Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2015 - Page 21

Photo: Toni Mailanen existing and new customers. “Interest in LNG is found among industrial, shipping as well as heavy-duty land transport customers,” Mattila comments. Wood Building Boost Another field where energy comes to play is new residential construction. Wooden construction has been a strong focus area in Pori for years, observes Kristian Vainio. “The Pori Region wood cluster is developing very nicely,” he says. One example of this is the FutureHouse2020 project where wood is used in innovative ways – even ways that often link with digital solutions and the app world. Vainio believes that especially senior citizens will benefit from the “digitalisation of homes”. In a recent Living Lab project, the elderly were targeted as a special group that is able to continue living at home – with a little help from some e-friends. “Hi-tech solutions will aid seniors through use of sensors and guidance systems, making sure that the everyday lives of the elderly are safe and smooth,” Vainio describes the main idea. pus right next to the travel centre. The value of these two projects alone is EUR 200 million – and in this decade, local investment decisions have been made to the tune of EUR 1.3 billion. Rock the Rails Deputy Mayor Kari Hannus says that the construction for the campus area will begin in 2015 and it is scheduled for completion in 2017. Nevertheless, the master plan for the travel centre area goes beyond adding just a campus: “There will be a wave of office construction in the neighbourhood, as there is potential to build as much as 200,000 floor square metres,” Hannus says, adding that currently there are building rights for about 50,000 floor square metres. Office premises right by the railroad tracks are in high demand by companies big and small – and even some residential offering is in the cards for this area. “In essence, the entire travel centre area will be like a jar of honey: very attractive from the point of view of several target groups,” Hannus believes. High-level Recognition The reach of this project went far beyond local: the Living Lab project for seniors’ wellbeing placed in the TOP5 in the European Commission’s RegioStars 2013 final. In the annual competition, the Commission looks for the most innovative projects / best practices in the entire EU. Vainio says that the entire community is proud of the feat and eager to accomplish more: “After all, now we have a great platform to build on.” Building something new is very much the theme in the downtown area, too. The shopping centre Puuvilla has re-energised the commercial scene (see related story on page 20) and the new downtown campus will add educational edge. Satakunta University of Applied Sciences will build a camKristian Vainio and Janne Vartia point out that also the construction of a LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) terminal in Pori provides ample evidence of the pioneering mindset in the marine industry. The Norwegian company Skangass is building a new import terminal for LNG that is to be finished in 2016. With this project, Skangass wants to create an efficient LNG logistics chain in the Pori area. The terminal will feature a capacity of 30,000 cubic meters; all and all, it will be the third Skangass terminal in the Nordic countries. Sales and Marketing Director Tommy Mattila from Skangass is eager to see the Pori terminal completed on schedule so that the company can launch deliveries to both Adding some excitement into the downtown area is something that the City really believes in: “This type of action will re-vitalise the local community a great deal – and elevate also the local businesses,” Hannus says. The education scene in Pori is sure to benefit from the new campus, but the city does has have strong traditions in this area, too: the Pori University Consortium is a multidisciplinary centre of learning composed of units from four different universities, cooperating across faculty boundaries – and there are, actually, two universities of applied sciences here. “Young people who graduate from local schools have good employment opportunities just around the corner,” Hannus adds. Photo: City of Pori Get Ready for LNG Buzz Me Up Nordicum 19