China Cosco Shipping has officially signed shipbuilding contracts for the construction of up to ten 210,000 dwt newcastlemax bulkers at Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry.
The order, which is made up of eight firm vessels and two optional vessels, is Cosco’s first batch of newcastlemax newbuildings under a bauxite transportation deal with Aluminum Corporation of China (Chalco).
The vessels will be used for bauxite transportation from Guinea’s Boffa bauxite project to China.
In February, Splash understood that the total orderbook for the project could be expanded to 25-30 vessels.
Chalco entered into an agreement with the government of Guinea in June last year to develop the Boffa bauxite project in the west of the country. The company has been granted mining licenses for 15 years, renewable by 15 years on expiry. Chalco is expected to gain annual bauxite output of 12m tonnes from the project, which will go to its alumina refineries in Shandong and Guangxi.