Iron ore mega-ship offloads first 400,000 tonnes at Sohar jetty
Vale Brazil - Port of Sohar
The 400,000 dwt ‘Vale Brasil’, the largest iron ore carrier in the world, has offloaded its first shipment at the Port of Sohar’s new purpose built bulk iron ore jetty - the first of its kind to dock at the jetty. Operational since July this year, the 1.4 kilometre jetty is designed to receive vast shipments of iron ore on behalf of Brazilian mining company Vale, where it converts the cargo into steel pellets onsite, which are then exported to Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.
Maritime specialist Royal Haskoning is the Engineer for the project which consists of a Design & Construct contract for the jetty and a separate dredging contract.

Mike Chambers, Resident Engineer, Royal Haskoning, said: “Watching a vessel of this magnitude successfully dock and offload its cargo, was a momentous occasion. The jetty is only one of a few bulk terminals in the world that can handle this class of ship. The project required the removal of more than eight million m³ of material to provide a channel deep enough to support the Valemax vessels, which have a draft of up to 23m below the water line.

“The Valemax Brasil is massive. It measures 65 metres from port to starboard and 360 metres bow to stern, and has the capacity to carry 402,000 dead weight tonnage (DWT). It arrived with a 23 metre draft, and after taking one week to offload the ore, it left with a 12 metre draft.

“This event marks the culmination of a project that saw more than 2,000 staff working round the clock shifts, seven days a week at peak of construction. A truly multinational project, our team was supported by five Omani administrators, and inspectors from Pakistan and India, who were deployed to supervise offsite fabrication in the Middle East, Europe and Asia.”

Edwin van Espen, General Manager Sohar Ports Special Projects Division, said: “The construction of the jetty is already enabling significant industrial growth that will bring prosperity to the region and the country for the foreseeable future. Royal Haskoning’s understanding of maritime design has been a vital contribution to the success of the project.”

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Dave Gladwin
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