Shanghai-listed China Merchants Energy Shipping (CMES) has signed a long-term chartering contract with Brazilian mining giant Vale to ship about 6 million tonnes of ore per year.
The contract will be for 20 years with a further five years as an option, according to a CMES stock exchange filing on 25 September.
CMES, which will deploy 400,000 dwt Valemaxes on the contract, reached the deal with Vale through its dry bulk arm, Hong Kong Ming Wah Shipping.
Earlier this year, it had set up a subsidiary, China VLOC, in Hong Kong to push ahead with its very large ore carrier (VLOC) expansion plans.
In July, CMES signed an agreement with Vale Shipping Singapore to acquire four used Valemaxes for an aggregate of USD448 million. The vessels were scheduled for delivery in September. CMES plans to finance the acquisition with its own funds and bank loans.
This came after the Chinese government reversed a ban and granted permission for Valemaxes to dock at Chinese ports. In July a total of five ore terminals in China were allowed by the transport ministry to receive the 400,000 dwt class Valemaxes.
The terminals are: Dagushan port area in Dalian, with one iron ore berth; Caofeidian port area in Tangshan, with two berths; Dongjiakou port area in Qingdao, with one berth; Majishan Iron Ore terminal in Ningbo-Zhoushan port, with one berth; and Shulanghu iron ore terminal in Ningbo-Zhoushan port, with two berths.
So far, Valemaxes have called at Qingdao and Dalian.