Wednesday, 30 November 2011

REUTERS: China ports not ready to receive Vale's mega ships

Another piece in the complex puzzle that is China. Reuters has reported that China’s ports are not ready for Vale’s (now) 380,000 DWT ore carriers. Debunking this myth is the fact that the ore carrier ‘Berge Stahl’ (364,000 DWT) has called at the Chinese ore ports of Dalian, Majishan and Qingdao seven times since 2006 (from Lloyds Intelligence Network). No-one in China appears to be giving a definitive ‘No’. However, to Vale’s detriment, no one is saying ’Yes’ either.

The Antipodean Mariner

REUTERS 28th November 2011

China’s National Development and Reform Commission says China ports not ready to receive Vale's mega ships

SHANGHAI Nov 28 (Reuters) - Chinese ports are not yet ready to receive Vale's mega iron ore carriers due to a few "small issues" in handling the world's largest dry bulk vessels, an official with the National Development and Reform Commission said on Monday.

Vale, the world's largest iron ore producer, is spending billions of dollars to build an unprecedented fleet of very large ore carriers (VLOCs) to transport the steel-making ingredient to China and other major consumers.

The Brazilian mining firm has received at least three of the huge ships this year, sending them to Italy and Oman as it awaits the lifting of travel restrictions to its biggest market, China.
"Chinese ports are not entirely ready for accepting Vale's carriers due to some facilities and technical issues," said Luo Ping, head of the transportation planning division at the NDRC's Institution of Comprehensive Transportation.

Among the issues still unresolved is how the VLOCs will be safely guided into the ports.
Vale can also submit applications for each mega ship to local maritime authorities, who will then decide on whether the ports can receive them or not, Luo said on the sidelines of an industry conference.

Vale plans to operate as many as 35 VLOCs before the end of 2013, as it ramps up iron ore production to 469 million tonnes by 2015 from 308 million last year.

China, which buys around two thirds of seaborne iron ore cargoes to feed the world's largest steel industry, will add 390 million tonnes of large-scale iron ore port capacity and build an extra 440 deepwater berths by 2015, the NDRC official said.

Reporting by Ruby Lian, Writing by Randy Fabi; Editing by Miral Fahmy

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