At the top of portal cranes
An Open Day was held in Dunaújváros port last Thursday. We were watching the different activities from the quay and also from high above, from the crane operator's cabin.
As part of the the Logistics Day, a series of programmes originating from Germany and organized in Hungary for the first time by the (MLBKT) (Hungarian Society for Logistics, Inventory and Purchasing), a programme was organized in ISD PORTOLAN Ltd. port in Dunaújváros. The invitation to those interested (students, people with technical background and interest, professionals) was announced on the Internet. The programme was attended by groups of children from local kindergartens and students arriving from local primary schools and secondary schools. Since the media was only represented by iho.hu , we were able to talk with Gyula Szabó, Director of the port operated by ISD PORTOLAN about the port's activity in detail.
The port is operated on the opposite bank of the bay on the Danube, facing a popular green park of Dunaújváros. So far most inhabitants of the town have only been able to enjoy the view of the huge industrial establishments in the port from this bank of the river.
Dunaújváros port is operated by ISD Portolan Ltd., a logistical company of key significance in the region. The primary task of the company is to provide forwarding services for ISD DUNAFERR Group by road, rail and water.
The annual loading and unloading capacity of the port is 3.2 million tons. In the working schedule applied currently (two alternating shifts) appr. 1.4-1.6 million tons are loaded/unloaded: appr. 700-800 thousand tons for the Ironworks, the rest is typically grain, fertilizer and also, every month, some one-off orders. As far as the latter type of services is concerned, two recent jobs are worth mentioning by all means: presses delivered for the Mercedes plant in Kecskemét (transshipment from river units on trucks) and a boat of Balatoni Hajózás Zrt. (lifting on a trailer).
View from the operator's cabin in a portal crane
Typical jobs for the Ironworks are: unloading coal/iron ore from river units and loading finished steel products into barges and vessels. In 2011, 560 thousand tons of coal (half of the quantity required by the Coke plant, a subsidiary of the Inroworks) was transshipped from river units into railway wagons in the port. Coal arrives from mines in the US and in Australia and is transshipped into river units on the Danube in Constanta. Iron ore arrives in less volumes: in 2011, 150 thousand tons were transshipped and further carried to the Ironworks. Iron ore typically arrives by rail from mines in Russia and the Ukraine (transshipment into normal gauge railway wagons at Záhony) or from ports on the Adriatic sea (entering Hungary via Gyékényes border crossing). Coal arriving at the port by water is further carried to the Ironworks also by rail: the port and the plant are connected by a railway siding routed along a spectaluar countryside to the north of the town.
In addition to raw materials, finished products manufactured in the Ironworks are also loaded at the trimodal junction in the port. Last year a total of 1.7 million tons of finished products were dispatched from the Ironworks, out of which 310 thousand tons were loaded in the port. Sheets, profiles and steel coils arrive from the Ironworks by rail (in Tams and Shimms wagons) and are transshipped into vessels by portal cranes.
In the afternoon we could see hot rolled coils (913 tons) arrive at the port in a train pulled by a locomotive 'Sergey 332'.
Major data of the port: seven portal cranes, two industrial sidings along the crane tracks (560 m each), six berths for vessels and barges. Berthing is arranged by the company's own boxer, MS Péter, which is occasionally operated at nearby ports as well (Dunavecse, Adony and Dunaföldvár). If required, the boxer is also used for breaking the ice (up to a width of 1-2 cm). When ice is thicker, the pusher type vessels that have brought along barges to the port and happen to be in the port at the time are contracted to break the ice. Preventing the formation of continuous sheet-ice, however, is undoubtedly the best method of de-icing. Unless it is necessary, special ice-breakers are not contracted their charges are rather high.
Boxer 'MS Péter'
ISD PORTOLAN Ltd. is a member of the Association of Hungarian Danube Ports established not long ago. The members of the Association represent, with the exception of Dunaföldvár, all the significant Danube ports in Hungary. Their annual turnover (loading/unloading) is 6 million tons, total revenue 30 billion HUF, number of employees: 1,200-1,300 people. It is a well-known fact that shipment by water (and the related port activities) is a most effective and, at the same time, the most environment friendly method of transportation. Despite this, very few investments are made into the maintenance and upkeep of the waterways. Last year there was low water on the Danube on 151 days. On these days max. 60% of the capacity of the river units could be used. From the point of view of navigation, the worst section of the Black Sea-North Sea waterway is Hungary.
As a study by the VITUKI (Water Resources Research Centre) concludes, jobs priority number one in upkeeping the Hungarian Danube section are as follows: corrections in the river bed, thorough river dredging, establishment of special water structures. A number of benefits are offered by the Danube. However, none of these benefits, which are even of more importance than easy navigation along the waterway, are utilized today. If river barrages were built, ground water level, critically low today, would increase and we could make the necessary preparations for a (near?) future when the price of drinking water reaches exorbitant heights. Agriculture would also benefit and, of course, navigation would also be smoother and more reliable.
Click on a photo to view our photo-gallery about a typical working day in the port: vessels/barges, trains and trucks being loaded/discharged as seen from high above, from the crane operator.s cabin.