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Vale restarts ship loader that caught fire at Ponta da Madeira port

Vale’s Ponta da Madeira terminal in in São Luís, Brazil. (Image courtesy of Vale SA).

Vale announced on Friday that is commissioning its loading activities at ship loader 6 (CN6) at the Ponta da Madeira Maritime Terminal, in São Luís, Maranhão, after 5 months of maintenance.

On January 14th, 2021, a fire occurred at CN6 at the Southern berth of Pier IV. The fire was controlled, without casualties or environmental damage.

During the maintenance period, the P4S sustained its shipping activities using its second ship loader (CN7), which was not affected by the fire.

Ponta da Madeira is one of Vale’s main assets and one of the most important iron ore and manganese loading terminals in the world. The terminal has a loading capacity of around 230m tonnes per year and is also one of the only ports in the country suited for the ultra-large Valemax ships.

Brazil’s iron ore exports reached 33.68 million tonnes in June, the highest volume in nine months, as major producers like Vale shipped more in response to higher international prices, official government data showed on Thursday.

Vale’s iron ore output totaled 68 million tonnes in 1Q21, 14.2% higher than in 1Q20, but down 5.5% compared to the 72 million tonnes average, analysts estimate.