Mining company Vale has signed a contact with Rongsheng Shipbuilding and Heavy Industries of China to build 12 carries valued at $ 1.6b to transport iron ore to , the Brazilian company has announced.
The very large ore carriers (VLOC) each have capacity to carry 400,000 metric tons, said Vale, and the shipbuilding order is part of the firm’s plan to maximize efficiency if its operations in the iron ore market, a strategy including using longer freight trains with 330 wagons and more efficient locomotives.
Vale said its has decided to create a sea transport fleet dedicated to the Brazil-Asia route as this region will contribute most to growth of global demand for iron ore.
The first ore carriers will enter service early 2011 and the rest of the fleet will be delivered to Vale at the end of 2012. The mining company’s investment in the ships is additional to the US$ 59 billion planned for 2008-2012.