According to the State Meteorological Agency, an area of 41,000 square kilometres of northern Spain, around 8% of the country, has been covered by a white blanket of snow following last weekend’s storms
Many areas were quickly covered by snow and ice, especially the province of Ávila and Segovia, a good part of Guadalajara, Soria and north of Madrid. Areas of Cuenca and Teruel were also affected, as were all of the country’s mountain systems.
Whilst not good news for the areas affected the sudden downfalls were a boost to the local, especially, Torrevieja, economies because of the urgent need for salt, a lot of it.
Local experts can be found at the Torrevieja saltworks where, this week, according to Operations Director Joseph Pérez, five thousand tons of special salt will be moved by road, to municipalities in northern Spain.
And next week there will be another five thousand tons transported north. That means the arrival and despatch of almost fifty large trucks, twice the usual number, every day.
The Torrevieja saltworks main customers, all belonging to Salins España, are subcontracted companies which are engaged in the maintenance of public highways and toll roads through private concessionaires.
But the product is also exported throughout Europe, often by sea, because the capacity for it’s movement by boat much higher.
In the case of the Torrevieja saltworks, the company guarantees only a short stay in the port, something that is possible thanks to the special salt transport system across a conveyor belt system of almost two kilometres, that connects the port facilities with the salt yards, This solution lowers costs and, more importantly, allows movement and loading of the goods at their destination in far less time.
This week 60,000 tons of salt is currently being loaded from the Torrevieja salt port, all destined for the same use and destination, the thawing of roads across northern Europe and the British Isles.
Those agencies purchasing salt for the thaw already have a stockpile of salt which they maintain annually. The salt works distribute between three and four thousand tons of salt by road transport almost every week of the year, from August to August. Only in situations like the current freeze is there a need to increase those stockpiles.
The company has only been able to meet the demand because it has managed to recover from the disastrous impact that it suffered during the torrential rains of late 2016 and early 2017 and it now expects to end the year with a production total of over 450,000 tons.