North-Western Basin Branch News

The Saimaa Canal marks the 50th anniversary

On August 9, 2018 the North-Western Basin Branch took part in a solemn event devoted to the 50th anniversary of opening the reconstructed Saimaa Canal.

The solemn event involved state secretary – Russian Transport Deputy Minister Sergei Aristov, state secretary of the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications Harri Pursiainen, deputy director of the North-Western Basin Branch – chief of the Vyborg-Vysotsk Directorate Andrei Kovtun and other officials.

The participants in the event congratulated the audience on this remarkable event and confirmed their drive for joint actions to be taken to develop the infrastructure and technical equipment on the Saimaa Canal, adopt new technology aimed at increasing security and the capacity of the Canal.

During the celebrations, aboard the Camilla motor vessel Sergei Aristov and Harri Pursiainen cut the symbolic ribbon over the Saimaa Canal at the Mustol gate.

On Russia’s part of the Saimaa Canal the North-Western Basin Branch renders pilotage and icebreaker services to vessels navigating the Saimaa Canal. Forces and facilities of the Branch service 67 floating marks and carry out dredging operations to ensure controlling depths on the fairways of Russian part of the Saimaa Canal.

The North-Western Basin Branch also renders services in the seaport of Vyborg to provide the infrastructure of Berth No 1 for servicing passengers arriving in Vyborg on cruise vessels by the Saimaa Canal for sightseeing tours.

For reference:

The Saimaa Canal is a navigation channel between Lake Saimaa and the Gulf of Finland. The total length of the canal is 57.3 km (34 km in Russia and 23.3 km in Finland). The length of the Canal’s land part is 42.9 km (19.6 km in Russia and 23.3 km in Finland). The length of the Canal’s fairway is 14.4 km. The Canal is accessible for navigation of river, lake and marine vessels. Every year the period of navigation on Saimaa Canal is determined by authorized persons for the Saimaa Canal depending on ice conditions. On the average the period of navigation lasts for 275 days (nine months). The Saimaa Canal unites the Finnish major and most navigable lake system with the Gulf of Finland. The Canal allows for vessels pilotage to European ports, as well as to inland ports of Central and East European countries from the ports of inland waters of East Finland. The most part of cargo flow accounts on wood, construction materials, fertilizers, cellulose, paper, coal and timber.