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Vale Rio de Janeiro 20120108 01.jpg
Vale Rio de Janeiro arriving in Rotterdam in January 2012. Note fully laden hull, compared with photograph below.
Class overview
Built: 2011–
In service: 2011–
Planned: 65[1][2]
Completed: 35 (list of ships)
General characteristics (first series)
Type: Bulk carrier
Tonnage: 380,000–400,000 DWT
Length: 360–362 m (1,181–1,188 ft)
Beam: 65 m (213 ft)
Draught: 22–23 m (72–75 ft)
Depth: 30 m (98 ft)
Installed power: Low speed diesel engine (approx. 29,000 kW)
Propulsion: Single shaft; fixed-pitch propeller
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)

Valemax ships are a fleet of very large ore carriers (VLOC) owned or chartered by the Brazilian mining company Vale S.A. to carry iron ore from Brazil to European and Asian ports. With a capacity ranging from 380,000 to 400,000 tons deadweight, the vessels meet the Chinamax standard of ship measurements for limits on draft and beam. Valemax ships are the largest bulk carriers ever constructed, when measuring deadweight tonnage or length overall, and are amongst the longest ships of any type currently in service.[3]

The first Valemax vessel, Vale Brasil, was delivered in 2011. Initially, all 35 ships were expected to be in service by 2013, but the last ship was not delivered until September 2016. In late 2015 and early 2016, Chinese shipping companies ordered 30 more ships with deliveries starting in 2017. This brings the total number of Valemax vessels in service, under construction or ordered to 65.


First series[edit]

In 2008, Vale placed orders for twelve 400,000-ton Valemax ships to be constructed by Jiangsu Rongsheng Heavy Industries (RSHI) in China and ordered seven more ships from South Korean Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) in 2009. In addition sixteen more ships of similar size were ordered from Chinese and South Korean shipyards for other shipping companies, and chartered to Vale under long-term contracts. The first vessel was delivered in 2011 and the last in 2016.[4]

Jiangsu Rongsheng Heavy Industries[edit]

The 400,000-ton Vale Dalian photographed together with 75,750-ton Guo Yan 20, showing the size difference between a Valemax vessel and a Panamax bulk carrier. Note unladen hulls riding high in the water.

The first Valemax vessels were ordered on 3 August 2008 when Vale signed a contract with the Chinese shipbuilder Jiangsu Rongsheng Heavy Industries (RSHI) for the construction of twelve 400,000-ton ore carriers. The development had reportedly started in 2007.[5] The contract, worth $1.6 billion, was the world's biggest single shipbuilding contract by deadweight tonnage.[6][7]

The first Chinese-built Valemax vessel, Vale China, was launched at the Nantong shipyard on 9 July 2011 and delivered on 25 November 2011.[8][9] Although it was expected that the first Chinese-built Valemax vessel would call a Chinese port on its maiden voyage,[10] the ship was diverted to the new transshipment hub Vale had constructed in Philippines.[11]

The second RSHI-built Valemax ship for Vale (Vale Dongjiakou) was delivered on 9 April 2012,[12] the third (Vale Dalian) on 20 May,[13] the fourth (Vale Hebei) on 28 September,[14] the fifth (Vale Shandong) on 7 December 2012,[15] the sixth (Vale Jiangsu) on 23 March 2013,[16] the seventh (Vale Caofeidian) on 22 July 2013,[17] the eighth (Vale Lianyungang) on 22 November 2013,[18] the ninth (Ore Majishan; renamed before delivery) on 11 July 2014,[19] the tenth (Ore Tianjin; renamed before delivery) on 18 October 2014,[20] and the eleventh (Ore Rizhao; renamed before delivery) on 15 December 2014.[21] The twelfth and last Valemax vessel of the original order by Vale, Ore Ningbo (renamed before delivery), was delivered on 23 January 2015.[22]

On 2 November 2008, Oman Shipping Company signed a framework agreement with RSHI for the construction of four 400,000-ton vessels to transport iron ore from Brazil to the Port of Sohar in Oman, where Vale is expected to open a steel plant in near future.[23] The shipbuilding contract, worth US$483 million, was signed in July 2009.[24] Initially the ships were to be named Jazer, Yanqul, Al Kamil and Wafi,[25] but instead they will be named Vale Liwa, Vale Sohar, Vale Shinas and Vale Saham. The steel cutting ceremony for the first two vessels was held on 8 July 2010 and they were launched on 19 March 2012.[26][27] Vale Liwa entered service in August 2012, followed by Vale Sohar in September 2012, Vale Saham in January 2013, and Vale Shinas in March 2013. The ships reportedly received additional strengthening due to the Vale Beijing incident.[28][29][30] The ships built for Oman Shipping Company were later removed from the Det Norske Veritas registry and moved to other classification societies such as American Bureau of Shipping and Lloyd's Register.

