Meriaura Newsletter October 2017
Meriaura newsletter October 2017

Notes from a fresh fan of maritime Turku!

Spending a few months by the Aura river, and especially at the Turku port, have made me look at Turku with different eyes. In addition to lovely people, beautiful landscapes and a compact city, I have realized how unique Turku is as a maritime town. The port handles more and more passengers and cargo.  The shipyard generates employment to a network of suppliers. Turku area is a location where ships are not only built, but also demolished. We hope the new demolishing project turns into sustainable business in long term. The project is a great example of joining forces – a shipyard, a recycling company and a cleaning services supplier together with ourselves. Besides maritime business, Turku is a hub for education and science. This guarantees that we have a perspective into the future, and there will be enough skilled employees available for local maritime companies.

Turku truly is a great example how cooperation benefits both individual companies, and the maritime cluster as a whole. This is exactly what we need in the Finnish shipping: there are no space resources to be wasted in protecting your own business and competing with each other. The toughest competitors for the Finnish shipping and the maritime cluster come from abroad – so let’s not waste energy to domestic competition!

On behalf of the whole Meriaura team I wish you all happy autumn!

Elisa Mikkolainen
Managing Director of Meriaura Group

loading oats

Firming market despite poor outlook for the domestic grain harvest

After several years of poor demand in dry bulk shipping, the market is now showing significant growth on the demand side. The signs of a firmer market have been visible since the late summer, and the speed has been picking up ever since. Although grain Exports from Finland are likely to decline since up to 20% of the harvest will be lost due to extremely bad weather conditions, total demand in our trading area is likely to increase. Undoubtedly the reason for stronger demand is to be found in the good economic growth, which has finally also reached Finland.

It’s also well known that due to the long recession in the shipping industry, newbuilding activity has been low, which means the supply of suitable tonnage has decreased during the last years. 

Although strong market volatility is typical in shipping, many experts with an insight in shipping claim that this upturn is on a more sustainable basis, while current economic growth is broad-based and predicted to continue in the next few years. Unfavorable weather conditions in the past weeks and the upcoming winter season (reduced intake due to winter load lines, ice restrictions, more time-consuming cargo- and cleaning operations etc.) will most likely contribute to further boost the freight market.

We have prepared for the winter as well as for the hopefully increasing demand, and supplemented our fleet by chartering a couple of new ice-classed vessels. The fleet for the upcoming year will be presented in more detail in our next newsletter, but we can reveal that we’ll have an appropriate coverage in the 4000 as well as the 3000 tonner segment.

Beppe Rosin
Vice Managing Director, Meriaura Ltd.

Meri first oceanographic expedition
Photo by Panu Hänninen

M/v Meri on her first oceanographic expedition

Meriaura's open deck cargo carriers 'Meri' and 'Aura' have been equipped with mobile, container based research facilities. The Finnish Environment Institute SYKE and the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute SMHI are performing marine research with the vessels while the research vessel Aranda is under conversion. The contract consists of several expeditions, which requires efficient mobilization and demobilization of the SYKE’s research equipment on board. Meri and Aura's dynamic position systems are utilized during sampling.

First expedition was carried out in September 2017. The client was satisfied with vessel’s performance. “The sampling was easy because the vessel is stable and not rolling even in hard weather conditions,” says Panu Hänninen, Senior Coordinator in SYKE. Sampling is done at the same research points monthly.

‘Meri’ and ‘Aura’ are both ice classed, enabling research also during the winter time. Additional accommodation capacity is required on board the vessel during the research expeditions, and therefore Meriaura installed mobile accommodation units on board the vessel.

Meriaura taking part in creating ship recycling industry in Finland
Photo by Esko Pettay

Meriaura taking part in creating a Finnish ship recycling industry

What happens to ocean liners at the end of their lifecycle? Until now, these ships have been demolished in India or Bangladesh, where working conditions are not always as they should be. As EU regulation tightens, ships that have sailed under EU Member State flags must undergo certified demolition within the EU, that is sustainable for the environment and people. However, there are no demolition sites for large ocean liners, longer than 100 meters.

Funded by Tekes, the Ship Recycling project sets out to investigate how Finland could respond to this global challenge. The project consortium includes Turku Repair Yard, Meriaura, Delete Finland and Industrial and Ship Cleaning Services Hans Langh. The Ship Recycling project aims to launch a ship demolition industry in Finland. Up to 90% of the weight of a ship consists of steel and other materials that can be recycled. The creation of a demolition industry would create new jobs in Finland and provide opportunities for subcontractors.

The Ship Recycling project is currently in the demo stage. Meriaura acquired a ship for demolition, which is at the moment taking place in Naantali. “Meriaura has been involved in metal recycling business since 1995. In this project we will also take care of transporting and trading the recycled material back to industry”, says Jukkis Sutela, Business Development Manager in Meriaura.

Read more on the Ship Recycling Project’s web page

How can a rotten ship be used before recycling?

Coast Guard practice on Meriaura BWE
Photo Finnish Border Guard

The old passanger vessel Blue White Eagle, that Meriaura bought for the Ship Recycling project described above, was used in many ways before demolition. While the vessel was waiting for her last trip to the ship yard, Meriaura arranged the Finnish Border Guard a possibility to use the ship for training purposes.

The Coast Guard Maritime SAR operators exercised for finding alternative ways in penetrating to a ship in a rescue operation. Explosive inputs, mechanical and hydraulic tools were used for forcing in to the vessel. Gulf of Finland Coast Guard District thanks Meriaura for offering the vessel and enabling a rescue practice in an authentic environment. Border Guard is the leading maritime rescue authority in Finland who tests and develops different operating models for maritime rescue in order to be effective and safe, both for rescues and rescue operators.

Photographing on Blue White Eagle

Blue White Eagle got a lot of interest among the media and photographers too. Meriaura granted photographer Mikko Nurminen a possibilty to a model photoshoot on the ship. Please enjoy a few of his artistic pictures of beautiful ladies on the famous ship.

Mikko Nurminen photographing on Meriaura BWE
Photos by Mikko Nurminen

Meriaura Group
Linnankatu 88, 20100 Turku, Finland
tel. +358 2 2111 600