Brazilian mining giant Vale has opened a USD 1.4 billion port terminal on the Strait of Malacca, Malaysia.
The terminal’s main aim is to cut drastically Vale’s iron ore export costs to Asia and its strategically important Chinese market by accommodating Valemax ore carriers.
The Malacca Strait terminal is able to receive and export 30 million tonnes of iron ore per year a has already welcomed eight of Vale’s mega ships able to handle 40,000 tonnes, according to Vale.
The centre is composed of a deep-water jetty extending for 2.2 km and a port warehouse equipped to blend different types of iron ore products.
“Located next to the Strait of Malacca, the terminal reduces the iron ore transportation waiting time for our customers in Asia by approximately 25 days. This makes it possible to accelerate the sales process and deal faster with the demands of customers that are not being adequately supplied from Brazil,” Vale explained.
What is more, since Valemax vessels are still banned from docking at Chinese ports the terminal will enable Vale to become more competitive when compared to its Australian-based rivals BHP Billiton Plc and Rio Tinto Plc, who are much closer to the Chinese market.
Vale has already inked a deal with China Merchants Group on September 26 by which Vale will lease ten very large ore carriers to be built by China Merchants for a period of 25 years.
The VLOCs will be used to transport Vale’s iron ore from Brazil to China.
This contract can be viewed as an addendum to the existing cooperation contract signed between the two companies early September, by which four existing VLOCs of 400,000 tonnes deadweight owned and operated by Vale were transferred to Cosco and chartered by Vale on a long term basis for 25 years.
World Maritime News Staff