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Reinforcing Eastern Finland-Estonia Transport Corridor (REFEC)
The heavy vehicle traffic (trucks and trailers) on ferries over the Gulf of Finland has been increasing since the 1990’s and the trend is estimated to continue. There are two ferry routes between Finland and Estonia (Helsinki-Tallin and Hanko-Paldiski). Remarkable part of this heavy vehicle traffic takes place between Eastern Finland and Eastern Estonia, and further southwards. The solution to activate the Eastern Finland – Eastern Estonia corridor would to establish a ferry connection between ports of Loviisa (FI) and Kunda (EE). This connection is practically in direct north-south axis (54 sea miles). Moreover, there is no Russian territorial water in between. 

The project aims at reinforcing the establishment of Eastern Finland-Eastern-Estonia transport corridor. The project outputs are focused mainly on concrete measures to support Loviisa-Kunda ferry connection. This includes port operative and investment planning, roadmap to comply the needed licenses and regulatory requirements, best practice transferred from similar connections in the BSR, ferry scheduling and route option plans, business model(s) with potential shipping companies, marketing plan and events to promote the connection. Furthermore the cargo potential of the corridor is analysed and the impact of the developed corridor is verified (reduced travel time, volume using the corridor and Loviisa-Kunda connection). 

In addition to the faster and more fluent transports between eastern parts of Finland and Estonia there are other beneficiaries of the activated transport corridor. The traffic to/from Eastern Finland that uses Via Baltica would benefit from more direct connections as well. Another major advantage is relieving the pressure of growing heavy traffic (traffic jams, emissions, noise, dust) in the city centres of Tallinn and Helsinki. The decreased mileage in transports means also less CO2 emissions. 

The Centre for Maritime Studies is the lead partner in REFEC. The other partners are the town of Loviisa, Port of Kunda and Posintra Ltd. The project budget is 728 192 € of which 569 664 € is from ERFD (Interreg Central Baltic Programme) and the rest from the partners. 

Contact: 
Reima Helminen, Senior Researcher 
tel. +358 40 580 2411 
reima.helminen@utu.fi
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 REFEC