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Sikuki Nuuk Harbour A/S is planning the next harbour expansion

Sikuki Nuuk Harbour has visions of expanding the harbour with 300 metres of quay to accommodate increasing growth and optimise logistics

A well-functioning harbour infrastructure is crucial to the economic development of society, and Greenland is growing in a number of parameters. As activity continues to rise in the surrounding community, the harbour must keep up.

“Sikuki Nuuk Harbour A/S aims to further develop the harbour of Nuuk to support and optimise increased activities by the harbour users. It takes time to develop harbour infrastructure, which is why Sikuki has already started the initial exercises for a harbour expansion,” says John Rasmussen, Managing Director of Sikuki Nuuk Harbour A/S.

The harbour has many stakeholders and activities, and it is important that it can grow with and meet the needs that arise as harbour activities and partners grow in size, volume, manpower and scope.

COWI provides the initial advice

The most recent expansion of the harbour took place at Qeqertanut in 2017 with the commissioning of a new container terminal with 310 metres of quay and 47,000 m2 of terminal, warehouse, workshop and cranes, which Sikuki leases to Royal Arctic Line A/S.

Sikuki Nuuk Harbour A/S has now begun preliminary studies for a further harbour extension at Qeqertaq Avalleq (Fyrø). The initial programming phase will be carried out by COWI, with a series of preliminary studies to provide a robust decision-making basis for the board and owner. The studies encompass an extension of the quay at the new container terminal by 300 metres for trawler unloading, bulk cargo handling and a possible extension of the container terminal.

One of the aims is to move the trawler unloading area closer to the container terminal, so that heavy container traffic back and forth between the container terminal and the old harbour can be avoided, explains Simon Høgsholt, Technical Manager at Sikuki Nuuk Harbour.

“The latest trawlers are built with a draught of around nine metres, which means that only the Atlantic Quay in the old Traffic Harbour can currently be used for unloading them, and this quay is also used for cruise ship docking four months a year. Besides trawler unloading, Qeqertaq Avalleq will also accommodate the unloading, loading and storage of bulk materials such as raw materials, sand, gravel and scrap metal.”

He adds that the development of Qeqertaq Avalleq will also provide commercial land for the establishment of businesses that need a harbourside location, in particular the seafood industry, cold storage and associated support businesses. This could, for example, include the export of fresh fish, which will now be a real possibility with the future airport.

John Rasmussen notes that the initial programming phase is intended to provide a decision document for the owner and the board, in which the expected construction budget, in comparison with expected revenues and financial costs, are included as significant factors.

The harbour must meet future needs

The old Traffic Harbour’s facilities can better support the business development of the tourism potential, including facilities for the transit of passengers between the cruise ships and the new airport. Nuuk Harbour expects to see a significant increase in cruise ship activity over the coming years. The new quay at Qeqertaq Avalleq will thus allow trawler docking and cruise calls to be made at different harbour facilities.

The old Traffic Harbour can thereby be used more for cruises, Arctic Umiaq Line, the Joint Arctic Command and emergency services, barge loads, contractors, diving companies, cutters, other traffic and the necessary laying-up of ships for short or long periods.

“We also hope that the increased traffic through the NW Passage, servicing of Canadian trawlers and possible trade with Arctic Canada will increase the activities in the port,” says Managing Director John Rasmussen.

“Nuuk Maritime Network has identified almost 2,000 jobs in Nuuk relating to the maritime industries, so the range of services available to ships calling at Nuuk is large, compared to harbours in Canada and the rest of Greenland.”

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