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The four bulk carriers are to fulfil its 10-year iron ore shipping contract with BHP Billiton that was signed in December 2012, Shandong Shipping said in a recent announcement.

The four vessels will increase Shandong Shipping’s total handling capacity to 2.36 million dwt, it said.

Qingdao Beihai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry, established in 1898, is one of the large key shipyards under the China Shipbuilding Industry Corp.