“Adapting ports to receive the giant ore carriers is a highly technical issue, to be addressed in accordance with the local and international maritime legislation, requiring detailed engineering studies and, in many cases, additional investment to train operators, reinforce berths, and conduct dredging,” the global miner said.
At the moment, Vale's VLOCs can dock at maximum capacity at the ports of Ponta da Madeira, Sohar, Taranto and Rotterdam.
Vale reiterates that its objectives are to offer an efficient and safe logistics solution for connecting the company's maritime terminals in Brazil to its Asian and European customers, reduce the cost of transporting iron ore across the seas as well as reduce freight and ore price volatility, and contribute to cutting carbon emissions per ton of ore transported.
Six VLOCs are already in operation and have already conducted 15 berthing manoeuvres for loading and unloading in six different ports in the world, with high productivity and operational safety.
Vale says that it continues to develop new alternatives for docking its vessels at new ports, following the legislation of each country, and in a cooperative manner with its customers and local authorities.
On 31 January, Port of Tubarão, in Espírito Santo state, received for the first time a giant ore carrier, Vale Rio de Janeiro, following technical studies to allow for the berthing at the port.
The schedule for delivery of 29 vessels still under construction that have been ordered direct and indirectly by Vale, of which 17 at Chinese shipyards, remains unchanged.