Bremenports Signs Agreement for New Icelandic Seaport

The Finnafjord site, center (Bremenports)

Published Apr 11, 2019 12:51 PM by The Maritime Executive

Bremenports, the operator of the ports of Bremerhaven and Bremen, has signed an agreement with two Icelandic municipalities and the Reykjavik-based engineering firm Efla to build a port on the Finnafjord, a natural harbor in northeast Iceland. 

Finnafjord is on the lee side of the island, and it is situated near the great-circle routes between North American ports and Europe. While it could serve current trade patterns, its real development prospects center on the Arctic and on the Northern Sea Route - the passage north of Russia, which can shave weeks off the transit time between Asia and Northern Europe. Bremenports envisions a Finnafjord terminal complex as an ideal place to transship cargoes near the western terminus of the Northern Sea Route. 

The Finnafjord site has 65 feet of water, little wave action, 3,000 uninhabited acres, and good geological conditions for port construction. According to Bremenports, the site would also benefit from low-cost, green power from Iceland's geothermal and hydroelectric plants (with the right power transmission infrastructure, which is covered by the new MOU). This could make it an advantageous spot for production activity in support of future Arctic mining or offshore developments. 

Bremenports and its partners are seeking investors to develop the site under build-operate-transfer concession agreements. Bidders would design, build, finance and operate port infrastructure at the Finnafjord site to meet their own requirements.

Under its timeline, the consortium seeks to secure investors and begin construction in 2021, with operations starting up in 2023. Successful bidders would hold concessions through at least 2040.

Bremenports holds a two-thirds stake in the joint enterprise, and Efla holds about one quarter. Another eight percent is held by the Icelandic communities hosting the port complex.