Shipwreck Casts Shadow Over Fleet of Vale Iron-Ore Carriers – by R.T. Watson (Bloomberg News – May 30, 2017)

A second vessel contracted to haul iron ore for Brazilian miner Vale SA was delayed for repairs following the loss of a similar ship that mysteriously sank en route to China leaving 22 people presumed dead.

The Stellar Queen departed Vale’s port terminal in northeastern Brazil on May 7 carrying almost 300,000 metric tons of ore, according to the Rio de Janeiro-based company’s website.

However, the ship then stayed anchored in a nearby bay for nearly three weeks after the commandant discovered cracking on the main deck and decided to delay the voyage until repairs could be made, the Maranhao state port authority said last week by email. The port authority finally authorized the ship’s departure on May 26.

Korean Register, the agency responsible for regularly surveying the Stellar Queen, said last week the ship underwent a survey and was being repaired in Brazil at the request of the owner. Vale declined to comment on the delays.

A third vessel carrying Vale iron ore, the Stellar Unicorn, was also forced to have repairs after a crack was discovered on the outer hull of a tank in April, its owner said at the time. That vessel was surveyed before moving on to China for discharge, according to Korean Register.

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