The Chinese shipbuilder's ability to deliver any of the very large ore carriers ordered by Vale in time was doubted already before the first ship was built.[31] In May 2011, it was announced that only two or three Valemax vessels will be delivered from the Chinese shipyard in 2011 instead of the planned six due to delays in construction.[32][33] In the end only, one ship (Vale China) was delivered before the end of the year. Furthermore, later reports claimed that the ships ordered by Vale had a capacity of only 380,000 tons even though according to the Det Norske Veritas database entries all Chinese-built ships have a deadweight tonnage in excess of 400,000 tons and in the past Vale has referred to the ships ordered from Rongsheng as "400,000-ton" vessels. The reduction in cargo capacity, at least on paper, may have been due to the reluctance of Chinese officials to accept the 400,000-ton ships to Chinese ports.[8][34][35]

In April 2012, it was reported that Vale had refused delivery for three Valemax ships recently completed by Jiangsu Rongsheng Heavy Industries. This was seen as a move against the Chinese officials who have not allowed the 400,000-ton ships to dock in Chinese ports.[36][37] However, the reports were rebutted by RSHI, who called them "inaccurate and unfounded".[38]

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering[edit]

On 26 October 2009,[39] Vale ordered four Valemax vessels from the South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) for $460 million.[40] Further three ships were ordered from DSME in July 2010, bringing the total order to seven 400,000-ton Valemax vessels.[41] Despite receiving the order later than the Chinese shipyard, DSME launched the first Valemax class ore carrier, Vale Brasil, on 31 December 2010 and delivered the ship to Vale in March 2011.[39]

Vale Brasil was followed by Vale Rio de Janeiro on 22 September 2011,[42] Vale Italia on 25 October 2011,[43] Vale Malaysia on 27 March 2012,[44] Vale Carajas on 29 May 2012,[45] and Vale Minas Gerais on 13 July 2012.[46] The last Valemax ship to be built by DSME, Vale Korea, was delivered on 9 April 2013.[47]

STX Offshore & Shipbuilding[edit]

In addition to the ships Vale ordered for itself, more ships of similar size were to be built for other shipping companies and chartered to Vale under exclusive long-term contracts. Eight very large ore carriers were ordered from the South Korean shipbuilder STX Offshore & Shipbuilding in Jinhae, South Korea (STX Jinhae), and Dalian, China (STX Dalian). The shipping company, STX Pan Ocean, signed a 25-year contract with Vale in 2009.[48][49] The deadweight tonnage of the Valemax vessels built by STX, 374,400 tons, is slightly smaller than that of the similar ships built by DSME and RSHI.[35][50]

The first STX-built Valemax vessel, Vale Beijing, was delivered by STX Jinhae on 27 September 2011. Although another vessel was expected to take delivery later that year, only one ship was delivered. The second ship, Vale Qingdao, was delivered also by STX Jinhae on 13 April 2012,[51] but the third and fourth ships, Vale Espirito Santo and Vale Indonesia, were built by STX Dalian and delivered on 17 September 2012 and 30 October 2012, respectively.[52][53][54] The fifth ship, Vale Fujiyama, was again built by STX Jinhae and delivered on 26 November 2012.[55] The sixth ship, Vale Tubarao, was delivered by STX Dalian on 30 January 2013.[56] While both of the two remaining ships were supposed to be delivered by the end of 2013, only Vale Maranhao entered service on 29 August.[57][58]

