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The future for the harbours of Greenland

10. July 2017

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No fewer than 165 Harbours

In a country that is as orientated towards the sea as Greenland is, the harbours have always been a focal point for fishing, business and, not least, the growing tourist industry. However, there has not been a co-ordinated plan for the harbour sector, and this has resulted in the development of different types of harbours along the coast. Consequently, many buildings are not up-to-date in relation to today’s transport patterns.

“There is too much variation with regards to the types of facilities, each of which were built for very specific purposes. This means that the period of use for each individual facility is very limited, and thus not cost-effective in many instances”, explains Michael Mørch, who is CEO of Orbicon Arctic.

Change of use leads to sustainable development
At the same time, the way that the harbours are used has changed over the years:

“There is a need for a multi-purpose facility with a water depth of 6 metres. Today there are examples of facilities that stand on land at low tide, with the result that the ships either have to adjust their route depending on the depth of the water or simply wait for high tide”, continues Michael Mørch.

In the sector plan, Orbicon recommends a new prioritisation of the harbour facilities and with this, a new harbour portfolio. This will free up resources for modernisation, and not least for the renovation of existing facilities.

“With the sector plan, we secure the future of the harbours without the use of extra resources. The whole plan is based on the transfer and demolition of the facilities. Since we would rather not demolish, we hope that transfer will be possible, as this can secure the possibility for optimising sea-related business and enable the creation of new business”, says Michael Mørch.

The sector plan is an important step for sustainable development of harbours in Greenland. Improved harbours allow for larger and more environmentally efficient vessels. In addition, increased space in harbour areas can be utilised for attractive urban development projects, and shorter transportation time of good protects the environment with less CO2 emission and future proofs infrastructure.