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Oil tanker at Gothenburg harbor. Source: Mikael – stock.adobe.com.

Safe and Environmentally Friendly Loading and Unloading of Tankers in the Port of Gothenburg

130 direct services to destinations in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and North America: The Port of Gothenburg is the biggest in Scandinavia and the gateway to the world for a large part of Swedish industry. More than 11,000 ships call at the port every year, including many tankers. The aim during the loading and unloading of tankers is to prevent hydrocarbon vapors from escaping. This is where Busch Vacuum Technology comes into play: in a vapor recovery unit that captures hydrocarbons.

The Port of Gothenburg is classified as one of the world’s greenest ports. It is actively working to minimize the impact of maritime operations on the environment and to contribute to sustainable transportation. For this reason, the Port of Gothenburg takes extra precautions to minimize the amount of hydrocarbon vapors that could be released into the atmosphere during the loading and unloading of tankers. This is achieved through vapor recovery.

Vapor recovery is the adsorption of hydrocarbon vapors using activated carbon regenerated under vacuum. The vacuum unit collects the vapors that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. The vapor is turned into liquid and returned to the transport tank of the ship. In addition to the main objective of avoiding emissions, vapor recovery is also used for safety reasons and to prevent major fuel losses.

The vacuum pump previously used in the vapor recovery unit at the Port of Gothenburg was very old and needed maintenance. However, spare parts were no longer available, and the port's managers were looking for a better solution for vapor recovery during the loading and unloading of the tankers. Since the unit is in permanent and daily use, a replacement had to be found as soon as possible. The vacuum experts from Busch recommended a DOLPHIN liquid ring vacuum pump. Thanks to their preparation and support, the old vacuum pump was removed, and the DOLPHIN was installed in the vacuum unit. The changeover took place within two days from stop to restart.

The new vacuum solution has a larger capacity. Therefore, it ensures better recovery of hydrocarbon vapors and, thus, better protection of the environment. The process is highly reliable for the Port of Gothenburg and the loaded and unloaded tankers. The new DOLPHIN liquid ring vacuum pump from Busch even showed another benefit when in operation. It is significantly quieter than the previous solution. This makes working close to the vapor recovery unit much more comfortable for the employees. The customer is very satisfied with the new vacuum solutions and informed the Busch sales representative that it works perfectly and is more efficient than the previous one. The tankers can now be loaded and unloaded in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.