On Wednesday 19 June 2013 the first spade broke the ground in the rebuilding of Värtahamnen in the Stockholm Royal Seaport district. The port is visited by four million passengers and handles 1.7 million tonnes of goods annually. In three years the first vessels will be able to berth at the new pier and ferry passengers will be able to come ashore using the new terminal.
Värtahamnen is being rebuilt for two important reasons; to meet the needs of a growing Stockholm, and to ensure that the city has functional shipping.
“The city and the port need to grow side-by-side,” says Sten Nordin (M), Stockholm's Commissioner of Finance and the Chair of Stockholm City Council. “The new Värtahamnen will make it possible for us to build homes, offices and new commercial buildings in the centre of the city. At the same time we will have a new port and a welcoming passenger terminal for the millions of people who sail to Finland and Estonia on cruises from Värtahamnen,” Sten Nordin explains.
Port operations will move onto the newly constructed 85,000 m2 Värta Pier, where there will also be a new passenger terminal. This will free up ground for the City of Stockholm to build homes and offices. During the period of rebuilding the daily ferry traffic will operate as normal. With construction of the new Värtahamnen beginning in the summer of 2013, the opening ceremony will take place three years later, in 2016.
“We will then have a functional, modern and environmentally friendly port, with optimal solutions for both passengers and freight traffic,” says Per Ling-Vannerus, Värtahamnen Project Director at Ports of Stockholm.
“Värtahamnen will have many modern solutions, such as electricity provision for the vessels in port so that they don't need to keep their engines running when they are at the quayside,” Per Ling-Vannerus states.
The start of construction at Värtahamnen also marks the start of the first of three Ports of Stockholm major projects for the future. The other two projects are the rebuilding of the Port of Kapellskär and the new Stockholm Norvik Port for freight transport.
“When all three port projects are completed, Ports of Stockholm will be well equipped to cope with future shipping in the region,” says Per Ling-Vannerus.