The first-ever fully laden Valemax ore carrier discharged iron ore at a Chinese port over the weekend, according to Platts.
The 400,315 dwt Sohar Max entered North China’s Dongjiakou port with a 23-meter draft, suggesting that the bulker was fully laden prior to the discharge.
The 2012-built Sohar Max was carrying iron ore from Ponta Da Madeira, where it was loaded from June 2 to June 4.
The Valemax sailed directly to Dongjiakou, without making the usual stops at Vale’s transshipment hubs in Subic Bay, the Philippines, or Malaysia’s Teluk Rubiah.
The fully laden Valemaxes were previously banned from berthing at Chinese ports. The ban on Valemaxes was imposed by China in 2012 amid environmental concerns. However, the ban was also seen as an attempt to shield national carriers such as China Ocean Shipping Group (COSCO).
China’s Ministry of Transport and the National Development and Reform Commission issued a notice on July 2nd, approving berthing of 400,000 DWT Valemaxes at some of Chinese ports.
Specifically, the previously banned very large ore carriers will be able to berth at seven berths in Dagushan port area of Dalian, Caofeidian port area of Tangshan, Dongjiakou port area of Qingdao and Ningbo’s Majishan terminal and Shulanghu terminal.
World Maritime News Staff