AmericasDry Cargo

Vale ends the era of converted VLOCs

Brazilian miner Vale will no longer use VLOC bulkers converted from single hull VLCCs.

Earlier this week, the last converted VLOC completed its journey and discharged in China marking the end of the use of the vessels by the Brazilian company.

Vale announced the decision to discontinue the use of converted VLOCs earlier in the year after a host of faults had been detected on these ageing giant steel structures in recent years, including the tragic sinking of the Stellar Daisy in April 2017.

“Following Vale’s new risk management approach, in January 2020, Vale has decided for the phase-out or substitution of all converted vessels engaged in its cargo transportation, either through early termination or amendment of contracts. Vale’s freight competitiveness is preserved through long term contracts with shipowners for the use of more efficient and modern vessels as Valemax and Guaibamax,” Vale said in a statement.

1993-built Stellar Neptune, which has been in cold layup at Labuan, has just been sold for demo in south Asia for $424 per ldt as Polaris, one of the industry’s biggest users of converted VLOCs, finishes its fleet clear-out of the maligned bulk carriers.

Grant Rowles

Grant spent nine years at Informa Group based in London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. He gained strong management experience in publishing, conferences and awards schemes in the shipping and legal areas, working on a number of titles including Lloyd's List. In 2009 Grant joined Seatrade responsible for the commercial development of Seatrade’s Asia products. In 2012, with Sam Chambers, he co-founded Asia Shipping Media.


  1. The investigation report of the Stellar Daisy accident was a carefully crafted document. Critical survey reports were missing, despite an elaborate system of recording required under the Enhanced Survey Programme.

    The problems with cracks on the VLOC decks etc were well known, but these were overlooked in an unholy alliance of all stakeholders. After the loss of two ships, the empirical evidence was too strong to be ignored.

    So much for the probabilistic models of strength and stability!!!

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