Working hard (hat), or hardly working? – Day 12

Wednesday was a day filled with even more ports. We started our day at Vassiliko cement works, where we learned about a supply chain that differed from the others of the trip thus far. It differed because not only does the port ship the goods, the goods are also made there as well. Being that cement is the 3rd largest exporting product in Cyprus, this business process is crucial to the economic health of the island. Having 60 years of business, Vassiliko is the the largest heavy industry in Cyprus, as well as the largest production unit in Europe. What really caught my attention with this presentation, was how the representatives brought us through the whole supply chain process. I kept telling people the demonstration as like an episode of “How it’s made”. The speaker first talked about the quarrying process, and how the facility has 5 crushers that crush a variety of natural resources. They also explained how they had 1 crusher, silos, heaters, and many vessels of storage. It was fascinating to hear all the parts involved in making the actual product of cement, as this is a process have never really thought about and one that is very unique. 

What interested me especially, was their initiatives to have a more sustainable and eco friendly process, and how to optimize use of natural materials. Their main goal in sustainability is curb the emissions of CO2 use. One example they used to explain this was taking about how they us an alternative feeds fueling system, which is created by the  processing of local streams waste. One thing that stood out to me the representatives answers to the questions about sustainability, because I feel they were better prepared to have concert answers compared to some of the other companies. 

After the presentation, we headed out to the actual port, sporting our very stylish hard hat and vests and saw some of the production aspects in person. The main thing we were able to see was the cement conveyor belt which loaded the actual product onto the ships in order to be exported. Seeing how large this equipment was in person really put in perspective how large scale this process actually was, and the gravity of how much product is actually being produced. 

After this very informative presentation, we made our way too Zygi, where we had fish meze. This meze had the most eclectic mix of food, and I was able to try so many new foods. Some of the highlights of new foods I got to try were small fried crabs, a whole fish fried, and prawns. While all the food was delicious, once we were done with lunch it was time to walk around to see some scenery, and hop on the bus to head to our next destination, MSC ship management Limassol. 

Already at this presentation, it had a different approach than any of the other ones. While still educating us on the company, it was also approached as more of a recruitment presentation. I enjoyed this alternative presentation, as we have visited many shipping companies on the trip, and I found the speakers very enthusiastic and passionate about the company. One of the coolest things they were able to show us was their largest ship, which is also the largest ship in the world, and showing us the perspectives of how large this ship was. I would love to have been able to see this ship in person and be able to gauge just how large it actually was in comparison to us. 

After a very informative presentation, where they so kindly surprised us with pizza and cake, we headed back to the hotel. We had a delicious dinner at an American themed Mexican restaurant , I guess we were missing a slice of home. After this we headed back in a taxi, which was a giant van with seats facing each other almost like a limo, and spent the rest of the night enjoying each others company on our last night of our program. 

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