The Firmeza, which has shipped 44,000 tonnes of Brazilian soybean meal from the Port of Rio Grande (do Sul), is currently being discharged at the Port of Koper . This is the largest ever volume of soya unloaded from a single vessel at Luka Koper. Soybean meal - the remains of flaked soybean following the extraction of oil - is used in animal feed mixtures.
This shipment from was imported by the Rome-based Nidera s.p.a., part of the Nidera group, a multinational agribusiness enterprise, established by a consortium of cereals traders in Rotterdam in 1920. Over the years, the company established its own global trading network in agricultural products and opened offices in 22 countries worldwide. Marcello Carlomagno, commercial director of the Italian subsidiary commented on his company’s choice of Koper as a European entrepot for its soybean meal imports: “Luka Koper has been our business partner for some time, and we are very pleased with the services provided. We expect that the extent of our co-operation will increase in the future.”
Nidera is marketing the soya arriving at Koper to its Central European clients, most of whom are in , though some Slovene stockbreeders also count among them. The Koper-based cereals logistics provider S.A.GE.M is also participating in this huge operation, and this year a record volume of soymeal is anticipated to pass through the Port of Koper.
Built in in 1986, the Firmeza, which transported this record cargo across the Atlantic to Koper, sails under a Panamanian flag. The 195-metre long and 32-metre wide vessel has a total deadweight capacity of 45,747 tonnes. Under favourable weather conditions unloading can be completed in five days, though in the event of rain operations are suspended as moisture is harmful to the cargo. Unloading is taking place at the Bulk Cargo Terminal on the northern side of Pier I. Quayside cranes lift the cargo from the vessel’s holds and into an enclosed transport system, where conveyor belts simultaneously transport the product to the warehouse located beneath the roofs of the two flat stores at the Terminal. The total capacity of soya storage amounts to 80,000 tonnes, although cargo rapidly and expediently leaves the port for hinterland markets; indeed, several thousand tonnes are loaded onto trucks daily.
Prior to the arrival of the Firmeza, the record for a single cargo of soya was held by the Michalakis, which brought 41,074 tonnes of soya to the Port of Koper on 18th July this year. Andraž Novak, Head of Luka Koper’s Bulk Cargo Terminal, is pleased at the present pace of operations: “Soya throughput growth is being achieved despite the recession, and we anticipate some 620,000 tonnes in 2010, which is a year-on increase of nearly ten percent.” In addition to soya, cereals, minerals, ore and alumina are handled by the Bulk Cargo Terminal. Last year, the aggregate volume of these commodities stood at to 1,407,972 tonnes.