Page 8 - Port of Hamburg | Port of Hamburg Magazine 1.2023
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  the limits of its capacity. To ensure that this remains so, since 2016 the company has been preparing for changing clients.
“In the past six years we have been able to gain new customers offering a substitute for the dwindling vol- ume of coal,” reports Hansaport CEO Ben Thurnwald. One example has been the extension of logistics into Austria that compensated for the lost volume.
“Circularity is a key topic for our main shareholder, Salzgitter,” says Thurnwald. Hansaport is also pursu- ing the resulting targets as far as it can. “Since 2017 Aurubis, for example, has been one of our new cus- tomers. Through our port facility the company has brought slags arising as a product of copper produc- tion back into the economic cycle by using them in the building materials industry and/or as blasting agents.” An initially small volume has meanwhile reached an annual one of almost 500,000 tons, grow- ing continuously.
Through this strategy – and in pursuit of the idea of re- cycling – primary and secondary building materials alike will assume growing importance for the Ham- burg location. “With this strategic adjustment, Hansaport is taking on the City of Hamburg’s respon- sibility to offer logistics solutions for major construc- tion projects that feature water and rail as ecological carriers,” stresses the CEO.
“Owing to the geopolitical situation, just now we find ourselves compelled to supply already decommis-
sioned power stations with coal to make essential en- ergy available in Germany,” continued Thurnwald. The team in Altenwerder has also managed that: “Along with Hamburg Energie, one of our customers for coal, despite current demands we have been able to adapt ingoing and outgoing logistics to enable us to make available additional quantities of coal for power sta- tions.“
Physically, switching to such new coal export coun- tries as Colombia or South Africa presents no prob- lems for Hansaport. Logistically, however, that’s diffi- cult since with full utilization and more export countries, a larger number of different stores for coal, and more storage space, are required than previ- ously.
The CEO Is nevertheless confident that “We shall also surmount this challenge. Despite Corona, our team is currently doing far and away more than in ‘normal’ years.”
In parallel, Hansaport continues to prepare “to revert to our original strategy after this special situation,” and is working on plans for future utilization for this handling facility in the Port of Hamburg. For instance, interim storage of building materials is conceivable, but also of excavated soil for major Hamburg infra- structure projects – from construction of the U5 sub- way line to the removal of the Köhlbrand Bridge. These could equally well be bulk materials for the energy transition, from silicon for battery factories to biomass for thermal power stations. “Hansaport will also play a significant part in the bulk cargo handling field in the long-term future,” stresses Thurnwald.
Seeds are also a significant cargo for the Port of Hamburg
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