The last Valemax vessel to be built by STX, originally named Vale Ponta da Madeira but later referred to by its yard number "STX Dalian 1707", was launched sometime in 2015. However, the vessel was never finished and instead was listed as "for sale" in an unfinished state. In March 2016, it was reported that the last of the original 35 Valemax vessels to be built had been sold for just $16.8 million.[59] Initially anonymous, the buyer was later identified as Pan Ocean (formerly STX Pan Ocean), the shipping company who originally ordered the vessel.[60] The unfinished vessel was completed by the Chinese shipyard Shanhaiguan Shipbuilding and named Sea Ponta da Madeira.[61]

Bohai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry[edit]

On 30 April 2007 Berge Bulk signed a contract with the Chinese shipbuilding company Bohai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry for the construction of four 388,000-ton very large ore carriers. Although initially scheduled for delivery in 2010, the first vessel, Berge Everest, was delivered on 23 September 2011.[62] It was followed by Berge Aconcagua on 15 March 2012[63] and Berge Jaya on 12 June 2012.[64] The remaining ship, Berge Neblina, was initially also scheduled to be delivered in 2012, but entered service on 4 January 2013.[65][66][67]

Had Vale not ordered the Valemax fleet in 2008, these ships would have become the largest bulk carriers in the world, surpassing Berge Bulk's own Berge Stahl. The four ships have since been chartered by Vale and, despite slight differences in design and contract date predating that of the ships ordered by Vale, they are also referred to as Valemax vessels.[68][69]

Second series[edit]

In March 2016, it was reported that three Chinese companies China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (COSCO), China Merchants Energy Shipping and ICBC Financial Leasing Co. had ordered ten Valemax vessels each from four Chinese shipyards. The total price for 30 vessels is US$2.5 billion.[2] The Valemax ships ordered by China Merchants Energy Shipping will be built by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (4 ships), Qingdao Beihai Shipbuilding (4 ships), and China Merchants Group-controlled China Merchants Heavy Industry (Jiangsu) (2 ships).[70] China COSCO Shipping Corporation has awarded the construction of all of its ten 400,000-ton ore carriers to Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding.[71] ICBC Financial Leasing Co. announced that six of its ships would be built by the Chinese privately-owned shipyard Yangzijian Shipbuilding while the remaining four would be awarded to Qingdao Beihai Shipbuilding.[72][73] The deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2018.


Initial career and ban[edit]

Vale Rio de Janeiro arriving at Rotterdam, January 2012.

On 24 May 2011, Vale Brasil received her first cargo at the Brazilian port Terminal Marítimo de Ponta da Madeira, 391,000 tons of iron ore bound for Dalian in China.[74] However, in June, after rounding the Cape of Good Hope, the ship was rerouted to Taranto, Italy, and turned back towards the Atlantic Ocean.[75] There had been speculation that Vale Brasil was not allowed to enter the Chinese port fully laden, but according to Vale the destination was changed due to commercial, not political reasons.[76] The ship arrived at the port of Taranto on 14 July 2011 to discharge her cargo.[77] Since then, fully laden Valemax vessels have unloaded at various ports, such as Dalian in China,[78] Sohar in Oman,[79] Rotterdam,[80] Ōita in Japan,[81] Dangjin in South Korea,[82] and the transshipment hub Vale has constructed at Subic Bay in the Philippines.[83]

On 31 January 2012, the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China officially banned dry bulk carriers with capacity exceeding 300,000 tons from entering Chinese ports in order to protect the domestic freight industry. Prior to this, only one of the new very large ore carrier chartered by Vale, Berge Everest, had unloaded Brazilian iron ore at a Chinese port — the ship arrived at Dalian on 28 December 2011 — but this was assumed to be a bureaucratic fluke as no Chinese port has regulatory approval to receive dry bulk carriers of that size.[78]

According to Vale, the discussions about allowing the Valemax ships to enter Chinese ports had been ongoing since the ban came into force[84] and the Chinese officials had given a preliminary go-ahead for the construction of new berths capable of accommodating the 400,000-ton ships.[85] According to the Ningbo Port Company, the construction of the new port facilities would take two to three years, causing further delays for Vale which in the meantime is losing $2–3 per ton of ore due to the ban.[86][87] On 15 April 2013, Vale Malaysia became the first 400,000-ton Valemax vessel to call a Chinese port. The partially loaded ship docked at the port of Lianyungang en route from the Vale transshipment hub in Subic Bay, Philippines. However, at the time the Chinese officials had not yet lifted the ban for fully laden Valemax vessels.[88][89] The first fully laden Valemax vessel to call a Chinese port since 2012, Shandong Da Ren, docked at the Dongjiakou port in Qingdao on 2 October 2014.[90] The ban was officially lifted in July 2015.[91]

