Viking Line, Ports of Stockholm and Turku eye carbon-neutral corridor by 2035
Finnish shipping company Viking Line has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ports of Stockholm, and the Port of Turku to create a green maritime corridor between Turku and Stockholm. The goal is for the corridor to be 100% carbon-neutral by 2035.
The partnership aims to develop scalable solutions to phase out fossil fuels and enable green maritime travel between Turku and Stockholm.
“Viking Line is a shipping company with its roots in this sensitive archipelago. For us, the work to protect and preserve the Baltic Sea is in our DNA. We are ambitious pioneers in this industry and are proud to take this step together with Ports of Stockholm and the Port of Turku in order to get closer to providing zero-carbon cruises and transport on this important shipping route between Finland, Åland and Sweden,” says Jan Hanses, President and CEO of Viking Line.
The project qualifies as a green maritime corridor under the Clydebank Declaration, as has been confirmed by both Sweden and Finland. This undertaking is well ahead of the schedule set out in the EU’s Fit for 55 climate legislation package.
“Climate change is happening here and now, so it is more important than ever to take concrete steps for the green transition. We know that more transport needs to be carried out by rail or ship instead of by car and airplane, and green maritime shipping plays a major role in the transport sector’s climate transition,” says Clara Lindblom, Chair of the Board of Ports of Stockholm.
“There has always been a focus on environmental work in all of our operations. The Port of Turku is embedded in a very sensitive archipelago, which gives us the responsibility to always respect our surroundings in our daily work. In 2023, we signed Turku’s Climate City Contract, with the goal being for the city to be carbon-neutral by 2029. That is a goal we are working systematically to achieve, so this memorandum to develop a green transport corridor between Turku and Stockholm is a natural step for us,” says Erik Söderholm, Managing Director of the Port of Turku.
The partnership will also take into consideration progress and solutions from the ongoing Decatrip project, a collaboration between Viking Line, Rauma Marine Constructions, the Turku-based Åbo Akademi University and Kempower.
Under the project, the partners are working on turning a sea route operated by Viking Line carbon neutral. RMC is developing energy-efficient solutions for operating the ships, and together with Kempower, for charging electric vehicles on board the ships.
Åbo Akademi University, which acts as a research partner in the project, is evaluating the societal benefits of the green corridor, while PBI Research Institute coordinates the efforts.
The Decatrip project was awarded €1,596,000 from Business Finland in 2022.
Over the course of the project, the parties will gradually reduce their carbon dioxide emissions and work for a 100% carbon-neutral corridor. In the long term, the partnership may be expanded to involve key stakeholders in maritime shipping, including goods owners and freight forwarders. The agreement was signed on February 6, 2024, at the Stockholm City Hall.