seatec - Finnish marine technology review 2/2013 - Page 45

Bureau Veritas: Proud history as leading classification society in Finland “M arine industry is trying to look forward all the time”, observes Olli Kaljala, Country Chief Executive of Bureau Veritas Finland. “More and more, we are seeing an energy-efficient future with strengthening environmental demands,” says Kaljala. “Sometimes it is also good to look back to history where there are milestones which changed the face of maritime. Among them, there are technical solutions which are built and maintained according to international rules and regulations based for safety.” Bureau Veritas has a long tradition to drawn upon, with operations in Northern Baltic Sea area having been largely coordinated from Finland which was once a part of Russia but at the same time autonomous country. “It was the time of wooden ships. In Finland, in particular in Kristinestad in the second half of the 19th century, a large number of wooden sailing ships were classed by Bureau Veritas.” SIX OFFICES IN THE NORTH Today, the Bureau Veritas District Finland – Baltic Countries includes six offices: Helsinki, Turku, Tallinn, Riga, Klaipeda and Vilnius. Bureau Veritas was established in Finland at an early stage. The society opened its first agency, with one surveyor in Turku, in 1858. In the 1870’s there were already six surveyors in Finland, all of whom were not, however, permanent full time staff members. Their area of activity reached from Oulu in the North, along the Finnish coast all the way to Viborg, including Åland. At that time, new sailing ships were increasingly classed, and shipbuilding flourished on the west coast, from Rauma north up to Oulu. Bureau Veritas was, in this context, in the leading position among classification societies in Finland. Gradually, ships started to be built from steel. The Bureau Veritas rules followed the development and the surveyors were trained in the new technology. After the WW II, the activities continued through different agencies until Bureau Veritas’ branch office was set up in Helsinki in 1984. RISTO VALKEAPÄÄ Olli Kaljala with historic documents in the Helsinki office. For example, the Russian icebreaker Yermak (delivered in 1899), was classed by Bureau Veritas. seatec 2/2013 43