On the high seas

From its advantageous location strategically situated in south-western Norway, Karmsund represents a vital transport link for the North Sea. Karmsund Sea-traffic Harbour is an inter-municipal organisation charged with many different activities related to port operations and the development of sea-based enterprise. The port is also home to some of Norway’s offshore energy and subsea industries and accommodates leading industry players such as Technip, Statoil PRS, Saga Subsea and DeepOcean on site.

Karmsund previously appeared in Shipping & Marine during December 2015 and has since continued to work with its clients and users to further develop the company’s facilities. As a strategic transport link to the North Sea, the port’s long-standing relationships with its clients are a vital component in allowing Karmsund to invest in the facilities and services that best serve its users. “We have recently completed a big new hall for the Deep Ocean Group on our Killingøy sub sea base, this is a combined maintenance and office building with a total footprint of around 1200 m2. The hall is directly linked to the quays at Killingøy and we are now preparing approximately 7500 m2 of new outdoor storage area on the base, which we expect to have ready by 1st November 2016,” explains Assistant Port Director and Deputy CEO, Leiv Sverre Leknes. “The Statoil Pipeline Repair System (PRS) is a very important partner at Killingøy, while clients such as Deep Ocean, Technip Norge AS, Olufsen Ship & Offshore, Saga Subsea are all important partners in further developing the base to a world leading subsea technology base. The weaker offshore market has also led to a need for layup areas and we are fortunate enough to have some of the best areas for this in our area. This has also driven an investment to extend the port’s capacity for shore power and we have now applied to Enova, where we hope to achieve partial funding to introduce even more power at our terminals.”

In addition to its comprehensive Subsea activities, Karmsund also serves the cargo sector at its Husøy public port for dry cargo commodities, which is now a key destination for all of the container feeders that operate along the West Coast of Norway. These include operators such as NorthSea Container Line AS (NCL); Samskip, which has recently bought the European Container Line AS (ECL); and Maersk. These companies all also serve the major ports on the Continent, ranging from Hamburg to Bremerhaven and Rotterdam. “In addition to this we also have several SeaCargo callings that arrive several times a week. SeaCargo is the major Ro-Ro/sideport port operator in our area, serving the UK and the Continent. In all, we have the best liner service available on the West Coast of Norway, all calling the same terminal,” Leiv says. “At Husøy we have significant development plans that are about to be finalised and we see a fantastic development here within all commodities. The utilisation of the terminal has been much better than even the biggest optimist could hope for.”

Husøy port has enjoyed impressive growth since 2015 by expanding its volumes by 15-20 per cent, while the opening of the bulk terminal has also lead to an increase in the bulk products handled by the facility. “The investment in the new bulk terminal was valued at close to 90 million NOK. The new facility is around 12,000 m2 and divided into 20 similar cells. The capacity of the facility is circa 30,000 tonnes, depending on the kind of commodity that is being transported,” Leiv elaborates. “The initiative was taken by a local terminal operator who saw the possibility to establish a bulk terminal, which was influenced by the fact that BioMar, a world leading fish food producer, has a major facility at Husøy. BioMar decided to extend its production capacity here and will complete its extension project creating a total capacity of around 340,000 tonnes in Q1 2017. The quay in connection with the bulk terminal is designed to accommodate handy size bulkers. With the growing demand for bulk storage, we expect to further extend the terminal within a few years.”

In addition to the current growth of Husøy, a second round of investment in the expansion of the terminal’s faculties will follow the completed development of the port. This will be comprised of an investment of some 300 million NOK, which will provide around 220,000 m2 in both quay and storage space, as well as ground for new businesses. “Following this development the total port area will be approximately 310,000 m2 with two Ro-Ro ramps and four quays totalling 850 metres. With this new port area, it is our intention to build a ‘future port’ based on a lean, clean and green philosophy,” Leiv says. “This will include sufficient electrical power to operate cranes, forklifts and so on, while the same will be offered to the vessels with battery packages and inductive charging. In addition, we plan to implement a LNG filling station, gas oil fillings and hopefully also make hydrogen and bio fuel available within the port to create a full energy cluster.”

Further to its subsea and cargo operations, Karmsund is also increasingly active within the cruise market. Although the port is a relatively new player in this sector, Karmsund is making steady headway in this area and expects cruise operations to continue to grow in line with the port’s other interests. “Karmsund Havn started with cruise calls four years ago and the development of this service has progressed very well. We have already booked 35 calls for 2016 with a total of 64,000 passengers, while in 2014 and 2015 we had between 15 and 18 calls each year with around 30,000 passengers,” Leiv concludes. “Our main focus during the next 12 months is to undertake a proper planning of the new terminal at Husøy as well as get a good start with developing the new areas, including the port’s cruise operations.

“Our port is situated between Stavanger and Bergen. Presently there is one ferry to Stavanger and one ferry to Bergen, but direct roads are now being built between the cities, and a ‘ferry free’ road to Stavanger will be ready in 2024. This will mean that the trucking time to Stavanger from our port will be about 50 minutes. The ferry free connection to Bergen will follow some years later and will lead to a trucking time of around one and a half hours compared to three hours today. This is the reason for our investments into the port, we believe that our location and its surrounding infrastructure makes it an ideal resource for our clients.”

Karmsund Havn
• Historic south-west Norwegian port
• Naturally sheltered area
• Continuous expansion of facilities