Sale of ships[edit]

Originally, Vale planned to own and manage a fleet of 19 Valemax vessels by itself in order to control the wildly fluctuating charter prices for large bulk carriers which had dropped from US$233,988 per day in June 2008 to as low as US$2,400 by December of the same year. However, because of the global economic downturn and the reluctance of Chinese ports to accept the fully laden ships, the new board of directors decided to focus capital allocation to mining. As a result, Vale decided to sell the ships and charter them back under long-term contracts.[92] Although Vale was expected to suffer financial losses from selling the ships, they would have been covered by the profit from iron ore sales even at depressed ore prices if only one or two full shipments could be unloaded in Chinese ports.[93]

In September 2014, Vale signed a framework agreement for strategic co-operation in iron ore shipping with the state-owned China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (COSCO).[94] Later that month, a 25-year freight contract was signed between Vale and China Merchants Group. As part of the agreement, the Chinese shipping company will construct 10 new very large ore carriers to transport iron ore from Brazil to China.[95] Following these agreements, China's ban for Valemax vessels has been effectively lifted and fully laden ships have called Chinese ports.[96]

In May 2015, four ships were sold China Ore Shipping Pte. Ltd, a joint venture between COSCO and China Shipping Development Company, for US$445 million.[97] These were the first Valemax vessels to officially change ownership. Later, four more ships were sold to China Merchants Energy Shipping.[98] In December 2015, Vale announced that the remaining 11 Valemax ships owned by the mining company would be sold and leased back from the new owners.[99]


Structural failure of Vale Beijing[edit]

On 5 December 2011 it was reported that Vale Beijing, operated by STX Pan Ocean, had suffered structural damage during her first cargo loading and was in danger of sinking at the port of Ponta da Madeira in Brazil due to sea water entering ruptured ballast tanks and cargo holds. The South Korean-built Valemax ship, partially loaded with 260,000 tons of iron ore,[100] was towed away from Pier 1 by tugboats in the following day and as a precaution against environmental damage the Brazilian authorities requested her fuel tanks to be emptied.[101] Since there are no facilities to unload iron ore from the ship at Ponta da Madeira and no large shipyards in the region, emergency repairs had to be performed by divers and the cargo redistributed while the ship is anchored offshore before it could be towed to a shipyard.[102][103][104]

The cause of the damage has not been published by STX, but design or construction flaws, material fatigue and incorrect loading have all been suspected.[101][105] According to calculations performed by DNV the damage was not caused by global strength issues or single pass loading, but is assumed to be related to local buckling strength in some areas of the web frames in the aft ballast tanks.[106] Vale Beijing remained anchored off Ponta da Madeira with a crawler crane on the deck and an oceangoing tug standing by[107] until 19 February 2012, when it left São Luís for Oman. After unloading at Sohar, the ship headed to South Korea for dry docking and arrived at STX shipyard in Jinhae, where it was delivered in September 2011, for inspection and repairs on 21 April 2012.[108] Vale Beijing returned to service in July 2012.[109]

Had Vale Beijing sunk at the pier instead of being moved to an anchorage area outside the port shortly after the leak was detected, the incident would have severely delayed the operations at the port which ships out about 10 percent of the world's iron ore production.[102] While Vale Beijing delayed the loading of only 750,000 tons of iron ore,[110] on 11 November 1994 Trade Daring, a 145,000 DWT ore-bulk-oil carrier, broke in two at the same location due to incorrect loading, blocking the deepwater pier of Ponta da Madeira for more than six weeks before the wreck was removed and scuttled offshore.[111]

After the incident, the China Shipowners' Association (CSA) questioned the safety of the 400,000-ton ore carriers commissioned by Vale. CSA was particularly concerned about the ability of the newly built ships to withstand various sea conditions and the pollution resulting from fuel oil leaks in case of structural damage[112] — each Valemax ship can carry around 10,000 tons of fuel oil.[113] In January 2012 China officially banned the vessels from Chinese ports.[78] However, in April 2013, The China Shipping Association confirmed that the first Valemax vessel was allowed to dock in the Chinese port of Lianyungang in the Jiangsu province.[114] The ban was officially lifted in July 2015 as China’s transport ministry and National Development and Reform Commission announced that four ports would be opened up for 400,000-ton vessels.[91]

