Bloomberg News

Vale Beijing Ore Carrier Has External Leak, Ship Surveyor Says

December 12, 2011

Dec. 9 (Bloomberg) -- The Vale Beijing, the iron-ore carrier damaged while loading its first cargo in Brazil, has an external leak, meaning sea water is entering part of the ship, classification society Det Norske Veritas said.

The vessel, owned by STX Pan Ocean Co. and leased to top global iron-ore producer Vale SA, must be moved for a second time so divers can determine the leak’s size and type, Aage Andreas Enghaug, spokesman for Oslo-based DNV, said by phone. Vale Beijing is one of the world’s six largest commodity carriers.

DNV monitors compliance with ships’ design and structural rules and issued certificates saying the vessel was safe to sail after it was built. The society has specialists at the ship.

Vale referred calls to Seoul-based STX Pan Ocean. Sean Park, a spokesman for the South Korean company, declined to comment from Rio de Janeiro. The ship has a cracked ballast tank, an area between cargo holds and the hull that is filled with water when vessels are empty to keep them stable, STX said in an earlier statement. The carrier can be repaired and continue sailing, the company said, adding it’s too soon to assess the cause of the incident.

--With assistance from Juan Pablo Spinetto and Jessica Brice in Rio de Janeiro and Kyunghee Park in Singapore. Editors: Dan Weeks, John Deane.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michelle Wiese Bockmann in London at mwiesebockma@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at anightingal1@bloomberg.net


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