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Vale vocal on VLOCs

Press release   •   May 22, 2012 00:15 UTC

The controversy surrounding very large ore carriers (VLOCs) was put on hold for a few minutes yesterday as H.E. Dr. Ahmed Al Futais, The Minister of Transport and Communications of Oman and Deputy Chairman of Oman Shipping Company officially named the Vale Liwa (H1125) and Vale Sohar (H1126) at a sun drenched ceremony in Nantong.

Speaking to guests China Rongsheng Heavy Industries CEO Chen Qiang welcomed the decision and foresight shown by the Oman Shipping Company to order the pair at the height of the global financial crisis.

Among those present were shipping veteran and former Stealthgas executive David Stockley now COO of Oman Ship Management Company.

The ceremony took place on the eve of TradeWinds’ 8th annual Shipping China conference which opens today at the Kerry Hotel Pudong in Shanghai where Vale Director of Shipping & Distribution Gurinder Singh will address delegates in the opening session.

Conference director, Banu Kannu commented, ‘We are delighted to be hearing directly from Vale at this crucial time and look forward to a highly topical and relevant opening.’

According to Reuters and reported on, Claudio Alves, Vale’s global marketing director, the company is planning to build a second iron ore storage vessel in Asia as the stalemate with China over its VLOCs goes on. He added, "We are in the final contracting process and South Korea could be one possibility."

Alves added that talks with China are ongoing and that lifting of the ban would be “the best solution for the steel mills in China and for Vale,” Bloomberg reported. “We hope we will be able to implement this very soon.”

China has refused entry to its ports on safety grounds but critics say the argument is a smokescreen and the government has caved in to pressure from shipowners who fear Vale will dominate the ore trade between the two countries.

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