Grounding of Vale Indonesia[edit]

On 7 September 2013, Vale Indonesia ran aground on a sandbar about 40 nautical miles (74 km; 46 mi) north of São Luís. The vessel, operated by STX Pan Ocean, was fully laden with 390,000 tons of iron ore bound for Vale's transhipment hub in Subic Bay. Two ballast tanks were reportedly breached, but there were no injuries or pollution, and the vessel was not in danger of sinking.[115][116]


All Valemax vessels, with the exception of those owned and operated by Berge Bulk, were initially given names consisting of the word Vale and a place name, either one related to the mining operations of Vale S.A. in Brazil or a potential destination for the new iron ore carriers. However, none of the original 35 Valemax vessels retaits its original name.

When Vale signed a $500 million contract with the Chinese shipping company Shandong Shipping for the operation of four Valemax vessels, the ships were given new names beginning with Shandong.[117] Similarly, when four Valemax vessels were sold to China Ore Shipping, the vessels were given names beginning with Yuan and ending with Hai.[97] Additional four Valemax vessels were given names starting with Pacific after Vale sold the ships to China Merchants Energy Shipping.[98]

Additionally, a number of Valemax vessels have been renamed by replacing Vale with Ore or Sea but retaining the second part of the name. Vale Sohar, Vale Saham, Vale Liwa and Vale Shinas have also been renamed Sohar Max, Saham Max, Liwa Max and Shinas Max, respectively.


Vale Sohar, built by Jiangsu Rongsheng Heavy Industries (RSHI), awaiting delivery for Oman Shipping Company in Nantong, China, in September 2012. Note the minor differences to the South Korean-built Vale Rio de Janeiro.

General characteristics[edit]

Although similar in size, the first 35 Valemax vessels built by different shipyards in South Korea and China have some differences in main dimensions, cargo capacity, machinery and external appearance. While the first series was more diverse, all 30 Valemax vessels of the second series are based on the same standard design, SDARI 400OC, by Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute (SDARI).[118]

Valemax ships are 360 to 362 metres (1,181 to 1,188 ft) long,[3][119] making them some of the longest ships currently in service. With a maximum draught of between 22 and 23 metres (72 and 75 ft) while loaded, the ships are limited only to a few deepwater ports in Brazil, Europe and China.[120][121][122] In ballast the ships draw around 12 metres (39 ft) of water.[79] The breadth of the Valemax ships is about 65 metres (213 ft).[3][50][119] The size of the ships is limited mainly by Chinese ports and the ships of this size are generally referred to as Chinamax vessels.

Largest bulk carriers ever built, the Valemax vessels have seven cargo holds with a total gross volume of almost 220,000 cubic metres (287,749 cu yd).[113] In addition to increasing the strength of the hull special attention has also been paid to improve the speed and efficiency of the loading and discharging operations. Each cargo hold can be fully loaded by a shiploader in a single step with a loading rate of 13,500 tonnes per hour and can carry almost as much iron ore as a small Panamax carrier. In addition the space inside the cargo hold that cannot be reached by grabs during discharging, the so-called "dead spots", is minimized.[119] With a deadweight tonnage of 400,000 tons, a fully laden Valemax vessel is carrying as much iron ore as around 11,150 trucks, enough to produce steel for three Golden Gate bridges.[74][123] The first 35 Valemax ships were said to be capable of carrying about 15% of the annual iron ore exports from Brazil to all destinations if each ship does four round trips per year.[124]

