Theme Liquid Bulk

Last updated 11/13/2012 11:13 AM

Liquid bulk in a well-oiled system

Major investments in Oljehamnen ensure safety when the black gold is pumped off and on ships. The annual turnover of oil in CMP's terminals is no less than 7,000,000 tons.

Being a sailor isn't really a passport to the world these days. Waiting times in dock are getting shorter and shorter – eight to ten hours is common for vessels that supply so-called liquid bulk, e.g. oil, to Oljehamnen (the Oil Harbour) in Malmö.

As we look across Oljehamnen from the CMP Office, the red-and-white livery of “Charlotte Teresa” from Karlshamn catches the eye. A yellow crane arm on the quayside helps the ship discharge its cargo of around 7,000 tons of ethanol. On the upper deck, Swedish and Norwegian flags flutter in the light breeze. The water is usually crystal clear, but today it is cloudy with algae. However, it is clean – and, as if to confirm this, 12 swans glide graciously through the water, satisfied with their choice of nesting place.

The water at Oljehamnen is 13.5 metres deep, and the terminal is one of Sweden's largest and most modern.

Major investment in safety
In recent years, CMP has invested heavily in new quays, loading equipment and safety at Oljehamnen. A complex system of alarms and safety equipment is in place to prevent accidents and spills. The special poplar trees planted in neat rows along the quayside were selected for their ability to "eat oil". They are here as a precautionary measure – if an accident were to occur, they would help extract oil from the groundwater.

Large pipes run along the ground beside the poplars, pumping petrol, diesel, chemicals and vacuum gas oil (VGO) from the ships across the quays and into a series of tanks. Names such as Statoil and OK are emblazoned on the warehouses along the quay. These warehouses are owned and operated by various oil companies, as well as by storage companies like Scandinavian Tank Storage (STS). CMP has eight quays and pipelines at its disposal in Malmö, and is also responsible for maintenance and safety.

Fuelling the airport
Liquid bulk is processed through Prøvestenen, south of the capital, before being sold in the Greater Copenhagen area. Aviation fuel, for example, arrives by ship at Prøvestenen and is then supplied, via pipelines that run both above and below ground, to Copenhagen Airport.

Prøvestenen has 834,000 m2 of land at its disposal, and a tank capacity of approximately 1 million m3. The water depth at the terminal is max. 12 metres.

The annual turnover of oil at CMP's terminals is close to 7,000,000 tons. The amount of oil passing over the quays last year was 3,940,000 tons in Malmö and 3,240,000 tons in Prøvestenen.


Trees that eat oil
Trees that "eat oil" are often planted at sites where oil leaks might hypothetically occur. This special kind of poplar is capable of a process called phytosanitation – the decontamination of soil by plants. In Oljehamnen, they have been planted in long rows along the quays. Should a leak occur here, the trees will help to purify the groundwater. The chances of a leak are very low, but CMP is committed to looking after the environment. The project was initiated by the company Flygfältsbyrån, and is partially sponsored by other companies in the port.

Vacuum gas oil
Vacuum gas oil (VGO) comes from Russia, and is trans-shipped or stored in Malmö for further transport across the Atlantic to America. Ships from Sweden, Denmark, Greece and many other countries are used for this purpose. In the USA, the oil is used to produce petrol.
Vacuum gas oil is a residue product that congeals if it is not stored at 60 degrees. Only a limited number of Russian refineries are able to process it.


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