Ore Pantanal Ore Fabrica vale brasil

New Maritime Additions to the Iron Ore Trade, Vale’s Ore Fabrica and Mitsui’s Tom Price

Rob Almeida
Total Views: 61
March 16, 2012

Bedeschi, an Italian company specializing in bulk loaders and unloaders gives us a first look at the Ore Fabrica, the world’s largest floating dry bulk transshipment vessel in operation off the Philippines.

As we’ve covered in the past, Brazilian mining giant, Vale S.A. has recently faced political roadblocks which have mostly prevented their fleet of 400,000 DWT iron ore carriers from entering Chinese ports and delivering their enormous cargos of Brazilian iron ore.  The now-converted Ore Fabrica was determined to be the best solution to this problem and is currently stationed in the Philippines simultaneously onloading and offloading iron ore from these mega ships into smaller vessels, such as the Capesize-bulker, Ore Pantanal.

ore fabrica pantanal vale brasil lightering
Image courtesy Bedeschi

Ship-to-ship transfer of iron ore is a rather non-standard practice, however fortunately for Vale, the folks at Bedeschi have done this before and had right equipment for the job.  Never to this scale though.

ore fabrica vale brasil pantanal
As a size comparison, the Ore Pantanal on the left is 179,000 DWT, whereas the 400,000 DWT Vale Brasil is moored on the starboard side of the Ore Fabrica. Image courtesy Bedeschi

In support of the Australian iron ore industry, and mining giant Rio Tinto, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines announced today the completion of the Tom Price, a 225,000-ton Capesize iron ore carrier built by Namura Shipbuilding Co, Imari Shipyard & Works.  The ship’s name is derived from the Tom Price mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, operated by Rio Tinto.

tom price naming rio tinto mitsui
From left is MOL Managing Executive Officer Kenichi Nagata, Second from left is Rio Tinto Executive General Manager Mr.Wayne Aitken Third from left is Rio Tinto Global Portfolio Manager Capesize Mr.Duncan White

Vessel Specifications:

  • Capacity: 226,381 DWT
  • Length: 319.58m
  • Breadth: 54.00m
  • Draft: 18.10m
  • Registry: Japan

This news from Mitsui follows their December 2011 announcement that they had ordered a newbuild capsize ore carrier from Japan’s Universal Shipbuilding that is destined for a long-term contract with Rio Tinto as well.  This new bulker however, incorporates new features that will make it nearly 20% more efficient than the Tom Price.

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