Theme Dry Bulk

Last updated 11/13/2012 11:10 AM
Thousands of tons of dry bulk

In Swede Harbour, on the edge of Malmö port, mountains of bulk await further transport. Thanks to the amount of land at its disposal, CMP has the ability to store huge volumes. The really big ships dock here, where the water depth is a whole 13.5 metres.

The volumes are always huge – thousands of tons, mountains of glass and scrap, shimmering and glinting in the sunlight.

Swede Harbour was built in the 1980s and is located on the edge of the Malmö harbour area, out towards Lomma. Nobody ever comes out here, unless they work for CMP or one of the other companies in the area. The first thing that strikes you about this area is its emptiness, a huge, as yet untapped "wilderness" dotted with mountains of bulk.

In the harbour itself, the water is very deep: 13.5 metres, enough to accommodate Panmax-size vessels. The biggest of these are approx. 240 metres long and 45 metres wide. The biggest ship processed here to date was loaded with 73,000 tons of petcoke (petroleum coke), which is imported from the USA and distributed in Sweden. Other forms of imported dry bulk include asphalt and road and industrial salt. The export side mostly consists of scrap, which is sent to the USA, Malaysia and India. Approx. 80,000 tons of scrap currently sit in the port of Malmö, waiting to be exported.

Glistening metal cubes of scrap lie in huge piles outside the harbour-master's office. The vast tracts of land in this area allow CMP to store large volumes of scrap, petcoke and other forms of dry bulk. Large cranes on the quayside, as well as a conveyor belt, are used for loading and unloading the scrap.

At the centre – a bird bath
Inside an enormous blue tent, we find a mountain of unrefined sugar. Up to 50,000 tons of sugar can be stored here, and the smell is stupefyingly sweet. Outside are mountains of limestone, which is used in the burning process in order to obtain the characteristic white colour of refined sugar. A large building nearby stores a few thousand tons of road-salt. And then, in the middle of it all, we find a pond inhabited by geese. The pond was left behind after waste from the construction of City Tunnel in Malmö was used as landfill in Norra hamnen. It has been allowed to survive for the benefit of local bird life and to make the outdoor environment a little more pleasant. The geese have grasped the point, and seem to be right at home.

Södra bulkhamnen
The nearby Södra bulkhamnen has a water depth of six metres. Sand from Denmark is landed here, and scrap, old tyres and waste glass shipped out. At the nearby Stena Recycling shredding facility, old cars are stuffed in one end and fine scrap comes out the other end – fascinating!

As Norra hamnen grows, so too does Södra bulkhamnen. Another quay is due to be built here, and more land will be used.

Dry and liquid bulk are also processed at Prøvestenen, on the other side of the Sound, outside of Copenhagen. The dry-bulk area processes products such as stone, sand, gravel, cement, soil and scrap. Coal from Poland and Russia is despatched to the Amager Power Station, just north of Prøvestenen.

Prøvestenen occupies a logistically ideal location for handling bulk for customers in the Greater Copenhagen and Sealand regions. Prøvestenen is only a short distance from the most heavily trafficked shipping routes in Europe, and the large amount of undeveloped land here offers excellent opportunities for quickly processing incoming ships. Prøvestenen is growing rapidly – a huge investment has been made in 180,000 square metres of new land. In short, it is set to double in size. The work is well underway, and is due to be completed in 2011.


How Swede Harbour got its name
Swede Harbour is located on the edge of Malmö harbour area, out towards Lomma. The name arose because the company SwedeChrome wanted to set up there in the 1980s to import South African chrome ore. Shortly after work began on the plant, Sweden joined the international boycott of South African products in the late 1980s. SwedeChrome's imports were banned, and the business plan came to nothing. However, the harbour could still be used for the import and export of other forms of dry bulk.

Panama Canal has given its name to a ship size
The Panama Canal in Central America has given its name to a vessel of a certain size: the Panmax. Vessels capable of passing through the Panama Canal must not be more than 294 metres long and 32 metres wide, and must have a maximum capacity of 75,000 tonnes.

The Panama Canal cuts through the Panama Peninsula in Central America, linking the Atlantic Ocean in the east with the Pacific in the west. However, because of the Panama Peninsula's S-shape, the Pacific entrance to the canal lies to the east of the Atlantic entrance, despite the position of the oceans. The channel has made a huge impact on shipping, as ships no longer need to make the long and difficult journey through the Drake Sound and Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America.


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