EnvironmentEuropePorts and Logistics

Sewage from cargo ships turned into biogas

Sewage from cargo ships may be legally discharged into the Baltic Sea, although it accelerates eutrophication. The Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG) is bringing together cooperation parties for the new Ship/t Waste Action that produces biogas from sewage discharged by ships at port with the Finnish port of HaminaKotka signed on as a first port.

“We can achieve our objective of a cleaner Baltic Sea, one ship, one port and one country at a time. The nutrient load on the sea decreases every time wastewater is discharged at the port. We need extensive cooperation to succeed in our mission,” commented Elisa Mikkolainen, project director at BSAG.

Finnish water treatment specialist Kymen Vesi treats the sewage discharged by ships at the port of HaminaKotka. The wastewater sludge created in the process is refined into renewable energy at Gasum’s biogas plant.

Shipowners including Maersk, Stolt Tankers, Meriaura and Essberger are taking part in the project.

“The port of HaminaKotka is the largest general port in Finland, visited by approximately 2,500 cargo ships every year. We want to encourage ships to discharge their wastewater at the port. Our sewage reception and treatment facilities meet the requirements of the circular economy,” said Suvi-Tuuli Lappalainen, development manager at the Port of HaminaKotka.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. Circular economy perhaps … with ships going al the world around ? Please remove me from a large uncertainty, how are fueled such ships, and could these waste be used somewhere else closer ?
    Economy does not rhythm with ecology …

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