OSLO: Calculations performed by the classification society DNV demonstrate that the damage on the Very Large Ore Carrier (VLOC) Vale Beijing was not caused by any global strength issue. DNV does not believe that single pass loading (covered by the class notation EL-2) contributed to the damage.

The Vale Beijing faced problems when loading ore at Ponta da Madeira in North Eastern Brazil in December. The ship has been safely moved to an anchorage in the area.

The incident was not caused by any global strength issue or by the effect of single pass loading and associated loading rates. Hence, the features covered by the class notation EL-2 did not contribute to the problem. Further, the Vale Beijing incident is not related to a general structural problem for VLOCs. DNV’s calculations show that the cause of the damage is presumably related to the local buckling strength in some areas of the web frames in the aft ballast tanks. This conclusion is subject to the results of the ongoing investigation and the follow-up survey after the cargo discharge and dry-docking.

An action plan for repairs is being carried out smoothly under the supervision of all the concerned parties, the owner, shipyard and two relevant class societies. The Vale Beijing can leave for its designated destination once the necessary safety precautions have been taken.

As a safeguarding measure, DNV has also reviewed other VLOCs classed by DNV, including ships under construction. This review did not reveal any structural insuffiences in these designs and consequently they can continue to trade as normal.

Date: 2012-01-16

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