​​ Tubarão Complex
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Tubarão Complex

This year the Tubarão Complex turns 50, and there is no shortage of reasons to celebrate. An important milestone in Vale’s growth, the Complex currently consists of eight Pelletizing Plants and port facilities for loading iron ore, pellets, steel and agricultural products and discharging coal. Our operations all utilize the latest Environmental Management technology and our production chain is responsible for creating thousands of direct and indirect job opportunities, contributing to the development of the state of Espírito Santo.

Fifty-year timeline

50-year Video Gallery

Bom Dia ES black powder interview – Part 2 (only in portuguese)
Bom Dia ES black powder interview – Part 1 (only in portuguese)
Bom Dia ES black powder interview – Part 2 (only in portuguese)
Bom Dia ES black powder interview – Part 2 (only in portuguese)
See more videos

50 years of photos

See more photos

Stories and anecdotes

Oswaldo Barros

Oswaldo Barros
Pelletizing Plant Mechanical Maintenance Manager

These days, when I look back, I can see that I was successful in my chosen career. I made a good contribution to CVRD or Vale, which meant everything to me. It was twenty-two years of happiness and enjoyment, working alongside some brilliant fellow engineers, technicians, supervisors, mechanics and others, without which it would have been impossible to achieve our goals.

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Alcides Pinto, Roberto Tavares e Pedro Siqueira de Almeida

Every employee takes pride in wearing the company uniform, and it was no different for me. To work for Vale and later be invited to talk about the company where we worked for decades is a great honor. Some people say we’re part of Vale’s heritage, as we were there to see it grow. I know Vale as well as I know my own daughters.

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Environmental Management of the Tubarão Complex

We have adopted the very latest environmental management practices in all our operations within the Tubarão Complex. We concluded a series of upgrades to our terminals in March, 2016. The upgrades included Piers I and II, used to load iron ore and pellets, and the Praia Mole Terminal (TPM), used for discharging coal. The work, which began in 2015, included structural investments and reviews of the processes utilized to handle solid grains, with the objective of preventing material loss during ship loading and discharging operations.

Check out the upgrades to the port

Conveyor belts

Transport iron ore to shiploaders
  • Fitted with new cleaning and scraping equipment, reducing material loss during loading to a minimum.
  • Conveyors on piers fitted with new sprinkler system to reduce material particulate suspension.
  • Areas adjacent to Pier II conveyor system equipped with collector channels that dispatch ore fallen from the conveyor to the correct location.


Convey iron ore and pellets to vessel for loading
  • Shiploaders fitted with skirting for greater containment and to facilitate access for cleaning.

Coal unloaders

Upon discharge, the unloaders transport the coal to the port
  • Containment screens have been fitted between vessel and pier to prevent coal from spilling into the sea.

Other improvements

  • More manpower and additional cleaning equipment to prevent material from accumulating on structures.
  • Increased frequency of equipment and cleaning systems maintenance.
  • Improvements to pier drainage systems to prevent water from accumulating at these locations.

A series of other medium and long-term measures are currently being implemented. One of the most significant is the enclosure of the conveyor belts feeding Pier II. This measure reduces dispersion of fugitive dust into the atmosphere, preventing it from polluting the sea when transporting ore on conveyors to the ship’s hold. Work is expected to conclude in February, 2017.

Environment Manager Romildo Fracalossi talks about the structural upgrades in the Port of Tubarão. Watch the video.

Vale, in keeping with the evolution of ecological thinking and the concern of both institutions and society regarding the impact of human activity on nature, initiated a structuring process of specific areas dedicated to the Environment and Sustainability. Back in the 1980s, before Brazil had any environmental legislation on its books, the Tubarão Complex already had an Environmental Protection Master Plan. In the intervening years, much has evolved. These days the Complex reuses almost all the residues produced, recirculates most of the water used in its internal processes and year- on-year consistently achieves significant reductions in pollutant and particulate emissions from its operations.

Environmental Management Evolution Timeline - Tubarão Complex::

Read about our environmental control technology:

  • Wind Fence
  • Dust suppressor
  • Transfer House
  • electrotatic precipitor
  • Shiploaders
  • water sprinklers
  • Reuse of water
  • Reuse of Residues
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Q & A

Is Vale the main producer of dust in the Greater Vitória region?

No. Sedimentary dust, commonly referred to as black or ore dust attributed to Vale originates from a number of sources: industrial activity, civil construction, vehicle tyre wear, exhaust emissions, road dust, fires, gases emitted by ships, amongst others.

Vale is currently participating in an important study to map the sources of dust emissions and obtain fundamental information to enable the environmental agencies to draw up a strategic air quality management plan for the region. The study is being conducted in partnership with the Espírito Santo State Government, the State Environmental Institute (IEMA), the City of Vitória Municipal Environmental Department and the community.

What is Vale doing to reduce dust emissions?

All of Vale’s production system in Tubarão, from the moment the ore arrives to the moment it is loaded aboard ship, is equipped with the latest environmental control technology. Ore and pellet stockpiles are treated with polymers and dust suppressors that prevent dust emissions. Ship loading operations have been enhanced with the installation of new, longer chutes that direct the product directly into the ship’s hold. Conveyor belt transfer areas have been enclosed. And lastly, we have installed 25 hydrostatic precipitators in our pelletizing plants. These units are 99% effective in the control of chimney emissions.

