Five iron ore terminals in China have been granted permission by the Ministry of Transport (MOT) to allow docking by 400,000 dwt Valemax-class bulk carriers, a ministry circular said on 2 July.
The terminals are Dagushan port area in Dalian with one 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.
The berths at the Dagushan port area in Dalian and Dongjiakou port area in Qingdao are already completed, with the other berths under construction.
The MOT stipulated that Valemaxes should not exceed 362 m length overall, 65.6 m width, and 30.5 m depth with 23 m draught. As well, the vessels’ maximum tonnage must be 403,844 dwt.
The circular added that the rules of the design for 400,000 dwt bulkers had been compiled on the basis of the standard for port designs, which took effect on 1 May, 2014. The vessel rules have the same legal effect as the port design standard.
Related news: China welcomes first Valemax in two years
According to Sea-Web.com, all the 31 existing Valemaxes, which are used to ship Vale’s iron ores to China, meet the vessel design requirements specified in the rules.
The MOT said that the new rules were intended to accommodate the trend for bigger bulk carriers and as such, signalled an easing of its ban on 400,000 dwt bulk carriers entering Chinese ports.
Bulk carriers of more than 350,000 dwt were banned from Chinese ports in early 2012, as the vessels did not meet the authorities’ design and safety standards.