Dry CargoGreater China

Winning Shipping in talks for $1bn worth of VLOC newbuilds

Fresh from being part of a winning consortium to develop huge iron ore deposits in West Africa, a Chinese shipping company is tendering for up to 15 very large ore carriers (VLOCs) in the latest great change to the global dry bulk trading patterns.

Last month, Singapore-based Winning Shipping was among the companies to have won a bid to mine one of the world’s biggest deposits of iron ore.

Societe Miniere de Boke (SMB) won a government tender to exploit blocks 1 and 2 of vast iron reserves in the Simandou mountains in the southeast of Guinea in west Africa.

SMB is a joint venture that includes a Guinean transport and logistics company, United Mining Supply; Singapore-based Chinese outfit, Winning Shipping; Chinese aluminium producer Shandong Weiqiao; and China’s Yantai Port.

The firm, created in 2014, is Guinea’s biggest bauxite exporter.

The consortium will build a 650 km railway line and a deepwater port at Matakong on the Atlantic coast.

The Simandou deposits have been estimated at 2.4bn tonnes of high-grade ore.

Winning Shipping has been growing its cape fleet dramatically in recent years, principally engaged on the growing commodity ties between West Africa and China.

Splash understands that Winning has now contacted Chinese yards about ordering 15 VLOCs for the project, a deal that would cost around $1.02bn according to Splash estimates. The orders would take the Winning fleet past 50 ships.  

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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