Wednesday, 30 March 2011

'Vale Brasil' - 400,000 DWT Very Large Ore Carrier

For the followers of Capesize bulk carriers, the Brazilian iron ore giant Vale (formerly CVRD) has created waves with their game-changing 400,000 DWT Very Large Ore Carriers (VLOC). In conjunction with traditional Ship Owners and Sovereign Wealth Funds, Vale has commissioned as many as 35 VLOC's of between 388,000 and 400,000 DWT to be built at Yards in China and Korea. With Vale's freight penalty betwen Brazil and Australia to China currently running at $12.50 per tonne (and this is in an unsustainably low freight market), the Brazilian's strategy is to effectively remove their exposure to freight market fluctuations. In the pre-GFC spot market, when Capes were earning $200,000 a day time-charter equivalent, the freight differential reached over $35 per tonne - all lost sales margin again the better geographically positioned Australian exporters. The impact of this rapid introduction of 14M DWT of capacity, or put another way the loss of over 380 Capesize cargoes annually from the freight market strikes fear into the heart of Capesize Owners who 'super-sized' at the peak of the shipbuilding boom. Vale's first VLOC is the 'Vale Brasil', which takes over the 'Berge Stahl's (364,000 DWT) mantle of the largest dry bulk carrier afloat and in service.

Vale Brasil

Photos are of 'Vale Brasil' undergoing sea trials in Korea. Ironically, it has been South Korea's Daewoo Shipyard which has beaten China's Rongsheng to deliver the first vessel, despite over a year's headstart by Rongsheng. 'Vale Brasil' is scheduled to load her first Brazilian ore cargo in May 2011.

IMO Number 9488918
DWT 400,000 tonnes
GRT 200,000
Speed (knots) 14.8
Draught (m) 23.00 (75.46 ft)
Depth Moulded (m) 30.40 (99.74 ft)
Breadth (m) 65.00 (213.25 ft)
Length 362.00 (1,187.66 ft) (LO)
Class Society Det Norske Veritas
Engine MAN-B&W 7S80ME-C8
Power 27,162 (Kw)

Vale Brasil trials

Vale Brasil sunset

News is circulating of long delays at Rongsheng and the reported scrapping of some hull blocks due to problems with blasting and painting.

The Antipodean Mariner
30th March 2010

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Hull PN65 - The birth of a Capesize

Back to blogging after a long layoff (and a lot of guilt for not maintaining fresh material). With a view to keeping content 'fresh' for the next year or so, I'm blogging the birth of our first Capesize bulk carrier. The Antipodean Mariner's company went to the shipbuilding markets in late 2009 as the first glimmers of post-GFC recover were flickering. The container ship market was in complete meltdown, with ships being cancelled or deferred left, right and centre. Our requirement was for a series of Capesize bulkers for deployment in our iron ore and coal trades, and the 205,000 DWT NewcastleMax were assessed as best in class.

205,000 DWT Capesize

Developed by the Japanese yards for the domestic steel mills, these vessel can be regularly tracked alternating between the west and east Coast of Australia with iron ore and coking coal. The Yard which won the business had held a healthy order book of mega-container ships up until the 2009 crash. With the collapse of the financial structures behind these vessels, the cupboard was suddenly bare. The Yard turned to bulk carriers to maintain production at its facility and employment for its workforce.

HHIC-Phil Subic

The vessels will be 300m LOA by 50m beam and 18.4m summer draft. Electronically-controlled slow-speed diesel main engines have been specified for best performance under MARPOL Tier II regulations. The technical team managing the design process are incorporating features to make the vessels productive, easy to operate and a nice place to live and work.

PN065 cutting steel

Steel cutting for the first vessel, PN065, was in February and her progress will be reported regulary in this blog. PN065 is the first of eight identical vessels which will be built in a single dock. The first two will be laid down at the front of the dock and built side-by-side, with the second pair immediately behind them. As each pair are floated out, the pair behind will be floated forward and the next two
started. Sea trials and deliveries commence in 2011.

HHIC Subic dock

More to follow...

And by the way, I bought another bike for touring. The Street Triple is a hot 'point and shoot' but is a lonely trip without my pillion buddy.


Antipodean Mariner
March 2011