Porto Pim Whale Factory

The whale factory is a remarkably complete example of a plant to extract oil and byproducts from whales in the Azores, 1,400km west of the Portuguese mainland. It was built by the Sociedade Industrial Marítima Açoreana and began operation in 1942. In the next 30 years it processed 1,940 sperm whales and produced 44,000 drums of oil for use as a fuel and lubricant. It closed in 1974. In 2000 it reopened as the Centro do Mar. The courtyard of buildings is close to the sea and whales were winched up a ramp into the courtyard to be cut up. The blubber was rendered down in stoves and the oil was kept in underground tanks. To make fertilizer and additives for animal food, the meat and bones were ground, cooked, dried and passed through hoppers for bagging. Two boilers were fuelled by wood and produced steam for the stoves and driers. Diesel engines and belt-drives powered grinders, squeezers and conveyors. The equipment was made in Norway by Myrens Verksted and the diesel engines were made in Germany by Deutz. A complete whale skeleton is on display.

Porto Pim Whale Factory
Fábrica da Baleia de Porto Pim
Monte da Guia
9900-124 Horta
+351 (0) 292 - 292140