Helsinki looks to expand underground

The World Tunnel Congress examines innovation and sustainability as the key to future productivity.

The requisite for and significance of underground space is of increasing importance to urban societies. This was the main argument of the Underground Spaces in the Service of a Sustainable Society conference, which took place as part of the ITA-AITES World Tunnel Congress at Finlandia Hall in Helsinki, Finland last month.

During the conference, Deputy Mayor of Helsinki, Hannu Penttilä, stated that in urban centres, people should be given priority and secondary operations should be moved underground. “This is precisely what has been happening in Helsinki and it has improved the city environment for the residents. Urban life is increasingly shifting from closed spaces to shared public and commercial spaces,” he confirmed. “For that reason, the need for high-quality spaces aboveground and the need to transfer some elements underground is being highlighted.”

Cavotec supports safety and productivity in
mining and tunnelling applications worldwide

A recent boom in tunnelling is occurring across Finland and underground construction has become intrinsic to urban development plans. Underground spaces are seen as elementary parts of infrastructure; major projects currently being implemented include the western expansion of metro system and an underground airport transit link.

The Finnish Tunnelling Association, the main organiser of the congress, has worked for more than 35 years to transform subterranean spaces into sustainable infrastructure components. As well as addressing transportation needs, this type of initiative comes also as a direct response to the need to supply Finland with basic services.

Improvements to the provision of clean drinking water, waste water treatment, electricity, data networks and heating can be managed only through tunnelling without disturbing existing above-ground city structures.

CNN reporter Richard Quest produced this report about the issue of sustainability as part of Helsinki’s vast underground system restructure.


Cavotec film: mission accomplished

Cavotec film trip is complete

Job done: Mårten Ivert Michael Scheepers Oskar Willers complete shooting at Maher Terminals in Newark NJ

After a whirlwind two-week world tour that encompassed four countries and eight shoots, the Cavotec film crew’s mission to gather footage for a new Cavotec corporate film is complete.

Filming got underway at Frankfurt Airport where we shot our ground support systems that service aircraft there. Our next stop was the Danish port of Saelvig to film our MoorMaster™ automated mooring units.

The team then headed Down Under to shoot the newest MoorMaster application at Port Hedland, Western Australia. The US West Coast was next up, where we filmed shore-to-ship power systems at the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Oakland.

We then made a brief stop at Los Vegas’ McCarran International Airport to get some additional ground support equipment footage.

The final leg of the tour took us to APMT at the Port of Virginia to shoot spreader reels, before our final shoot at Maher Terminals in Newark, NJ, where we got some excellent shots of Panzerbelt cable protection systems and vast cable reels on STS cranes.

The film crew was myself, cameraman Mårten Ivert and photographer Oskar Willers. We used Canon 5D and 7D cameras, 16-35mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm L-series zooms and a 11-24mm Tokina lens. The tripods were Sachtler and Gitzo.

View images from the trip on our Facebook page.

Our grateful thanks to everyone who made the trip go so smoothly.

We’ll be publishing selected shots from the tour in the weeks ahead. The final version of the film will be ready after the summer.


PEMA, TT Club, ICHCA publish safety recommendations

Port Equipment Manufacturers Association (PEMA) post Feb 2011

The Port Equipment Manufacturers Association (PEMA), the TT Club and ICHCA International are to announce recommendations for minimum requirements for the operation of quay container cranes during a seminar at TOC Europe 2011 on Thursday, June 9.

The recommendations are not legally binding, and are independent of local, national and international regulatory regimes on the safe design, manufacture, specification and operation of cranes, which must also be satisfied.

The hope of all three organisations, however, is that buyers and suppliers will embrace the safety features outlined in the document as a voluntary industry standard. The report includes issues such as wind damage, hoist, spreaders and ropes, as well as structural and operational issues.

With more than 2,000 insured operations, including more than 400 ports and terminals globally, the claims data gathered by the TT Club as a basis for the recommendations provides a genuine perspective of accident types and causes.

The TT Club’s research showed that, although human factors were the major cause of accidents, existing systems and technologies could be included in the design of equipment to help operators avoid accidents.

Click here for the full media release on this announcement on PEMA.

Separately, PEMA recently welcomed two new members, increasing its membership to 47 companies, with the addition of crane inspection and refurbishment specialist, World Crane Services, and converter, drive and control systems manufacturer, Seoho Electric.


Cavotec film: shore power and fuel pit systems in the US

Mårten and Oskar discuss filming tactics beside a Cavotec AMP Mobile unit POLA May 28 2011

Mårten and Oskar talk tactics by a Cavotec AMP Mobile unit at the Port of LA

In the most recent stage of our round-the-world film trip, we have successfully filmed our shore power systems in operation at San Francisco’s Port of Oakland and at the Port of Los Angeles (POLA).

At the Port of Oakland we obtained some excellent footage of AMP (Alternative maritime power) connecting to the APL Singapore, a 4,800 TEU container ship. And at the POLA, under clear blue skies, we were able to film AMP Mobile, see image above.

In the week ahead, we’ll be traveling to Las Vegas McCarren International Airport to film fuel pit systems, and the Port of Virginia for footage of our cable reels on STS cranes.

For the latest news from the trip, and to leave comments, you can visit our Facebook page at:

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And you can also follow me on Twitter: @mfscheepers