Scrap metal from Portsmouth makes trek across the globe
Jan 13, 2013 (Foster's Daily Democrat - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The dots on this map represent locations where ships carrying scrap metal from Portsmouth were tracked during the last 18 months. Vessel traffic was heavier in darker areas. The graphic was created using a combination of public logs from the New Hampshire Division of Ports and Harbors and AIS vessel tracking data. The basemap was provided by Google Maps. Data was processed using CartoDB.
PORTSMOUTH -- While growing up on the coast of New Hampshire, Christian Salinder developed a natural curiosity about the massive cargo ships that stop by the city's working port on a regular basis.
A Dover High School alumnus, Salinder also studied at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, and later sailed aboard large oil tankers on the West Coast.
Living back in the Portsmouth area once again, Salinder has recently been keeping an eye on some of the cargo ships arriving to load up scrap metal.
The task has been made easier by a website called marinetraffic.com, where a network of shipping enthusiasts contribute information about the global movements of large vessels.
Salinder recently began tracking the journeys of two ships that stopped at the scrap yard in Portsmouth, hoping to find out where they would unload their cargo.
He discovered that one -- the IVS Kite -- traveled to Turkey, unloading cargo in a place called Iskenderun, north of the Syrian border. Another ship called the Hudson Bay, which departed from the Portsmouth scrap yard this month -- is also destined for Iskenderun, he believes.
So Salinder began to wonder why both vessels were charting a common course, and where the scrap metal culled from around the Seacoast would ultimately wind up.
If the Hudson Bay does unload its cargo in Turkey, it will have traveled a path across the Atlantic Ocean used by numerous ships before it.
Since July 2011, all but one of the 14 carrier ships that picked up scrap metal in Portsmouth traveled to the shoreline of Turkey, or nearby it, according to a Foster's Sunday Citizen analysis of public vessel tracking data and information maintained by the New Hampshire Division of Ports and Harbors.
Turkey currently tops the list of major scrap-importing economies, followed by Korea, China, Taipei, India and Egypt.
The demand is largely driven by steel production. After a decade of growth, Turkish steelmakers ramped up their production even higher in 2011, according to a recent OECD report. Production of steel from scrap grew 14 percent that year.
Turkey sources its material mainly from the European Union and the United States. An export boom has been under way in the US, and that demand for scrap has been evident in New Hampshire.
Recycled scrap was the state's tenth leading export in 2012.
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