The EU has funded the TWIN-PORT projects of the Port of Helsinki and Port of Tallinn with almost 70 million euros thus far.
The Cities of Helsinki and Tallinn wish to form a twin city that would be a well-connected area for business and employment. The maritime route between the cities is already extremely busy, and smooth traffic connections are essential for the development of both cities.
The Ports of Helsinki and Tallinn and the connection between them are also important for the European Union as a whole. Both ports are a part of the EU’s core network and the strategically significant transport corridor between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. The EU offers financial support to well-justified development projects on the core network if the projects aim for a safe and sustainable transport system and seamless mobility of goods and people.
For these reasons, the EU has wanted to partially fund as many as five of the TWIN-PORT projects of Helsinki and Tallinn. The projects are related to traffic between the ports.
In 2012–2015, EU funding was granted, under the TWIN-PORT I project, to the overall development, traffic arrangements, check-in services and an automooring system of the West Harbour area in Helsinki. In turn, the Port of Tallinn used the funding support to develop the traffic arrangements related to its terminals A and D.
The total investment costs of the TWIN PORT I project were ca. 43 million euros for Helsinki harbours, while the funding granted was ca. 8.6 million euros.
In the TWIN-PORT II project that took place in 2014–2020, the funding support was allocated to the construction and development of the passenger terminals in Helsinki and Tallinn. A ro-ro route was also opened between Muuga and Vuosaari. Funding was also granted to Tallink’s LNG-powered ferry M/S Megastar, which started operating between Tallinn and Helsinki in 2017.
The total investment costs of the TWIN PORT II project were ca. 64 million euros for Helsinki harbours, while the funding granted was ca. 19.2 million euros.
In the TWIN-PORT III project (2018–2023), the shipping companies Tallink, Viking Line and Eckerö Line also received partial investment funding for new onshore power systems and automooring systems, in addition to the funding granted to the Ports. The West Harbour in Helsinki will also use the partial funding to make several investments in improving traffic arrangements and reducing congestions in the harbour’s vicinity. Investments are being funded in Vuosaari and Katajanokka as well. In Vuosaari, the quay for RoPax traffic to Muuga was extended, and in Katajanokka, a new upper ramp was built using the partial funding. In the Port of Tallinn, the funding will be used to develop the security systems in terminals A and D and the sewage systems in the Old City Harbour.
The total investment costs of the TWIN-PORT III project (2018–2023) are ca. 14.5 million euros in Helsinki harbours, while the funding granted is ca. 4.3 million euros.
In the TWIN-PORT IV project (2020–2023), partial funding support has been granted to Helsinki for the onshore power system of the South Harbour and the gate system for passenger car check-in in Katajanokka. The EU is also partially funding the construction of the Vuosaari Harbour RoPax check-in area and double ramp. In Tallinn, funding was granted to the renovation of the Old City Harbour passageway and the front of Terminal D, in addition to the ramp projects in Muuga Harbour.
The total investment costs of the TWIN-PORT IV project are ca. 11.4 million euros in Helsinki harbours, while the funding granted is ca. 3.4 million euros.
The decision on EU funding for the TWIN-PORT V project (2021–2025) was made in summer 2022. EU funding is about to be granted to projects included in the Port of Helsinki’s development programme: the plans and surveys required by the tunnel to be built in the West Harbour, the berth redesign and the new Terminal T1. Partial funding will also be granted for research on the construction of a carbon-negative terminal. In the Port of Tallinn, funding will be provided to the ramp and sewage projects in Muuga, the plans and surveys required by the new Terminal A, and the upgrade of the ‘smart port’ gate system in Muuga and Old City Harbours.
The total investment costs of the TWIN-PORT V project are ca. 8 million euros in Helsinki harbours, while the funding granted is ca. 4 million euros.