Amazing deal to sell sand to Arabs

A FELIXSTOWE-based freight company has achieved the unlikely feat of exporting sand to the Middle East.The Coals to Newcastle-type coup involves more than 3,000 tonnes of sand prepared specially for equestrian use which is being shipped by Felixstowe-based Seawing International to the United Arab Emirates.

A FELIXSTOWE-based freight company has achieved the unlikely feat of exporting sand to the Middle East.

The Coals to Newcastle-type coup involves more than 3,000 tonnes of sand prepared specially for equestrian use which is being shipped by Felixstowe-based Seawing International to the United Arab Emirates.

Seawing is part of the Mersey Docks group which owns and operates the Port of Liverpool and also has port interests on the River Medway in Kent and at Heysham in Lancashire as well as a range of shipping and forward activities.

The sand being handled by Seawing, which is destined for Dubai, is manufactured by Equestrian Surfaces, based at Burnley in Lancashire.

A total of 66 containers, each measuring 20 feet and holding 26 tonnes of sand, will have been shipped by the end of this month and a further 50 containers have been ordered for January.

Carl Day, general manager at Seawing, which operates from Gulpher Road in Felixstowe, said the company had been targeting the Middle East for business but never expected start with a contract of this nature.

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"I was amazed when we were asked to ship sand to Dubai. You would have thought they had enough of their own," he said.

"But this is a very special product, and one which represents our first big contract to the Middle East. It represents a major step in meeting our target of developing activities in that region."

It has, however, set his imagination running. "After shipping sand to the United Arab Emirates, why not snow to Alaska?" he added.

Equestrian and other sports surfaces require the use of medium to coarse sand to ensure adequate drainage; natural sand can be too fine and cause clogging. In addition, marine sand contains salt levels which can damage the surface in the long term.

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