Salt from Torrevieja saves Iceland from winter chaos”

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salt Torrevieja

From Torrevieja, located on the Costa Blanca, salt plays a key role in keeping Icelandic roads navigable during harsh winters.

This year, the port authorities of Torrevieja expect to ship a whopping 15,500 tons of salt to Northern European countries experiencing heavy snowfall. The ‘Kristella’ ship is is transporting the salt to Iceland and will arrive in Hafnarfjordur, Iceland’s second-largest city, after a nine-day journey, carrying 4,800 tons of salt.

Tourists love Torrevieja for its unique pink lagoon. From this lagooon, 800,000 tons of salt are extracted annually. That is similar to the salt concentrations of the Dead Sea. The salt companies export ost of this salt to the United States and Northern European countries.

An efficient salt expedition

The latest salt shipment departed from the port of Torrevieja on December 29. It took only 24 hours to load the ship, thanks to advanced technologies facilitating the transport of salt from the salt pans to the port.

Why salt from Torrevieja?

Many European countries rely on Torrevieja’s sea salt to combat road ice due to its low residue after thawing. Moreover, Torrevieja’s port can load more than five thousand tons of salt in 24 hours.

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Annually, about 100 ships arrive in Torrevieja to load salt for Northern European countries. The demand for salt increases during particularly harsh winters. An example is the winter in 2017 when Reykjavik was hit by a historic snowfall of 60 centimetres. Furthermore, the storm of 2020, forcing importers to turn to other markets for their urgent needs.

Salt extraction dates back to Roman times

The salt extraction, situated at the Laguna de La Mata, has a long and rich history dating back to Roman times (1st century BC). Although there are no written sources until the 13th century, the historical context suggests a long tradition of salt extraction in this area.

It wasn’t until 1803 that the industrial exploitation of Torrevieja’s salt lagoon began. Since then, production has undergone significant development, from an almost artisanal model to the modern facilities used today.

European giant in salt production

The Salinas de Torrevieja are the largest salt producer in Europe. The annual production goes up to more than 600,000 tons of salt. Furthermore, their extraction methods are unique in the world. The use of floating means for salt extraction ensures that the water level in both the Laguna de La Mata and the Laguna de Torrevieja is maintained throughout the year.

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