On Wednesday, June 14, in the coastal city of Kotka, the Finnish Border Guard and the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk) will host celebrations of twenty years of Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) in oil spill response preparedness.

Every day, around twenty oil tankers sail through the Gulf of Finland, mostly traversing between the Russian port of St. Petersburg and the North Sea. If an oil spill was to occur, it could pollute hundreds upon hundreds of kilometers of coastline, leaving hundreds of thousands of tons of oily waste.

To give an idea of the potential scale of the damage and the extent of the subsequent oil spill response operation:

An average tanker may hold up to 150,000 tons of oil, divided into several cargo tanks. If the ship is damaged, we may assume leakage to the tune of 30,000 tons of oil. In this scenario, it the oil were to drift onto the shores of the Finnish Kymenlaakso archipelago and mainland, more than 250 kilograms of oil and oil-contaminated material, such as oil-soaked reeds and sand, would have to be collected from every meter of beach.

On top of the massive collection, cleaning, transportation and waste processing effort, the damage would inflict billions of euros in further costs. In addition to the obvious environmental disaster, tourism, coastal recreation and maritime traffic would be severely affected.


How can we prevent the spread of the damage and minimize its effects? How can oil spill control and response efforts be organized safely and efficiently?

In order to answer these questions, for twenty years now, the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences has been continuously testing methods, developing operational models, creating manuals and conducting oil response exercises with and for public authorities.

All this work has been carried out in close cooperation with rescue authorities and environmental authorities.

Two decades of experience in oil spill response RDI has made Xamk a pioneer in the field, whose expertise is leveraged in the preparation of laws and the development of technical and operational solutions.


Celebrations of the twentieth anniversary of oil spill control RDI in Kymenlaakso will take place in connection with the Finnish National Advisory Board for Marine Pollution Response’s Conference Days in Kotka on June 14, 2023.

Results of Xamk’s oil spill control and response research will be shared during a presentation at Maritime Centre Vellamo, at 11:10 hours. The auditorium will open just before the event.

Starting at 13:00 hours, a response demonstration will be set in motion at Xamk’s oil spill response test basin, where the Border Guard’s response equipment will also be on display.


Maritime Centre Vellamo, Tornatorintie 99, 48100 Kotka.

See also: https://www.merikeskusvellamo.fi/en/


Xamk’s oil spill response test basin, Sunilantie 10, 48900 Kotka.

See also: https://www.xamk.fi/en/logistics-and-seafaring-spearheads-of-competence/oil-spill-response-test-basin/


For more information:

Justiina Halonen, Research Manager, M.Sc. (Tech.), Master Mariner (BSc.)

Logistics and Seafaring, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk)

justiina.halonen@xamk.fi, tel: +358 44 702 8514


On oil pollution preparedness and response, see also:


On 20 years of oil spill control and response RDI, in Finnish:



About the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences

The South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, Xamk, offers Education; Research, Development and Innovation (RDI); and Services for companies and individuals. Xamk positions itself as a UAS with a focus on well-being, technology and the creative economy. With campuses in the cities of Savonlinna, Mikkeli, Kouvola and Kotka, Xamk has approximately 11,500 students and over 900 staff.


Twitter: @xamk.fi

Mastodon: @xamk@fedi.xamk.fi