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China Rongsheng delivers first VLOC to Vale

29 November 2011

Vale China

China Rongsheng Heavy Industries has delivered its first 380,000 dwt very large ore carrier (VLOC), a high-tech vessel, to Brazilian mining firm Vale.

In July 2011 the VLOC was named 'Vale China' and Rongsheng Heavy claims it is the world's largest dry bulk carrier with the largest cargo capacity, as well as incorporating the group's most advanced shipbuilding technology.

China Rongsheng Heavy Industries had developed its main engine, the 7RT-flex 82T, while its marine engine building division Hefei Rongan Power Machinery built it.

The Wartsila low-speed diesel engine offers huge power output, low oil consumption, compact structure and reduced emissions of SOx and Nox.

The 380,000 dwt VLOC has a length of 360m, breadth of 65m and depth of 30.4m.

China Rongsheng CEO Chen Qiang said Vale China represents the most advanced bulk carrier in the world and the technologies needed for building the vessel are far more challenging than those for building the typical 200,000 dwt VLOCs.

"Far more advanced technologies are required to meet more demanding specifications on its structure, pressure endurance and fluid dynamic design," Qiang said.

"The sea trial voyage of 'Vale China' has been successful, with an outstanding performance in cargo loading capability and speed. While the second and third 380,000 dwt VLOCs have also been launched, the group expects smoother delivery of other VLOCs."

The ore carriers can carry up to twice as much iron ore as the capesize vessels to transport cargo between Brazil and China.

The Brazilian mining company is planning to operate about 35 VLOCs by 2013 and own 19 VLOCs and remaining vessels the company is planning to charter from Bergsen, STX Pan Ocean and Oman Shipping.

Vale has ordered the VLOCs in shipyards in China and South Korea and estimate to reduce transport cost by 25%.

Construction of the vessels is partly funded by loans from the Bank of China and the China Export Import Bank.

According to reports, China has yet to allow any of Vale's VLOC vessels to dock at its ports, forcing the company to send its vessels to ports in Italy, Oman and elsewhere.

In August 2008, the company signed shipbuilding contracts worth $1.6bn with Vale for twelve 380,000 dwt VLOCs and 'Vale China' is the first of the vessels to be delivered in the coming two years.

In 2009, the Brazilian mining firm also said it would rent four VLOCs of the same type from Oman Shipping which planned to be built by China Rongsheng.