Like most modern bulk carriers, Valemax vessels are powered by a single two-stroke low-speed crosshead diesel engine directly coupled to a fixed-pitch propeller. The ships built by DSME and STX in South Korea are powered by 7-cylinder MAN B&W 7S80ME-C8 and 7S80ME-C engines, respectively, and the ships built by RSHI and Bohai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry have Wärtsilä 7RT-flex82T and 7RT-flex84T engines, respectively.[48] Both MAN and Wärtsilä engines will have a maximum continuous rating of around 29,000 kW (39,000 hp) when turning the 10-metre (33 ft) propeller at 76–78 rpm, giving the ships a service speed of around 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) while burning almost 100 tons of heavy fuel oil per day.[47][119][125][126] However, due to the large size of the vessels the emissions per cargo ton-mile are very low and thus the Valemax vessels are in fact among the most efficient long-distance dry bulk carriers in service — Vale has reported a 35% drop in emissions per ton of cargo carried in comparison to older ships.[127] In the second series, the main engine has been changed to more efficient MAN B&W 7G80ME-C9 engine producing about 33,000 kW (44,000 hp) at 72 rpm.[118]

Size record[edit]

Vale Brasil compared to other recent record-holder ships.

The new ships are considerably larger than the previous record holder, 364,767-ton Berge Stahl, which had been the largest bulk carrier in the world since it was built in 1986. While the draft of the old vessel is the same as that of the Valemax vessels — 23 metres (75 ft) — the new ships are 20 metres (66 ft) longer and 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) wider than the old freighter, and can carry about 10% more cargo.[128][129]

The Valemax vessels are also the second largest ships in service by deadweight tonnage, second only to the TI-class supertankers that have a deadweight tonnage of over 440,000 tons.[130] They are still far from the largest ship ever constructed — Seawise Giant (labeled as the Knock Nevis in the adjacent image), built in 1979 and broken up in 2009, was 458.46 metres (1,504.1 ft) long and had a deadweight tonnage of 564,650 tons[131] — and also considerably shorter than the longest ship currently in service, the 400-metre (1,312 ft) container ship Barzan.[132]


Vale's decision of constructing a fleet of 400,000-ton ore carriers has been widely criticized by other shipping companies. The new Valemax ships, expected to cut the company's transportation costs by 20–25%,[133] are blamed for driving down the freight rates for the entire industry, swelling the already oversupplied bulk transportation market and stalling the recovery of the shipping business after the financial crisis.

The freight rates, down 80% from 2008, are expected to drop further down to the levels of 1977.[134] According to the chief executive of BIMCO, the Valemax vessels could displace up to 168 150,000–180,000-ton capesize bulk carriers, around 15% of the existing fleet, from the long haul voyages and force them to less profitable shorter routes.[135][136] Vale has responded to the criticism by stating that the company aims to permanently cut the costs of Atlantic-Pacific dry bulk shipping to make Brazilian ore more competitive against iron ore produced in Australia, which is closer to major customers in Asia.[134][137]

Vale has also faced opposition from the China Shipowners' Association which claim that the Brazilian mining company is seeking to control the freight market as it has already done with the iron ore prices. In the past the Chinese ports were not allowed to increase their capacity to more than 300,000 tons for dry bulk carriers due to safety and environmental concerns, and if the 400,000-ton Valemax vessels are allowed to Chinese ports, Vale's monopoly on the route may result in losses for other shipping companies operating capesize ore carriers.[138] Also, when Vale Brasil was diverted to Italy on her maiden voyage, there was speculation that the domestic steel industry of China had urged the authorities to protect their commercial interests.[137] However, Vale has also received support from the Chinese steel companies as they would benefit from lower transportation costs.[139]

As a precaution against prolonged ban of Valemax vessels from the Chinese ports, Vale started constructing both land- and offshore-based transshipment hubs where iron ore can be loaded to smaller ships for final delivery. Ore Fabrica, a 280,000 DWT crude oil tanker converted in China, arrived at Subic Bay, Philippines, in late January 2012 and has since unloaded a number of Valemax ships.[83] This backup plan has also been criticized by the vice-executive chairman of the CSA, Zhang Shouguo, who called it "waste of resource" and questioned Vale's ability to run the fleet as properly as professional shipping companies.[140][141] There have been rumors that as a result Vale intends to sell or lease its planned fleet of Valemax bulk carriers to Chinese shipping companies with long-term charter contracts to avoid such criticism and allow the ships to enter Chinese ports,[142] but as of 2014 no Valemax ship has changed owners, although several have been chartered to other companies and changed their names.

