Vale VLOC docks in Japan for first time

One of Vale’s Valemax ships docked at Nippon Steel’s port of Oita on Monday June 18, marking the first arrival in Japan of a VLOC – the world’s biggest ore carriers, able to transport as much as 400,000 tonnes.

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The vessel, Berge Aconcagua, was the seventh Valemax ore carrier to be completed, according to a statement from the Brazilian mining group.

This was the maiden voyage of the ship, which belongs to Norwegian company Bergesen Worldwide (BW Group).

Vale has not yet gained official access to Chinese ports for its Valemax iron ore carriers, and Luiz Meriz, president of Vale China, has said that admittance of the vessels into China is a “technical issue” and depends on the depth of port channels and the capacity of terminals.

Dalian Port in Liaoning Province and Dongjiakou Port in Shandong Province can handle VLOCs.

Vale currently uses Subic Bay in the Philippines as a distribution point for its Valemax shipments, transferring iron ore from the big carriers to smaller ships for distribution to China and other markets in Asia.

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