of Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping; Anatoly Burkov, a docent at the GUMRF Water Transport Management Chair and INFUTURE project manager; and Yevgeny Nabatov, Arctic SeaHow Meritatito Ltd. representative in Russia attended the buoy preparation and installation. The Nevsko-Ladozhkyi waterways area navigation department and the Volgo-Balt Administration Federal Budget Company’s installation team led by Sergey Rudykh, the head engineer, performed the installation work. The buoy was prepared and correctly installed according to instructions and took its operational position at the edge of the navigation pass.

Next week, another buoy will be installed in the Ladoga Lake water area. The experiment will continue until navigation begins next year.

Text
Vladimir Karetnikov
Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping
St. Petersburg, Russia

 

OPEN POSITION – We are seeking a RESEARCH DIRECTOR

Kotka Maritime Research Center is seeking a

RESEARCH DIRECTOR

to play a pivotal role in research coordination and implementation in the KMRC focusing on the above outlined KMRC research topics.

The Research Director will act as a member of the KMRC Executive Board and will work actively with Prof. Pentti Kujala (Aalto University), Prof. Osiris Valdez Banda (Aalto University), Prof. Sakari Kuikka (University of Helsinki), Prof. Tommi Inkinen (University of Turku) and Research Managers Olli-Pekka Brunila and Justiina Halonen (South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Science). Active collaboration with research teams of named universities is necessary.

The successful candidate will work closely with the KMRC research teams to: (i) plan the interdisciplinary research by combining the knowledge and skills of research teams; (ii) identify knowledge gaps and research priorities; (iii) produce competitive and relevant research project applications conducting interdisciplinary research; (iv) write and coordinate joint publications and by this highlight the expertise of KMRC research.

The position is permanent and available as agreed. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. This position is mainly funded through KMRC basic funding.

Read full job advertisement

Final evaluation of the DigiPort project, part 4.

The realization and social impact of the DigiPort project can be assessed through four themes, the fourth of which is presented here.

Theme 4: Port Data Innovations Based on Open Data

To accelerate digital innovations, the project organized a hackathon event in April 2019 in Mussalo harbor in Kotka. The aim of the event was to bring in open data-driven innovations for the identified challenges of ports by multidisciplinary student teams. The challenges to be solved were shaped by workshops in Kotka and Turku. The event was successfully marketed and 20 students from different educational programs were invited to attend. They represented education in maritime and logistics, service design, data analytics, game design, information technology, and cyber security. In solving the challenges, students were instructed to use various open data sources and data processing tools to create new service concepts. The hackathon event culminated in a pitching competition that rewarded the three best innovations. The judges of the competition were representatives of companies, who also acted as mentors for students. All participating teams were given the opportunity to participate in the *Ship Startup Festival in July 2019 to further develop their idea. The social impact of the theme is the creation of new port innovations for further development.

Final evaluation of the DigiPort project, part 3.

The realization and social impact of the DigiPort project can be assessed through four themes, the third of which is presented here.

Theme 3: Opening and publishing data

The project developed a policy for port authorities to open and publish data on port infrastructure. Initially, the information needs of the port users were identified. An attempt was then made to find a working method of cooperation to support the opening of data from pilot ports (HaminaKotka and Turku). The management of the port companies was given guidance and recommendations on how to proceed with the mapping exercise. The intention was to progressively open up the data sets with the greatest potential for exploitation. In addition, material already in the public domain at the ports was mapped. Technical information on port infrastructure, i.e. roads, railways, waterways, structures, areas, networks, etc., is already publicly available on the internet. Only publishing as open data gives the port authority control over the accuracy of the information. The description or metadata of the data can influence the correct use of the data.

An Excel-based tool for port data inventory listing was developed. It was triggered by operational problems detected in ports, where data reserves could serve as a raw material for developing solutions. The problems were formulated on the basis of the results of workshops held in Kotka and Turku. The pilot ports made the listings, which served as a basis for reflection on the material to be opened. During the mapping of the data it was noticed that the infrastructure information of the port is scattered and organized in different information systems in the organizations. Information can be found in both paper and digital formats in personal folders and workstations.

Open source requires a publishing platform to make the data and its metadata available to application developers and other users. The materials were stored in a data catalogue located on the database server created for the project, where they can be utilized. The server, software and related peripherals were installed as a thesis at Xamk. The actual deployment was made by Xamk’s ICT management. A domain name, www.datasatama.fi, was opened for the service. This created the world’s first data catalogue focusing on port information. At the end of the project, the data catalogue contains infrastructure data opened by the ports of HaminaKotka and Turku, as well as links to the materials of the Finnish Transport Agency and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. The social impact of the theme is the emergence of a new operating model and the opening up of port infrastructure information for application and software developers. This will enable the development of new digital services for ports that can improve the flow, performance, security and environmental friendliness of ports.