The announcement came on Friday. The maximum total weight for Northland’s ore transports between Kaunisvaara and the reloading terminal in Pitkäjärvi will be 90 tonnes.
You are also welcome to read our press release about the dispensation.
The permit issuer is the Swedish Transport Administration, which, in partnership with Northland and Cliffton Mining, which has been contracted for the transports, has carried out a large number of measurements and test transports to determine the optimum total weight for the transports.
Aspects studied have included the carrying capacity of the roads and, in particular, the strength of the bridges. Scania delivers the specially designed vehicles on whose driving and road characteristics the formulation of the dispensation has also been based.
Besides the total weight, the dispensation by the Swedish Transport Administration limits the speed of the ore trucks on the two bridges to a maximum 50 kilometers per hour and requires that no other vehicles be on them when a truck is crossing.
Consequently, the bridges will be equipped with traffic control in the form of traffic lights that will be steered by transponders mounted on the trucks.
As a truck approaches the bridge, other traffic will be given a red light.
Northland’s very satisfied logistics manager, Willy Sundling, makes the following comment on the decision by the Swedish Transport Administration:
“Although we have felt secure that we would be awarded dispensation, we are happy that the decision has now been made so that we can commence our transports at the end of the year.”
According to Sundling, the tests demonstrated that the bridges were the limiting factor.
“The dispensation for 90 tonnes is optimal based on the prevailing strength of the two bridges. Otherwise, the dispensation could have been even higher,” Sundling explains.
He is pleased that both the Swedish Transport Administration, as the body responsible for the maintenance of the roads, and Northland are agreed that the dispensation is favorable for all concerned. An upper limit of 90 tonnes, rather than the current 60 means fewer vehicles:
“Fewer vehicles mean less inconvenience for those who live along the transport route and less emissions, which is good for the environment. And for us it means the possibility to run more cost-efficient transports,” says Willy Sundling.
He would also like to emphasize the work put into developing the truck formats that will be used.
“It’s a well-suited modern vehicle that limits wear and noise. Cliffton’s design for the superstructure is also very attractive. I can warmly recommend the public showing of the trucks that Clifton will be presenting in Kaunisvaara on Tuesday.”
The regional manager of the Swedish Transport Administration, Arnold Vonkavaara, emphasizes the productive collaboration in connection with the test runs and the other efforts ahead of the decision on dispensation. According to him, the dispensation represents a good solution in terms of the environment, safety and accessibility.
“The strain on the road will not be significantly greater than with 60-tonne transports since they will be less frequent. Fewer trucks are also a good thing. The ore trucks aren’t the only vehicles on the road. The transports impose demands on the vehicles, which must be designed to navigate the road in a manner that is conducive to traffic safety.
Road maintenance along the route concerned will be improved from the current level.
“Yes, we are raising the maintenance level along the entire transport route to correspond to that on the E4 highway,” Arnold Vonkavaara explains.
Peter Engström, department manager at Cliffton Mining is also happy about the 90-tonne dispensation.
“At this point, it’s the best possible decision. It actually exceeds my own expectations following the first examination of the bridges. The Swedish Transport Administration has done a very good job,” says Engström.
He explains that the test runs were very favorable and that the vehicle format performed very responsively even under the somewhat poorer road conditions.
“There’s quite simply nothing dramatic about running these trucks compared with 60-tonne alternatives. There have been many detractors who have said it wouldn’t be possible and for that reason in particular, it’s great to see that attitudes can be changed even in this industry.”
He explains that safety is always the highest priority for the ore transports.
“It’s a matter of attitude and of introducing soft values – this shouldn’t be a competition in producing the most tonnes but in doing so with safety in focus,” says Peter Engström.
On Tuesday, October 30, at 2.30 p.m., Peter Engström and others will be at the Folkets Hus community center in Kaunisvaara.
The new ore trucks will also be there, so take the opportunity to go along and see what the trucks and, in particular, the new trailers look like.
Northland's press release on the dispensation : http://northland.eu/en-us/investor-relations/press-releases?v=1151727