Expert Exports to Dubai

Writer: Suvi Hirvi Photo: vJAG_CZ / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

The shipyards in Rauma dispatch environmentally friendly luxury for the rest of the world. Their particular area of expertise is the building of artificial islands.

Innovative know-how from Rauma is valued around the world: for example, an enormous artificial island was delivered to the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah luxury hotel in Dubai. The floating island includes a restaurant, two swimming pools and a terrace area with loungers, as well as private, air-conditioned indoor areas. The island, which weighs 5,000 tons, was shipped to its final location, (4,500 km from Rauma) in several pieces.

– Ten floating villas have also been built for customers in Dubai. The most recent ship order is a car and passenger ferry on its way to Denmark. All this continues the tradition of ROPAX expertise in Rauma. In the last few decades, all major European shipping companies have ordered ROPAX ships from Rauma. For instance, most Tallink ships were constructed in Rauma, says Timo Luukkonen, the CEO of Rauman Meriteollisuuskiinteistöt Oy, which is located at the Seaside Industry Park.

A multifunctional Antarctic research ship was delivered to South Africa: the vessel is a passenger ship, an icebreaker and a cargo ship, all in one.

– Multifunctional icebreakers combine the expertise that Rauma has to offer in a unique way: in the winter, they operate as icebreakers in the Baltic Sea, and in the summer, they can help support, move and maintain oil rigs. The newest project is building four military ships for the Finnish Defence Forces.

The Seaside Industry Park, owned by the City of Rauma, was founded in 2014. It specialises in shipbuilding and heavy metal industries, and houses more than 30 companies. Rauma Marine Constructions and thruster manufacturer Rolls Royce have the highest employee counts. Seaside Industry Park’s production is not only global but also environmentally friendly, because the park has been granted a collective environmental permit.

– Rauman Merikiinteistöt Oy ensures that all of the park’s 30+ companies operate in accordance with the permit’s terms and conditions. In the autumn, a 500kW solar power plant will be completed in the area, enabling the use of solar electricity in the manufacturing of ships and other products built in Rauma.

The marine industry in Satakunta consists of 50 machinery and equipment manufacturers and the shipyard. In the summer of 2017, the maritime industry revenues in the area increased sharply: nearly all companies achieved 15% growth in terms of revenue.


Due to their location near the sea, Rauma and Pori both have long shipbuilding traditions: ships have been built in the area since the Middle Ages. At first, sailing ships were built from wood.

Kaljaasi Ihana. Photo: Martti Alatalo

– In the 16th century, seafaring became crucially important for Rauma as a city. It was the most important source of livelihood for Rauma’s inhabitants until the Second World War. The golden age of shipbuilding in Rauma was at the end of the 19th century; at the time, ships built in Rauma were used to sail all around the world. At the time, sailing ships were the most important finished export product. Until the 1960s, lumber trade in the Baltic formed the core of shipping activities in Rauma, explains Sea Captain Hannu Vartiainen.

After the wars, the shipyards became dockyards focused on repairing ships. Hollming Oy began building wooden schooners as war reparations. Rauma-Repola Oy began as a repair dockyard, but quickly moved on to making wooden composite barges and then steel ships. Both shipyards played an important role in Rauma’s transformation into a global player in the modern shipyard industry.

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