Good news and bad for Vale as the Old Year gave way to the New. First the good news: after a six month delay since these columns told of the maiden voyage of VLOC Vale Brasil at long last a Valemax VLOC (Berge Everest) gained China entry to discharge iron ore from the Vale conglomerate’s Brazil minefields. The bad news, also coming before Christmas, concerned another of their juggernauts, Vale Beijing.
VLOC Vale Beijing Loading Iron Ore: Photo courtesy of STX
A few days ago VLOC Vale Beijing was towed off the berth to avoid risk of foundering alongside the Vale iron ore loading terminal at Ponta Madeira, having earlier reported ingress of water to a partly loaded cargo hold. According to Lloyd’s List a full hull scan by robot device confirmed cracks to the hull with the ship’s three ballast pumps working around the clock to contain the flow. What is the extent of the damage to Vale Beijing?
Vale Beijing Structural Damage
In a few words, the hull plating wa... [More]
PLAN (Peoples Liberation Army Navy) first aircraft carrier was reported by Reuters to be heading out for sea trials last Wednesday, in her wake the Dalian naval shipyard in Northeast China, shrouded in a thick fog which conveniently served to obscure the Shi Lang from eyes keen to make out the superstructure and gauge something of military capabilities kept well under wraps by the authorities. The official news agency, Xinhua, averred: “Building a strong navy that is commensurate with China's rising status is a necessary step and an inevitable choice for the country to safeguard its increasingly globalised national interests." Words that sent ripples of anxiety spreading throughout the Asia Pacific region.
Shi Lang (ex Varyag) off Istanbul Photo: U.S. Federal Government
Aircraft Carrier Shi Lang
Not a newbuilding, but the the former Soviet Union’s Admiral Kuznetsov-class carrier Varyag, never previously operational according to reports, and subsequently gutted ... [More]
Vale Brasil, the world’s largest ore-carrier, this week en route from the NE coast of Brazil on her maiden voyage to Darien, China, is loaded with 391,000 tons of iron-ore. A juggernaut seen by market analyst Erik Nikolai Stavseth, of Arctic Securities ASA in Oslo, as one of a breed of ‘sea monsters’ (more of the same are on order by Brazilian mining conglomerate Vale) that will change the way iron-ore flows to satisfy China’s enormous appetite for the commodity. Why build such gigantic iron-ore carriers, bearing in mind the design challenges? Simply in order to make Brazilian iron-ore competitive in price with the Australian delivery to the Chinese market, despite the commodity having to travel almost double the ocean distance; Vale Brasil offers lower freight costs gained through economy of scale.The good news is that this ship will be flexing green power muscles with a carbon footprint of 34% less per tonne of cargo carried than traditional Capesize vessels &... [More]