Nynäs Asfalt

Hisingen in Gothenburg is where asphalt is made for a new road surface on Inchbonny Bridge in Scotland.

Every year, Swedish oil producer Nynas exports large quantities of bitumen to Europe. Bitumen is an oil product that is mixed with crushed stone to create asphalt. It is used, for instance, to surface roads in Scotland. The journey begins at a refinery near the Port of Gothenburg.

Day
1
Day
1

From oil to bitumen

Bitumen is made from imported crude oil. It is pumped from tanker vessels in the Port of Gothenburg to the Nynas refinery where it is distilled to create various products. At the very top of the distillation tower, lighter oil products are extracted, such as petrol and diesel. Lower down it is the heavier products that are extracted, and at the very bottom are the residues – bitumen.

  • Greener asphalt
    Nynas leads the way in the drive to reduce environmental impact in the roadbuilding industry. The focus is on everything from products for quiet asphalt that generates less noise, to products that permit road construction at low ambient temperatures. Certain technologies allow energy recovery and carbon dioxide emissions drop by as much as 30 per cent.
  • Sweden’s only producer of bitumen
    Nynas is a Swedish company that makes special oils, and is Sweden’s only supplier of bitumen. About 75 people work at the refinery in Gothenburg, supplying petroleum products. All told Nynas has about 860 employees at its refineries all over the world.
  • Bitumen is pumped from the refinery to the dock via a network of pipes.

  • 170degrees C

    The pipes must be at a minimum of 170 degrees C so the product flows easily.

Day
2
Day
2

From pipe to ship

In the Port of Gothenburg, the bitumen is pumped directly on board the tanker ship. The vessel is almost 110 metres long and can carry 6000 cubic metres. The ship is heated so that the bitumen does not coagulate during the voyage.

  • Scandinavia’s largest general energy port
    The energy port in Gothenburg is Scandinavia’s largest general energy port. Every year, 2500 tanker vessels call in and half the crude oil that enters Sweden arrives here. In the port there are several refineries and bunker operators. All told more than 20 million tonnes of oil and other energy products are handled here every year.
  • Variety of energy
    The refineries in the energy port supply various products for Swedish and overseas industries. In addition to bitumen, there is petrol, diesel, liquefied petroleum gas, chemicals, aviation fuel, propane, propylene, heating oils, heavy oil, fuel oil, ethanol, tall oil and other bio-oils. The proportion of renewable energy alternatives has increased significantly in recent years.
  • The ship with its cargo of bitumen sails to Dundee in Scotland.

  • 12knots

    The ship sails at 12 knots and the trip across the North Sea takes one and a half days.

Day
4
Day
4

Docking in the Port of Dundee

The Port of Dundee lies on the east coast of Scotland. Here the ship ties up to the pier just below Nynas's own depot. The bitumen is then delivered via heated pipes from the ship directly to the depot.

  • From the port in Dundee the bitumen is transported by tanker trucks to end-customers.

  • At the customer, the bitumen is mixed with crushed stone to form asphalt.

Day
10
Day
10

Time to lay asphalt

The finished asphalt is applied to roads in Scotland. One example is this bridge outside Jedburgh, about an hour south of Edinburgh.

Summary

A climate-smart route

The bitumen cargo travels 1030 kilometres. All told, 28 kg of carbon dioxide is emitted per tonne of bitumen during transport. 83 per cent of the trip takes place by climate-smart sea freight. The total carbon dioxide emission from transport of the bitumen to the road construction site in Scotland corresponds to the emissions from one month of traffic on that same road.

Just imagine...

If the bitumen had been transported by truck, it would only have made it one-third of the journey for the same carbon dioxide emissions. Which means a road in Roskilde, Denmark, would have had a nice new surface – while Jedburgh would wait forever for its road.

SHOW ALL EXPORTSUCCESSES

Read about another journey