About Vale

1/15/2016

First ship loaded at Ponta da Madeira: a special Monday in Vale’s history

The Docepolo being loaded at Ponta da Madeira
The Docepolo being loaded at Ponta da Madeira

“The loading operation was a success,” said the Docepolo’s captain, Domingos Francisco Vieira, 30 years ago. Twelve days before, when the ship docked at Ponta da Madeira Maritime Terminal in Maranhão in order to fill its eight holds with iron ore, expectations were high. After all, this would be the inaugural operation at one of the world’s biggest and best ports. At 3 pm on Monday, January 6, 1986, the fully laden vessel left São Marcos Bay for Japan. The mine-railway-port circuit of the Ferro Carajás Iron Project was officially complete.

One hour before the ship sailed off, Francisco José Schettino, Vale’s production director, said proudly: “We are starting off 1986 on the right foot!” The company celebrated the new port’s first operation and also the logistical achievement of transporting iron ore nearly 900 km along the newly built Carajás Railway to the port.

Ponta da Madeira Maritime Terminal

The terminal is located in Itaqui Port Complex, on the east bank of São Marcos Bay in São Luís. It is Brazil’s largest port in terms of cargo volume and one of Vale’s main assets.

The port is currently undergoing work to expand its annual embarkation capacity to 230 million metric tons in 2018, in order to handle the increase in production arising from Vale’s S11D project in Carajás, Pará.

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First ship loaded at Ponta da Madeira: a special Monday in Vale’s history