(Barents Observer, 27 April 2010) -- In a recently published study, the Norwegian Coastal Administration concludes that the port of Kirkenes is the best choice in eastern Finnmark for base operations for the petroleum industry. The study has evaluated the ports of eastern Finnmark as base ports for offshore operations in the Barents Sea. Important factors which have been evaluated are harbor debt, harbor infrastructure, areas at disposal, road and airport facilities and relevant industry in the area. The study concludes that Kirkenes is the port best suited for such operations in eastern Finnmark. The harbor dept is 30 meters in general, there are large areas which can be used for service purposes and the town has both good airport connections and road infrastructure. "Among the ports studied in this report, only Kirkenes fulfill the demands which are set for a future oil base in eastern Finnmark," the conclusion states. Advisor of the Norwegian Barents Secretariat, Oddgeir Danielsen, says that this report only underlines what has been known by most people working with development of the oil and gas industry in the eastern part of the Barents Sea. "Only Kirkenes has the harbor infrastructure needed for service operations for the petroleum industry. At the same time the location is maybe even more advantageous for Kirkenes. It is the harbor located closest to Russia, the main airport of eastern Finnmark is located here and the road connections to Russia and to the south are also in the benefit of Kirkenes," says Danielsen. Another important factor which gives Kirkenes an advantage compared to other ports, is the scope of the existing local industry. Kirkenes has one out of few ship yards in northern Norway, and can thus provide key competence for service work to the petroleum industry. In addition there is the wide range of mechanical competence within the Sydvaranger mine company, which adds to the industrial capability of the Kirkenes community, says Danielsen.
Posted 27 April 2010; 4:18:50 PM. Permalink
(YLE via Siku Circumpolar News, 27 April 2010) -- The city of Oulu is about to get bigger, YLE reports. Oulu, Haukipudas, Oulunsalo, Kiiminki and Yli-Ii decided this week to consolidate into one municipality. The nearby town of Muhos, however, did not join. Representatives from the six towns meet on Tuesday in Yli-Ii to discuss future plans. The new municipality will have over 180,000 residents. It will surpass Turku to become Finland's fifth largest city.
Posted 27 April 2010; 3:24:52 PM. Permalink