In May 2012, the largest Chinese operator of dry bulk carriers, state-owned China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (COSCO), claimed that Vale had refused to use the company's ships since March as a protest against banning the Valemax vessels from Chinese ports. Vale has refused to give comments on the issue.[143]

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the former president of Brazil, also publicly criticized Vale's former CEO Roger Agnelli for the decision of ordering ships from Asian shipyards instead of building them in Brazil, where Lula da Silva has been trying to revitalize the shipbuilding industry to create more jobs and increase local demand for steel and other products. Agnelli, who later left his position following continued criticism, replied that the Brazilian shipyards did not have the capacity to build such ships and stated that during the past few years Vale had commissioned 51 vessels from Brazilian shipyards.[144]

List of Valemax vessels[edit]

First series[edit]

Current name Previous names Shipping company Year built Yard number IMO number Status Ref
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering
Ore Brasil Vale Brasil (2011–2014) Vale Shipping 2011 1201 9488918 In service [39]
Shandong Da De Vale Rio de Janeiro (2011–2013) Shandong Shipping 2011 1202 9572329 In service [42]
Ore Italia Vale Italia (2011–2014) Vale Shipping 2011 1203 9572331 In service [43]
Shandong Da Ren Vale Malaysia (2012–2014) Shandong Shipping 2012 1204 9572343 In service [44]
Shandong Da Cheng Vale Carajas (2012–2014) Shandong Shipping 2012 1212 9593919 In service [45]
Shandong Da Zhi Vale Minas Gerais (2012–2013) Shandong Shipping 2012 1213 9593957 In service [46]
Ore Korea Vale Korea (2013–2014) Vale Shipping 2013 1214 9593969 In service [47]
STX Offshore & Shipbuilding
Sea Beijing Vale Beijing (2011–2014) Pan Ocean 2011 1701 9575448 In service [50]
Sea Qingdao Vale Qingdao (2012–2014) Pan Ocean 2012 1702 9575450 In service [51]
Sea Espirito Santo Vale Espirito Santo (2012–2014) Pan Ocean 2012 1703 9575462 In service [52]
Sea Indonesia Vale Indonesia (2012–2014) Pan Ocean 2012 1704 9575474 In service [53]
Sea Fujiyama Vale Fujiyama (2012–2014) Pan Ocean 2012 1705 9575486 In service [55]
Sea Tubarao Vale Tubarao (2013–2014) Pan Ocean 2013 1706 9575498 In service [56]
Sea Ponta da Madeira Vale Ponta da Madeira[i]
STX Dalian 1707[ii]
Pan Ocean 2016[iii] 1707 9575503 In service [4]
Sea Maranhao Vale Maranhao (2013–2014) Pan Ocean 2013 1708 9575515 In service [58]
Jiangsu Rongsheng Heavy Industries
Ore China Vale China (2011–2014) Vale Shipping 2011 H1105 9522972 In service [8]
Ore Dongjiakou Vale Dongjiakou (2012–2014) Vale Shipping 2012 H1106 9532513 In service [12]
Pacific Warrior Vale Dalian (2012–2014)
Ore Dalian (2014–2015)
China Merchants Energy Shipping 2012 H1107 9532525 In service [13]
Ore Hebei Vale Hebei (2012–2014) Vale Shipping 2012 H1108 9532537 In service [14]
Ore Shandong Vale Shandong (2012–2014) Vale Shipping 2012 H1109 9532549 In service [15]
Yuan Zhen Hai Vale Jiangsu (2013–2014)
Ore Jiangsu (2014–2015)
China Ore Shipping 2013 H1110 9532551 In service [16]
Yuan Shi Hai Vale Caofeidian (2013–2014)
Ore Caofeidian (2014–2015)
China Ore Shipping 2013 H1111 9532575 In service [17]
Yuan Jian Hai Vale Lianyungang (2013–2015) China Ore Shipping 2013 H1112 9532587 In service [18]
Yuan Zhuo Hai Vale Majishan[iv]
Ore Majishan (2014–2015)
China Ore Shipping 2014 H1113 9532599 In service [19]
Pacific Merchants Vale Tianjin[iv]
Ore Tianjin (2014–2015)
China Merchants Energy Shipping 2014 H1114 9532604 In service [20]
Pacific Winner Vale Rizhao[iv]
Ore Rizhao (2014–2015)
China Merchants Energy Shipping 2014 H1115 9532616 In service [21]
Pacific Mariner Vale Ningbo[iv]
Ore Ningbo (2015)
China Merchants Energy Shipping 2015 H1116 9532628 In service [22]
Sohar Max Vale Sohar (2012–2014) Oman Shipping Company 2012 H1125 9565065 In service [30]
Liwa Max Vale Liwa (2012–2015) Oman Shipping Company 2012 H1126 9566514 In service [29]
Shinas Max Vale Shinas (2013–2015) Oman Shipping Company 2013 H1127 9566538 In service [145]
Saham Max Vale Saham (2013–2015) Oman Shipping Company 2013 H1128 9566526 In service [146]
Bohai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry
Berge Everest Berge Bulk 2011 BH416-1 9447536 In service [62]
Berge Aconcagua Berge Bulk 2012 BH416-2 9447548 In service [63]
Berge Jaya Berge Bulk 2012 BH416-3 9447550 In service [64]
Berge Neblina Berge Bulk 2013 BH416-4 9447562 In service [67]
  1. ^ Never officially named
  2. ^ While construction was stopped
  3. ^ To be completed by Shanhaiguan Shipbuilding
  4. ^ a b c d As launched; renamed before delivery

