Valemax docks at Chinese port for first time in 2 years

A 400,000-deadweight-tonne dry bulk cargo ship arrived at China’s Qingdao port on Wednesday July 1, the first Valemax vessel to dock at a Chinese port in more than two years.

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The Yuan Zhuohai, owned by China Ore Shipping, is one of four very large ore carriers (VLOCs) that Vale sold to China Ocean Shipping (Cosco) for $445 million in May. The other three vessels, named Yuan Zhenhai, Yuan Jianhai and Yuan Shihai, are yet to be delivered.

China Ore Shipping is a 51:49 joint venture between Cosco and China Shipping Development.

The Brazilian miner is chartering the VLOCs from Cosco for a period of 25 years.

Until February this year, China had banned the docking of fully laden Valemaxes on safety concerns. That month, the ban was lifted following an amendment to port regulations by the country’s transport ministry.

The last time a Valemax docked at a Chinese port was in April 2013. The vessel, which docked at Lianyungang port in eastern China, was only partially loaded.

Qingdao Port is one of the largest iron ore ports in China and its Dongjiakou Port Area has berths to accommodate 400,000-dwt VLOCs.

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