Vale Takes Delivery of Second 400,000-ton VLOC

Mike Schuler
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September 23, 2011

Brazilian mining giant Vale SA said Friday it has taken delivery of its second very large iron ore carrier, or VLOC, from Daewoo Shilpbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. in Busan, South Korea.

The ship, named Vale Rio de Janeiro, is the latest in a group of seven ore carriers with an astounding 400,000-ton capacity ordered from the South Korean shipyard.  The first vessel in the series, Vale Brasil, was delivered earlier this year and is currently in operation.

The third vessel in the series, named Vale Italia, will be delivered in late October, and will be used mainly to carry iron ore from Brazil to the Italian port of Taranto.

Vale is currently taking various initiatives to obtain economies of scale.  The commissioned vessels will be part of the efficient logistics solution between the company’s maritime terminals in Brazil and European and Asian customers. The ore carriers have a high standard of safety and will contribute to reducing the cost of long haul maritime transportation of iron ore to steelmakers.  The design enables faster loading and unloading, is suitable for the most modern ports in the world, and produces 35% less carbon emissions per ton of ore transported.

“Our goal is to have a dedicated fleet for part of our exports, a fleet which is more efficient, environmentally friendly, with higher standards of operational safety and contribute largely to reduce the freight volatility in the market,” Vale’s marketing, sales and strategy executive director Jose Carlos Martins said in the statement.

In total, Vale has ordered 19 400,000-ton ships from shipyards including DSME, Rongsheng Shipbuilding in China and Heavy Industries Shipyard, also in China. Vale will have an additional 16 ships with the same dimensions, which will operate exclusively for the company under long-term contracts signed with ship owner partners. These 35 ships are due to be delivered between 2011 and 2013.

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