Second series[edit]

Name Shipping company Year built Yard number IMO number Status Ref
Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding
China Merchants Energy Shipping 2018 (planned) H1445 9806976 Ordered [70]
China Merchants Energy Shipping 2018 (planned) H1446 9806988 Ordered [70]
China Merchants Energy Shipping 2018 (planned) H1447 9806990 Ordered [70]
China Merchants Energy Shipping 2019 (planned) H1448 9807009 Ordered [70]
China COSCO Shipping Corporation 2018 (planned) 9806873 Ordered [71]
China COSCO Shipping Corporation 2018 (planned) 9806885 Ordered [71]
China COSCO Shipping Corporation 2018 (planned) 9806897 Ordered [71]
China COSCO Shipping Corporation 2018 (planned) 9806902 Ordered [71]
China COSCO Shipping Corporation 2019 (planned) 9806914 Ordered [71]
China COSCO Shipping Corporation 2019 (planned) 9806926 Ordered [71]
China COSCO Shipping Corporation 2019 (planned) 9806938 Ordered [71]
China COSCO Shipping Corporation 2019 (planned) 9806940 Ordered [71]
China COSCO Shipping Corporation 2019 (planned) 9806952 Ordered [71]
China COSCO Shipping Corporation 2019 (planned) 9806964 Ordered [71]
Qingdao Beihai Shipbuilding
ICBC Financial Leasing Co. 2017 (planned) OC400K-1 9807724 Under construction [72]
ICBC Financial Leasing Co. 2018 (planned) OC400K-2 9807736 Under construction [72]
ICBC Financial Leasing Co. 2018 (planned) OC400K-3 9807748 Under construction [72]
China Merchants Energy Shipping 2019 (planned) OC400K-4 9807011 Under construction [70]
China Merchants Energy Shipping 2018 (planned) OC400K-5 9807023 Under construction [70]
China Merchants Energy Shipping 2018 (planned) OC400K-6 9807035 Under construction [70]
China Merchants Energy Shipping 2018 (planned) OC400K-7 9807047 Under construction [70]
ICBC Financial Leasing Co. 2019 (planned) OC400K-8 9807750 Under construction [72]
China Merchants Heavy Industry (Jiangsu)
China Merchants Energy Shipping 2019 (planned) CMHI-167-1 9807059 Under construction [70]
China Merchants Energy Shipping 2019 (planned) CMHI-167-2 9807061 Ordered [70]
Jiangsu Yangzi Xinfu Shipbuilding
ICBC Financial Leasing Co. 2018 (planned) YZJ2015-2272 9815202 Under construction [72]
ICBC Financial Leasing Co. 2018 (planned) YZJ2015-2273 9815214 Under construction [72]
ICBC Financial Leasing Co. 2019 (planned) YZJ2015-2274 9815226 Under construction [72]
ICBC Financial Leasing Co. 2019 (planned) YZJ2015-2275 9815238 Under construction [72]
ICBC Financial Leasing Co. 2019 (planned) 9807695 Ordered [72]
ICBC Financial Leasing Co. 2019 (planned) 9807700 Ordered [72]


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