Backman-Trummer Group

Trans Port 1/2011

New long-term agreement for shipping iron oxide at the Port of Kokkola

Yara Suomi Oy and Backman- Trummer’s subsidiary Oy M. Rauanheimo Ab have agreed to continue their cooperation for shipments of iron oxide. The new agreement is an extension of the previous three-year contract. It mainly comprises temporary storage and reloading of iron oxide from Yara’s Siilinjärvi plant at the Port of Kokkola for shipment to China and will be in effect until 2018. Iron oxide is hauled by rail from Siilinjärvi to Kokkola, where it is unloaded, stored temporarily and then reloaded in consignments of 65,000 – 75, 000 tonnes onto vessels of the Panamax class. Iron oxide is transported to Kokkola on three non-stop trains per day with a combined capacity of ap- proximately 5000 tonnes. Cargoes are shipped seasonally, between May and December. At maximum capacity this means shipments at intervals of 2 to 3 weeks.

Iron oxide is a by-product of the sulphuric acid industry and is used as a raw material in the manufac- ture of steel because of its high iron content. Further processing has become profitable due to the rapid rise in market prices for steel in recent years. There are stocks of some eight million tonnes of iron oxide at the Siilinjärvi plant and 200,000 additional tonnes are produced annually. Lasse Oksanen, operative director of Yara Finland, considers it extremely positive that this by-product, which was former- ly considered worthless, can now be put to further use. The logistics solution chosen is the best possible in his opinion.

“We have long traditions of co- operation with the Port of Kokkola and Rauanheimo. They provideus with a functional and Oksanencost-effi- cient logistics chain that allows the trains to make the trip from the Siilinjärvi plant to Kokkola and back in one day. Longer runs would require increased invest- ment in railway rolling stock,” says Oksanen. 

auanheimo has made careful preparations for cargo handling at the Port of Kokkola in the future, explains Rauanheimo’s managing director Joakim Laxåback.

“Together with VR Transpoint, we have developed new solutions especially for this product. In transport we use tailor-made con- tainers and forklift trucks designed especially for this purpose,” he explains.

Yara Suomi, which is part of the Norwegian group Yara International ASA, sells and markets mul- ti-nutrient fertilizes to agriculture. The company’s products are also used in industry and environmen- tal protection and it has operated under the name Yara since 2008. It was previously known as Kemira GrowHow.