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China Merchants to build 10 VLOCs for Vale contract

China Merchants to build 10 VLOCs for Vale contract
In the continued signs of a thaw from China over Valemaxes China Merchants Energy Shipping (CMES) is to order 10 VLOCs for contracts with Vale.

The Brazilian mining giant announced on Friday that it had signed a framework agreement for strategic cooperation with China Merchants Group in Beijing.

Vale said the agreement covered a contract of affreightment (COA) over 25 years between China Merchants and the mining company.

The COA would be service by China Merchants ordering 10 VLOCs.

The move comes two weeks after Cosco signed a deal to buy and charter back four Valemexes from Vale and to order similar VLOC newbuildings.

Vale has 34 VLOCs in the 380,000 dwt to 400,000 dwt which it built to ship exported iron ore from Brazil to China. However, since the first vessel was delivered in 2011 they have been banned from entering Chinese ports, and forced to tranship in Philippines or Malaysia.

Although the ban has not officially lifted the agreements with Cosco and now China Merchants are expected to see it being removed. With the latest agreement Vale would have fleet of 54 VLOCs at its disposal.