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Discussion on the applicability of 400000-ton capacity in bauxite transportation
Jul 20,2020 16:35CST
translation
At present, although domestic alumina plants are not like steel mills concentrated in coastal areas with convenient water transportation, they have also begun to move forward or build new projects in coastal areas. It is believed that in the next few years, the demand for land transport of bauxite will gradually decrease, and the demand for full-process water transport will become a "priority", which may provide a broader space for super-large bauxite special ships at that time.
The content below was translated by Tencent automatically for reference.

SMM7 March 20:

I. the main ship type of bauxite in the Pacific region

The main ship type of bauxite transportation in the Pacific region is less than 100000 tonnes. from the point of view of transportation, the loading port of bauxite in the Pacific region does not have the capacity of large ships because of its port restrictions. For example: Australia's bauxite loading port is mostly limited by berth draught, usually using Panama-type transport capacity, and some ports can be modified to load and unload 120000-ton ships, that is, post-panamax and mini cape;, while the loading ports in Southeast Asia can only load their own goods at the loading Anchorage with 5764,000-ton handy ships with Klein crane and grab due to draught restrictions and port restrictions.

Second, the existing benefit data of the transport capacity of 300,000 tons.

At present, the 30,000,000 dwt transport capacity operated in the market are tailor-made for iron ore, and the transport contracts bound to the ship are long-term contracts, and the whole life cycle of the ship serves for specific projects (similar to "pay or not"). Therefore, the ship does not have market liquidity; And the shipper bound to the ship also has a certain ability to control the ship, for example: in order to deal with the switch between high and low sulfur fuel, the shipper can choose to use low sulfur fuel, or arrange the ship to come into the factory to install desulfurization tower at his own expense.

At the same time, as we all know, fuel price fluctuations have a certain impact on freight rates, the rise and fall of freight rates of conventional ships will be affected by fuel price fluctuations, and this change can not be clearly predicted. On the other hand, 30Mel 400,000-ton customized ships basically do not participate in the market circulation, and their freight rates are also different from the pricing mechanism of conventional ships, which, to some extent, can reduce the excessive stimulation of fuel price fluctuations to the rise and fall of freight rates. In this context, the reference of benefit comparison is open to question.

III. Loading and unloading capacity of 400,000 tons of bauxite in domestic ports

At present, although domestic ports are more and more inclined to build large-scale deepwater berths, the domestic policy has not fully liberalized the examination and approval and restrictions on the construction of 400,000-ton wharves. At the present stage, the existing and under construction of the 300,000-ton wharf and its supporting loading and unloading system are basically specially designed for iron ore. If the loading and unloading bauxite is temporarily replaced, in order to reduce cargo damage, it is necessary to carry out the whole system cleaning operation before and after loading and unloading, which is very tedious. At the same time, whether the wharf has a special service agreement with the iron ore and the consignee still needs to be further confirmed. If bauxite is picked up and unloaded all the year round, or additional special berths and loading and unloading systems will be needed, construction investment, wharf throughput and income are all factors that need to be further considered.

In addition, the existing 400,000-ton terminals are basically the transit point of iron ore mixing and distribution, which is an indispensable link for iron ore trade due to the influence of the distribution of mineral resources and calcination process. However, for bauxite trade, if centralized distribution occurs, it is likely to increase the cost of land transportation. In terms of total transportation cost, centralized distribution may have more advantages than conventional ship transportation.

At present, it is known that shipping companies that are planning to transport bauxite with a capacity of 325,000 tons are mainly due to the singleness of their main customers, the scale and stability of their annual imports, and the realistic basis that the consignee has 400,000 tons of berths in the nearest port. Based on this, the use of super-large ships in bauxite transportation at the present stage is actually not universal and needs specific analysis.

IV. Characteristics of transportation of bauxite in Guinea

Considering the natural conditions of Guinea, first, the continental shelf along the coastline of Guinea is specially constructed, it is extremely difficult to build a deep-water port, and the cost of dredging and waterway construction is huge. So in the early days, due to draught restrictions, Rusal chose to use handy ships in the port of Conakry in Guinea, while Alcoa chose to use Camsar ships in the port of Camsar. It is only with the opening of sea barge technology in recent years that conventional Capesize ships gradually participate in the transportation route of Guinean bauxite in order to reduce transportation costs. If a 30-400000 ton ocean-going ship is used to transport bauxite, it is necessary to retrofit the existing barge equipment or even to build and upgrade the supporting equipment. At the same time, due to the draught requirements of super-large ships, the location of barge Anchorage will be further away from the coastline. Without considering the risks such as maritime safety, the increase of barge distance will lead to a substantial increase in barge equipment investment and barge transportation costs. Second, Guinea can be divided into rainy season and dry season, and the efficiency of sea barge operation is obviously reduced in the rainy season, coupled with the fact that exclusive customized ship types do not have market liquidity, which will lead to excess capacity and idle capacity in the long rainy season. in theory, it is suggested that it should be customized according to the standard of transport demand in the rainy season.

V. views on the construction of factories overseas

First of all, with the gradual deepening of the domestic implementation of the "capacity loss" policy, it is imperative for central enterprises to "go out". Second, the domestic environmental pollution is serious, the government is firmly determined to carry out the "green water and green mountains" work, the anti-pollution work has been continuously strengthened, and the trend of rectification and closure of all kinds of non-compliant factories has been obvious. Third, affected by the epidemic, the global economy has fallen into a state of serious depression, and not only domestic enterprises but also international capital have entered a state of tightening, carefully arranging investment plans and making every effort to deal with the current situation. On the whole, the situation at this stage may cause investors to delay investment, but it does not provide a decisive basis for investment decisions.

VI. Exploration of special ships for super-large bauxite mines

At present, the existing 40,000 dwt ships are all customized iron ore ships and have no general market performance; so the cabin capacity of this kind of ships is relatively small, and if bauxite is loaded, there will be obvious underloading, which is of no obvious help to reduce transportation costs.

Domestic well-known bulk transport enterprises have also been committed to studying the large-scale design scheme of bauxite transport ships and further optimizing the applicability of the ship. however, the substantive scheme optimization, ship construction and benefit evaluation still need the concrete implementation of long-term transportation contract and construction contract.

Summary: at present, although domestic alumina plants are not like steel mills concentrated in coastal areas with convenient water transportation, they have also begun to move forward or build new ones in coastal areas. It is believed that in the next few years, the demand for land transport of bauxite will gradually decrease, and the demand for full-process water transport will become an "important play", which may provide a broader space for super-large bauxite special ships at that time.

Author: Cosco Marine bulk cargo Transportation Co., Ltd. Huayi

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