The giant iron ore transport ship Ore Brasil

Ore Brasil is the first of the Valemax class ships of the Brazilian mining company Vale, giant iron ore transport vessels (VLOC, very large ore carriers) of 400,000 tons deadweight, dedicated to the transport of iron ore on the route from Brazil to China bordering the Cape of Good Hope.

At the end of 2009, Vale Shipping ordered the construction of the Ore Brasil from the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) shipyard in South Korea, the first of a series of seven equal ships to be built at this shipyard, and another twelve to be built at Jiangsu Rongsheng Heavy Industries’ Chinese shipyard, delivered between 2011 and 2016.

Until 2011, when the Ore Brasil was delivered, the world’s largest iron transport ship was the Norwegian MS Berge Stahl. The Valemax class ships, also known as Chinamax, are also the second largest in the world, only behind the 440,000 ton deadweight TI class supertankers.


Ore Brasil is 362 meters long by 65 meters wide, with a 30 meter prop and 198,980 tons of gross tonnage. The cargo is divided into seven holds, equivalent to the cargo carried by a fleet of 11,150 trailers. Due to its incredible size, Ore Brasil can only access a few ports in Brazil, China and Europe. But this large cargo capacity means that Ore Brasil’s polluting emissions are 35% lower per tonne of cargo compared to similar older ships, earning it the 2011 Clean Ship award at the Norwegian Nor-Shipping trade fair.

The engine needed to move this mole is a two-stroke MAN B&W 7S80ME-C8 diesel, capable of delivering 29,260 kW at 78 revolutions per minute, which coupled to a fixed pitch propeller moves the ship at a speed of 15.4 knots.

Ore Brasil’s first voyage took it from the port of Ponta da Madeira in Brazil to the port of Taranto in Italy, although the ship’s first official destination was the port of Dalian in China. The Chinese government’s ban on allowing ships with more than 300,000 tons of cargo to enter its ports to protect its local freight was behind Ore Brasil’s change of destination.


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