FINLAND - Finnish property firm Sponda has agreed a €12m deal with the Port of Helsinki to build a harbour service centre at Vuosaari.

The tri-phased project is scheduled for completion in February 2009, following milestone completion of some offices, staff facilities and a repair workshop building by the time the harbour opens in November 2008. On completion, Vuosaari will be Finland's largest general harbour.

Sponda is also building the PortGate logistics complex (pictured above), aimed at streamlining freight distribution and scheduled for partial completion in November.

"This is probably the last of it. We've done most buildings on the harbour," Sponda CEO Kari Inkenen told IPE Real Estate.  "We'd already announced the investment for the harbour's commercial property. The logistics centre is really an addition."

The firm, which has pension providers Finnish state pension fund (0.63%), Ilmarinen (0.42%), and Etera Mutual (0.38%) as its three largest non-state investors, has already leased 60% of the Vuosaari Service Centre to Multilink Oy and Steveco.

Ilmarinen last month agreed to provide a €50m seven-year credit facility to part-fund the firm's aggressive Russian expansion strategy and property development projects in the Finnish market.  Sponda plans to invest up to €400m - between 10%-20% of the company's balance sheet - in Russia by the end of 2009, from €77m at the end of 2007.