The Tubarão Complex also has an Environmental Control Centre (CCA) which monitors Vale operations 24/7, with a closed-circuit TV system consisting of 22 cameras. The CCA provides the ability to respond immediately and effectively to any operational deviations. In 2014, we achieved an 84% reduction in visible emissions in relation to 2012, when the CCA initiated operations, which clearly demonstrates the evolution of our environmental management practices.

Do Wind Fences really work?

Yes. This technology produces a 77% reduction in stockyard dust emissions. This reduction was measured using the appropriate methods and equipment and the results were presented to, and approved by the competent local agencies – State Environmental Institute (IEMA) and the Espírito Santo State Government (MPES).

The Wind Fence is a windbreak built round stockyards that reduces wind speed over the stockpiles and prevents the dispersal of airborne particulates into the atmosphere.

Is ore bad for our health?

Vale monitors the effects on the health of its employees attributable to their exposure to iron ore in the workplace. We have no record of any current or retired employees having suffered any health-related problems or being required to retire as a result of their exposure to iron ore.

Get to know Vale's environmental assets in Espírito Santo

A trip on the Passenger Train or a picnic with the family at Botanical Park? A weekend in the Vale Natural Reserve or a coffee at Vale Museum? Or maybe see the large ships at Tubarão Complex? This is the proposal of #valeconhecer campaign. Starting today, Vale invites you to visit our environmental assets in Espírito Santo and to share your moments with us.

Be sure to register your visit and share the photo with #valeconhecer.

Together our assets have received about 350,000 visitors only in 2014. What are you waiting for? Get to know them!

Find out more:

Vale Natural Reserve
Vale Museum
Botanical Park
Tubarão Complex
Passenger Train
Reserva Natural Vale
Get to know the Vale Natural Reserve

The Vale Natural Reserve is one of the largest protected areas of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Located in Linhares, Brazil, the area was acquired by Vale in the 1950s and since then over 2,800 plant species have been cataloged, along with 1,500 insect species, 110 mammals and 380 bird types – roughly 20% of registered bird species in the entire country.

Our reserve – 23,000 hectares in total – is open to the public. We have a hotel and leisure areas such as swimming pool, natural Jacuzzi and sports court. There are also walking trails and a Visitor Centre with information on environmental education.

Get to know the Vale Natural Reserve map and plan your visit!

The Vale Museum is located on the edge of Vitória Bay in Vila Velha, in the state of Espírito Santo. Opened in October 1998, the museum occupies the former Pedro Nolasco Train Station, a three-story building constructed in 1927. The aims of the museum are to provide the state’s people with a high-quality space for contemporary art, to encourage young people to use their creativity in the pursuit of knowledge, and to preserve memories of the one-hundred-year-old Vitória-Minas Railway.

With its exhibitions, seminars and art workshops, promotes contact among the diversity of style, techniques and contemporary aesthetic, encouraging many young people to join the market of artistic-cultural production.

Find out more about Vale Museum

Covering 33 hectares of green space, the Vale Botanical Park is located within Tubarão Complex’s green belt. Those visiting the park have the opportunity to see the first permanent Garden of the Senses in the state of Espírito Santo, which is designed to stimulate the five senses and promote a different way of interacting with nature.

The park also features the “Railcar of Knowledge,” a library with the capacity for 3,500 items installed in a railcar, including audiobooks for visually impaired people.

The Vale Botanical Park is also home to the only orchid house in Greater Vitória open to the community, which now has more than 350 orchids of 113 species. Visitors to the park can also play in our children’s playground and go on ecological hikes around the restored forest area, which now features more than 140 Atlantic Forest tree types and some wild animals.

Find out more about the Botanical Park and plan your visit!

The world’s largest producer of pellets, Tubarão Complex covers an area of 14 km2. It is home to the biggest railway yard in Latin America and eight pelletizing plants belonging to Vale, which together produce more than 20 million metric tons of pellets per year. Besides the operational facilities, the complex also has an administrative building, eight canteens, bank branches and a post office.

Moreover, in our operations in the Tubarão Complex, we adopt the very latest in environmental management. In recent years, we invested R$ 700 million in improvements and environmental controls to reduce dust emissions, reduce water consumption in our production processes and we reused much of the waste produced.

Want to see it closer?Come visit the Tubarão Complex.

Novo Trem de Passageiros da EFC

As well as transporting freight, the railway also runs the only daily passenger train service in Brazil to link two metropolitan areas: Cariacica and Belo Horizonte.

Operating since 1907, the service transports around 1 million passengers per year across 664 kilometres of beautiful landscapes and historically important regions. The full journey takes approximately 13 hours.

The trains have a snack bar and restaurant, an exclusive car for people with disabilities, and air-conditioned executive cars. In all parts of the train, passengers can call on the onboard staff for assistance.

Photo gallery


Would you like to see all this up close?

The world’s biggest producer of pellets, Tubarão Complex is home to the biggest railway yard in Latin America and eight pelletizing plants. About 20,000 people move through the complex per day, as in a real city. Its operations meet the very latest in environmental management. Do you want to get a closer look at all of this? You are welcome! Come visit us and see the enormous ships coming from all over the world and learn about the wind barriers and our environmental practices.

Schedule your visit now!