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China Gets Tough on Superships

Stricter Oversight Could Restrict Brazilian Miner Vale's Ability to Deliver Iron Ore China's central government put a tight rein on the ability of a new breed of supersize iron-ore freighters to stop at Chinese ports, potentially complicating efforts by Brazilian mining company Vale SA to gain access to the lucrative market.China's Transport Ministry called for more stringent review for accepting such ships into ports. It also said port operators no longer would enjoy discretion in allowing dry-bulk and oil ships exceeding current weight limits to berth at the ports."The safety outlook regarding oversized ships is not good, and the risks from their stopping at ports is on the higher side," the ministry said on its website Tuesday. China had given port operators discretion to permit oversize ships to berth three times a year.The ministry's statement stopped short of an outright ban on the ships, an apparent compromise in the face of competing agendas from Chinese companies that see profit and peril in the ships. The 361-meter-long, 400,000-deadweight-ton Vale Beijing, one of the new breed of 'very large ore carriers'The move appeared aimed at Vale, one of the world's largest producers of iron ore, a critical ingredient for making steel. Vale ...

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Vale Beijing incident not related to global strength issues or single pass loading

The VLOC Vale Beijing suffered water ingress Det Norske Veritas has issued a statement to say that its calculations have demonstrated that the damage to the VLOC 'Vale Beijing' was not caused by any global strength issue.The VLOC (very large ore carrier)Vale Beijing suffered water ingress, believed to have resulted from cracks in the hull, when loading ore at Ponta da Madeira in North Eastern Brazil in December. The ship was moved to an anchorage in the area.DNV does not believe that single pass loading (covered by the class notation EL-2) contributed to the damage. DNV says that the incident was not caused by any global strength issue or by the effect of single pass loading and associated loading rates. Hence, the features covered by the class notation EL-2 did not contribute to the problem. Further, theVale Beijing incident is not related to a general structural problem for VLOCs. DNV's calculations show that the cause of the damage is presumably related to the local buckling strength in some areas of the web frames in the aft ballast tanks. This conclusion is subject to the results of the ongoing investigation and the follow-up survey after the cargo discharge and dry-docking.An action ...

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STX Pan Ocean VLOC newbuild suffers hull cracking

Water flosw into its ballast tank A STX Pan Ocean VLOC chartered to Vale has a crack in its hull according to reports in the Brazilian press.The 400,000 dwt Vale Beijing had developed a crack in the hull, which was allowing water to flow into the ballast tank according to a report by the O Globo newspaper. The vessel is moored at Port Ponta da Madeira in Maranhão and operations are underway to pump water out of the ballast tank to stabilise the vessel, the report said.The Vale Beijing was delivered in September this year and was built by STX Offshore & Shipbuilding. It was the first of eight such ships to be delivered to STX Pan OceanSource: Seatrade Asia

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The Very Large Ore Carrier (VLOC)

Size matters and scale economies count in every form of shipping Size matters and scale economies count in every form of shipping, and it makes a lot of sense in the dry bulk trades, where enormous quantities of iron ore need to be carried on extended ocean passages from ports near where ore is mined, to those near the steel mills that will use the cargo.Until recently, with the exception of the gigantic Berge Stahl at 364,767 tonnes deadweight the world's biggest dry bulker, which has been shuttling between Brazil and Rotterdam since 1986, most dry bulkers are a good deal smaller. The "Capesize" bulk carriers, which were designed to be too big to transit laden through the Suez Canal (and thus go around the Cape of Good Hope) are around 160,000 tonnes deadweight (meaning that they can carry this tonnage of cargo).The main iron ore ports in the world in Australia, South America, South Africa and Canada are sufficiently deep to enable these Capesized vessels to load, and the terminal equipment is sized for their dimensions. Discharge ports, in Europe, China and Japan are similarly equipped and dimensioned to take ships of around 290 metres in length and 50 ...

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DNV and partners to design a very large ore carrier

VLOC will introduce innovative solutions for operational and environmental efficiency DNV has initiated a concept study together with industry partners - FKAB, MAN Diesel & Turbo, TGE Marine and Cargotec - to design a very large ore carrier (VLOC).The objective is to introduce innovative solutions that increase efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of bulk ship operations while at the same being both technically and economically feasible.A MacGregor self-loading system from Cargotec makes wide-beam VLOCs feasible, with accompanying efficiency and environmental benefits. An innovative MacGregor self-loading system from Cargotec is an integral element of Ecore, DNV's 250,000 dwt sustainable ore carrier concept introduced in May at the Nor-Shipping exhibition in Norway.DNV says that Ecore has been designed to be more efficient and environmentally friendly in comparison with existing very large ore carriers (VLOCs), and that the focus has been on available technology so that the concept ship could be built today."The MacGregor material handling system is designed to overcome the problems that can be caused at bulk cargo loading terminals by the length and width of a vessel," says Cargotec Sales Director, Johan Ericson. "It makes it possible for the shore-based loader to operate at a single point along the ...

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