Vale is still trying to obtain licenses to build iron ore
distribution centres in China, which would give it more
operational flexibility within its main market.
"Until this moment we have not obtained the licenses to operate
the centres," José Carlos Martins, Vale's director of
iron ore and strategy, said during a conference call late last
In mid-2009, Vale said it planned to build two iron ore
distribution centres in China, each with initial capacity to
handle 2 million tpy.
At that time it signed memoranda of intention
with the ports of
Rizhao and Qingdao in the Shandong province, Caofeidian in
Hebei and Dalian in Liaoning.
Martins did not disclose details about the licensing process
for the projects.
But he said that the company's distribution centres in Oman and
Malaysia and floating iron ore transfer stations in the
Philippines will nearly cover the total future volume of its
fleet of vessels.
The Brazilian miner has recently commissioned a 9 million tpy
and 40 million tpy distribution
centre in Oman's Sohar port.
In Malaysia, it is building a seaport terminal and a distribution centre
with initial capacity to handle 30 million tpy.
Located in Teluk Rubiah, the $1.37 billion project is expected
to become operational in the first half of 2014, Vale said.
Vale began to operate a new floating iron ore transfer station
in Subic Bay in the Philippines in February.
The facility enables the cargo of Valemax ships to be
completely or partially transferred to smaller vessels.
Martins disclosed that there will be another transfer station
in Subic Bay.
"These are mobile stations, so they can be transferred to other
places closer to our customers," he said during the conference
"With Oman, Malaysia and the transfer stations we'll
practically cover the volume of our vessels, approximately 60
million tpy, so we have solved this logistical issue," he