First of Vale fleet of modern, Chinese-made ships enters service

The first of the Vale SA fleet of more fuel-efficient very large ore carriers, the Yuan He Hai, has sailed from the Brazilian port of Tubarão on its maiden commercial voyage, Bloomberg reports.

The news agency quotes the Brazilian mining company as saying the new class of ships is meant to reduce the disadvantage of Brazil being further from China than Australia, the other main source of Chinese imports of iron ore.

The report says the ships can carry 400,000 tonnes of ore each, but burn less fuel and emit between 15 percent and 20 percent less carbon dioxide than their predecessors.

Chinese shipbuilders are constructing 32 such ships for Vale, Bloomberg says.