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Cementing Relationships: Cargoship Trades on Former Ireland-UK Guinness Route

25th April 2017

#Cementships - A cement cargoship due to dock in Dublin Port today from Runcorn on the Manchester Ship Canal is where until the early 1990’s Guinness imported to the UK using their own stout tankers, writes Jehan Ashmore.

That trade in transporting Guinness by custom-built ships, The Lady Patricia and Miranda Guinness were replaced by road-tankers, however the Irish connection with Runcorn remains with Ecocem. The Irish-owned company manufactures low-carbon cement products and just over a year ago they opened a new terminal in Runcorn to increase imports to a booming UK market.

An example of this Irish Sea trade is the Cemgulf (2001/3,925grt) a cement-carrier that is to berth at Dublin’s Deepwater Berth, from where Ecocem also export products across Europe. The appearance of this cement-carrier resembles somewhat that of the Guinness ship, The Lady Patricia (see photo). That been the cargo deck amidships structure that was added during conversion following removal of deck-mounted cranes.

The Cypriot flagged Cemgulf has pneumatic loading and self-discharging equipment, though the vessel launched as general cargoship Bornholm was converted in 2006. Fleetmates of Cemgulf that also call to Dublin are operated by German owner, Baltrader Capital GmbH & Co. KG of Hamburg.

On arrival of Cemgulf, the ship is to berth close to Ecocem’s production plant in Ringsend at a site on Pigeon House Road. The state of the art 8,000sqm facility manufacturers GGBS or ground granulated blastfurnace slag cement. Also located nearby at Poolbeg is the new Covanta Energy Ireland incinerator plant that yesterday took its first delivery of waste.

As regards to cement products they are supplied to a range of sectors and not just land-based but marine-engineering projects that are exposed to more severe environments. Marine projects that have used such specialist cements have included the development of the new Greystones Harbour. An example in the UK is the Redcar Sea Defence Units on the Kent coast.

Published in Dublin Port
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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