Brazil Orders Vale to Close Tubarão Iron Ore Port

Posted by Eric Haun
Thursday, January 21, 2016
Photo: Vale
A Brazilian federal court on Thursday ordered the suspension of activities at Vale SA's Port of Tubarão because of pollution concerns, halting the world's largest iron ore exporter's ability to ship more than a third of its output.
The ruling by the court in Vitoria was made as part of a police investigation at the giant man-made port as Vale comes under increasing pressure over its environmental record in Brazil after a dam burst at a mine run by its Samarco joint venture in October, killing at least 17 people.
The court order paralyzed imports and exports at one of the world's most important iron ore terminals. Its docks loaded 82.5 million tonnes of iron ore destined for steelmakers around the world in the first nine months of 2015, Vale said.
Vale's preferred shares, the company's most traded class of stock, reversed early gains of nearly 5 percent to fall more than 1 percent after the closure was confirmed.
In addition to iron ore, Tubarão handles coal imports and steel exports for the Brazilian unit of ArcelorMittal SA , the world's largest steelmaker.
Police have said activities at its iron ore dock and coal dock have resulted in iron ore and coal dust polluting the surrounding water and contributing to pollution in other areas, including nearby beaches.
Judge Marcus Vinicius Figueiredo de Oiveira Costa said in his ruling the suspension would remain in effect until Vale and ArcelorMittal fixed the pollution problems.
The judge said that failure to obey the closure order would result in a daily fine equal to 2/30ths of Vale and ArcelorMittal's monthly revenue.
ArcelorMittal said the operation of the port was Vale's responsibility. It also handles coal imports for other steelmakers in Brazil's interior, who receive the coal by rail.
Vale said in a statement that it will take all judicial measures necessary to guarantee the re-opening of the port. It said the closure will have serious economic impact on Espirito Santo state, where Tubarão is located, and on Minas Gerais, the state where iron ore exported at Tubarão is mined.
Vale already faces a 20 billion real ($4.89 billion) lawsuit brought by Brazil's federal government over the October breach of an iron ore tailings dam at Samarco Mineração SA, Vale's 50-50 joint iron ore venture with Australia's BHP Billiton Ltd.
A court spokeswoman said the order does not affect state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA's fuels terminal at the site. Some areas of Espirito Santo have recently run out of fuel because of Petrobras logistics problems.
Petrobras did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Vale has had a long and torturous relationship with the government and environmentalists in Vitoria. Since it opened in 1966, many have complained of dust and other air pollutants coming from the port, which also houses a steel mill, iron ore pellet plants and giant iron ore storage patios.

($1 = 4.15 Brazilian reais)

(Reporting by Jeb Blount and Marta Nogueira; Additional reporting by Alberto Alerigi in Sao Paulo; Editing by Daniel Flynn, David Gregorio and Bill Trott)

Maritime Today

The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter May 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds


Portugal PM Warns Lisbon Dock Workers to End Strike

Portugal's prime minister warned Lisbon dock workers on Friday that his patience was running out after a strike that has lasted a month, paralysing the city's ports.

Gender Identity Spat Sinks Spending Bill

The rancorous political debate over sexual identity unexpectedly prompted the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to rejected an energy and water spending

Hercules Offshore Filing for Bankruptcy Again

Hercules Offshore Inc said it planned to file for prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy, just six months after the rig contractor emerged from bankruptcy protection.


Deployment: The Transpacific Trade Steps Up To The Plate

In 2015, it was the Asia-Europe route which was the focus of changing deployment trends, says Clarksons Research.   This year, it is the Transpacific trade which

US Navy Updated Zika Virus Infection Guidance

Navy Medicine released updated Zika Virus Infection guidance in NAVADMIN 121/16, May 26, communicating current information, travel precautions, and risk reduction

CBP, AMO Unveils New Interceptor Vessel

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) and SAFE Boat International celebrated the unveiling of AMO’s newest coastal interceptor vessel (CIV) Thursday.

Maritime Safety

Long Beach Port Maintains Strong Bond Rating

Fitch Ratings, one of the top three U.S. credit analysis agencies, has affirmed the Port of Long Beach’s “AA” rating on its outstanding debt. Fitch stated the AA rating — its highest for U.

Phoenix Express 2016 Concludes

Maritime forces from North Africa, Europe, and the United States concluded exercise Phoenix Express 2016 with closing ceremonies in Souda Bay, Greece May 27. Phoenix Express,

US Hospital Ship Aids South Korean Sailor

A U.S. hospital ship conducted a medical evacuation, or “medevac”, May 27 to assist an ailing Republic of Korea sailor aboard a Republic of Korea Navy (ROK-N) submarine.


Greek Shipping – Still Number One!

Despite the many domestic and market challenges facing the Hellenic ship owning community, Greece has continued to strengthen its position as the largest ship owning nation in recent years,

A Year is a Long Time in Tankers

The latest Gibson Market Report focused on the age profile of the VLCC fleet and the prospects for trading life beyond 15 years of age.    Analysis of the Suezmax fleet shows a similar picture,

Deployment: The Transpacific Trade Steps Up To The Plate

In 2015, it was the Asia-Europe route which was the focus of changing deployment trends, says Clarksons Research.   This year, it is the Transpacific trade which

Maritime Contracts Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0978 sec (10 req/sec)