By adjusting the schedules, Turku wants to ensure that the new passenger terminal, port structures and the construction of the Museum of History and the Future stays within their budgets. The reasons underlying the adjustments are increases in steel prices and construction costs due to the war in Ukraine.
The planning of all projects in the city and the port will continue uninterrupted with the partners, regardless of the postponements.
– The City of Turku harmonises the schedules of the large-scale Linnanniemi projects in order to manage costs and improve functionality, says Jarkko Virtanen, Director of Corporate Governance of Turku.
The Turku City Board decided on 6 June that Turku will start negotiations with the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency on the relocating of the port railway line from its current route to the north side of the port. Postponing the schedule will give a time for the implementation of the new electrified passenger rail line from the Muhkuri railyard to the port of Turku.
The start of the pier contract to be postponed
Preparations to postpone the schedules have been initiated by the Board of Directors of Port of Turku Ltd, which decided in its meeting on 14 June to suspend the procurement of the new Viking Line berth and postpone the start of the pier contract. The contract prices of the tenders received exceeded the initial cost estimate of the pier contract.
A significant part of the Linnanniemi area has been leased for port operations. The current lease agreement between the City of Turku and Port of Turku Ltd is for a fixed term until the end of 2025. At its meeting, the Board of Directors of Port of Turku Ltd also decided to propose to the City of Turku that the lease agreement for the land used by the current port operations be extended by one year until the end of 2026.
The entire project of the Turku port terminal will continue unchanged, except for the pier contract and the repair of Tallink Silja’s quay.
– These two subprojects will be postponed by one year and thus the completion of the entire project will be equally postponed. All other planning and similar contracts will continue on schedule. The construction of the terminal building should still begin in 2024, Managing Director of Port of Turku Ltd Erik Söderholm clarifies.
More than 15 kilometres of 700 millimetres thick steel poles will be used for the upcoming Viking Line pier. Because of the war in Ukraine, the price of steel has increased significantly, and the contract price would currently exceed the budget.
– We have therefore decided to reject the offers and will reopen the pier contract in about a year's time, hoping that the market price for steel will fall, says Managing Director Erik Söderholm.
The terminal building was planned to be completed in 2026 and will now be completed in 2027. The new passenger terminal will be designed by PES-Architects Ltd.
For the City of Turku, the development of the entire port area is a highly significant and important project.
The costs cannot be allowed not increase uncontrollably, and the schedules must be modified accordingly. This will safeguard the development of both the passenger travel port and the entire Linnanniemi area.
– We already adapted our operations to the changed situation as soon as the war started, and the costs began to rise. We are looking for flexible solutions and I believe that this timeout will give us a better opportunity to manage the project as a whole. In addition to better cost-effectiveness, we strive to create locally revitalising elements through time allocation under the threat of an economic downturn, says Director Jarkko Virtanen.
Impacts on the Museum of History and the Future
The change in the passenger travel port schedule has a direct impact on the implementation schedules of other large-scale projects in the Linnanniemi area. The target schedule of the Museum of History and the Future, which will be built on land that will be released from port operations, will be reviewed to reflect the change in the schedule of the passenger travel port project.
As a result of the changed situation, the project plan for the museum building will likely be decided by the Turku City Council during 2026, and the construction will begin in 2027. The margins included in the previous target schedule will enable the completion of the museum building in 2029.
– The founding of the museum was decided upon by the City of Turku in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Finland's independence in 2017. The completion of the building is part of Turku's 800th anniversary celebration, and we aim to achieve this goal despite the changed circumstances, says Joanna Kurth, Project Manager at the Museum of History and the Future.
The zoning plan of the Museum of History and the Future is progressing according to previous plans. On 27 September 2021, the Turku City Board approved the objectives of the change in the zoning plan of the Museum of History and the Future, and the draft will be sent for processing, considering the City Board's resolution of 6 June on the port railway.
The overall situation of Linnanniemi will be assessed for all related activities in autumn 2022 and again in one year. Turku is prepared to launch the different subprojects quickly once the cost pressures have hopefully decreased.