Vale informed reporters today that it has signed a USD $600 million agreement to sell and further charter 10 large ore carriers with Polaris Shipping Co. Ltd. Those vessels were acquired in 2009/2010 and converted from oil tankers into ore carriers, each with a capacity of approximately 300,000 DW.
In a move to step further away from the business and risk of owning and operating ships, while at the same time unlocking capital and preserving Vale’s capacity of maritime transportation of iron ore, the vessels sold will be chartered back by Vale from Polaris under long-term charter contracts
Latest “Valemax” to Dock in Philippines
The recently launched Vale Minas Gerais, which is the 14th of the Rongsheng-built Valemax series of 400,000 ton ore carriers, was recently loaded at in the Ponta da Madeira Maritime Terminal, in Maranhão state, Brazil, and will deliver the cargo to Japan’s JFE Steel at its Philippines Sinter Corp (PSC) in Mindanao. The Minas Gerais will dock at the Villanueva port in the Mindanao island in October.
JFE is one of Vale’s biggest clients.
The Valemax ships are part of Vale’s strategy to reduce the economical distance between Brazil and Asia, the main consumer market for iron ore. With the goal of maximizing the efficiency of its operations and meet global demand, Vale conducts several initiatives to achieve greater economies of scale. The vessels are part of a logistics solution linking the company’s maritime terminals in Brazil and its Asian and European clients. The very large ore carriers adhere to strict safety standards and contribute significantly towards reducing the carbon footprint in the long haul transportation of iron ore as well as to reductions in the cost of seaborne transportation of iron ore to steelmakers.
So far, the Valemax vessels have called at the ports of Tubarão and Ponta da Madeira (Brazil), Taranto (Italy), Rotterdam (Netherlands), Sohar (Oman) and Oita (Japan). They have also regularly called at Vale’s floating transfer station in Subic Bay, in the Philippines. Mindanao port becomes then a new port destination in the region. By the end of 2013, there will be a total of 35 similar vessels available to transport Vale’s iron ore – 19 owned by Vale and 16 chartered from international shipowners.