Post: Research report: Mining industry in Finland and Sweden

Research report: Mining industry in Finland and Sweden

The Bothnian corridor is a vital  transport infrastructure for the economies of Finland and Sweden connecting them to the European network. This corridor is especially important for heavy industry transportation and the importance is increasing due to the development of mining industry and its raw material transportation.

This study is related to the Bothnian Green Logistic Corridor (BGLC) project’s WP5 called Economic impact of infrastructure on regional and industrial growth. It was issued to study the industrial future of Bothnian corridor area concentrating on mining and refining industries. The studied themes were transport infrastructure, the utilization of economic energy, and the potential for the development of refining industry. Also the influence of these themes on the Northern Central Europe was studied. The study was performed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Tampere University of Technology during February–May 2012. It is based on a review of previous research and available databases, on specialist interviews, on an internal workshop and on the knowledge and experience of the project group.

Investment decisions in mining and refining industry consist in cost-based optimization of total costs including logistics, upgrading, labour, construction and energy. As mines are not located close to seaports and mines produce large volumes of bulk, rail transportation is the main transport system of mines in Scandinavia. The importance of rail transportation system will even increase in the future business environment. Rail infrastructure investments are needed and they have an important role for companies in the decision-making of opening new mines. Authorities have a significant role in infrastructure development.

Corridor concepts have a remarkable role in the development of transportation infrastructure. Bothnian Green Logistics Corridor can be considered as a backbone in the development of infrastructure based on industrial needs. BGLC combines, as a south-north axis, Scandinavian ”resource bank” to significant industrial centres in the whole European Union area. A corridor approach should also include essential transport systems (e.g. main sea transport routes) and other corridors in order to form real transportation link combining various geographic areas, businesses and markets in the European market area.

Conceptual thinking in the development of refining industry in Scandinavia needs to be evolved and implemented. Also the development of corridor concept requires further research. In addition, current and potential transportation scenarios could be studied by modeling for example. Scenarios would take into account material flows of mining and refining industries, infrastructure issues (services, development needs, capacity) and the location of terminals and refining plants. Also energy issues related to mining and refining industries should be studied.

Authors: Jarkko Rantala, Jenni Eckhardt, Anna-Maija Hietajärvi, Tommi Mäkelä, Erika Kallionpää, Karri Rantasila, Antti Permala and Jarkko Lehtinen

Report: Mining industry in Finland and Sweden – New boost for European industrial future

Published: December 2012

Project: Bothnian Green Logistic Corridor (BGLC)