Brazilian Vale Mulls Fleet Expansion

Brazilian Vale Mulls Fleet Expansion

Brazilian mining giant Vale is looking to expand its shipping fleet as it eyes doubling of iron ore shipments to China, according to Jose Carlos Martins, Vale’s head of ferrous metals.

To support the export volume increase Vale is reviewing its options which include adding new extra large carriers, through ownership or leasing, the second one being more preferable option on the table, as explained by Martins.

Vale plans to export about 400 million tonnes of iron ore a year within five years, almost a double amount when compared to that of 270 million tonnes it exported in 2013.

China is interested in joining forces with Brazilian miner Vale to transfer iron ore from its huge Valemaxes onto smaller vessels, as these large vessels are banned from Chinese ports, as reported by Drewry.

The shipping partnership would save money, as moving iron ore from Valemax ships, which boast a carrying capacity of over 400k tonnes of iron ore, directly rather than transferring onto barges for discharging at Chinese ports would result in lower freight costs.

As a result of the ban, the Brazilian miner developed a transhipment terminal in the Philippines in February 2012, where the Valemaxes transfer iron ore into smaller ships bound for China. Vale is also setting up a centre for iron ore storage and distribution in Malaysia, which is expected to start operations this year.
World Maritime News Staff, August 8, 2014