Coal Age

DEC 2012

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transport tips continued Continued from page 29... Central Ports Not all steel companies can be directly served by deepwater vessels. Five of the top 10 steel producers are located inland along the Yangtze River, which empties into the China Sea on the north side of Shanghai. They are Baosteel, Wuhan, Jiangsu Shagang, Maanshan and Hunan Valin. To reach these facilities with raw materials it is necessary to unload the deepwater vessels at coastal feeder ports and reload the cargo, either coking coal or iron ore, into river barges capable of navigating the Yangtze River. These are not like the 1,500-ton towed river barges used in the U.S., but are individually powered vessels that are much larger, sometimes in the 8,000-ton class. Two of the major deepwater feeder terminals for both coking coal and iron ore are Ningbo and Majishan, both of which lie south of Shanghai. On the north bank of the Yangtze, 12 miles from the sea, Nantong Port occupies a shoreline of 4.2 km with five major terminals. Together they operate 24 berths, of which 14 berths are for vessels of more than 10,000 tons, including two berths for vessels of 150,000 tons, five berths for vessels of 70,000 tons, four berths for vessels of 50,000 tons, and three berths for vessels of 10,000 tons. Nantong acts as a feeder port for Yangtze River commerce in iron ore, coal and other bulk commodities. Ningbo—Ningbo (Beilun) is a rare deepwater port having unique natural conditions. Sheltered by the Zhoushan Islands, the port area is free from strong winds and waves. There is no freezing or siltation within the port area. The entry channel is normally more than 30 m deep except for a 4.5 km section that is 18.2 m deep. Large ships up to 250,000 tons can navigate freely, and those of 250,000 to 300,000 tons may come and leave on the tide. Ningbo Port receives the most ultra large ships (greater than 100,000 tons) in China, and is well-positioned as a feeder port to Yangtze River commerce. Majishan—The Port of Majishan is a large ore transfer base close to the Yangtze River estuary, and is a strategic feeder terminal. It is located on Sijiao Island in Shengsi and covers an area of about 168 acres. While Baosteel of Shanghai has already built a 250,000- and a 300,000-ton ore transfer dock, the construction of the terminal is incomplete. When complete it will handle coking coal as well as iron ore, LNG, liquid chemicals, and may cover as much as 1,000 acres. Because of its extreme depth Majishan is one of the three terminals chosen to accept Vale's 400,000-ton ore vessels when all testing is done. The other two are Dalian and Qingdao sub-port, Dongjiakou. December 2012 Fangcheng—Wuhan Iron & Steel Group (WISCO), a Yangtze River steel producer, has received approval from the Chinese government to build a new iron and steel plant in the southern province of Guangxi. WISCO plans to spend $9.5 billion on the new plant, which will be located at Fangcheng Port. The plant will be built to produce 8.5 million tons of iron, 9.2 million tons of steel and 8.6 million tons of steel materials, according to a statement from the China's National Development and Reform Commission. This port is currently the designated Chinese port for the receipt of South African coal. Author Dave Gambrel is a transportation consultant to the coal business. He was formerly the senior transportation executive for Peabody Energy Co. He may be reached at bunkgambrel@earthlink.net. www.coalage.com 53

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