Iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group has welcomed its second ore carrier – FMG Grace – into Port Hedland.
FMG Grace is the second of four very large ore carriers (VLOCs) that Fortescue will receive from the Yangzijanh Shipyard in China. The first VLOC – FMG Nicola – arrived in December last year.
The ships are designed to complement Fortescue’s port infrastructure through maximising the tonnage per ship, improved loading rates and safe manoeuvring within the port and the channel, the company said.
When fully operational, the fleet will provide about 12 per cent of Fortescue’s total shipping requirements.
A total of eight VLOCs are being built, Fortescue said in November 2016, with the FMG Sophia and FMG Sydney also under construction. A further four VLOCs are being built at Guangzhou Shipyard International, with delivery of the final vessel expected in mid-2018.
Andrew Forrest, Fortescue founder and chairman, was joined by Nicola and Grace Forrest, the latest ship’s namesake, as well as 10 Vocational Training and Employment Centre (VTEC) trainees, to celebrate the milestone with a ceremony on-board the new carrier.
“We were very proud to welcome the second of Fortescue’s fleet of ore ships into Port Hedland today. I am delighted that my daughter Grace was with us to officially name the FMG Grace at this very significant event,” Andrew Forrest said.
“Family is at the heart of Fortescue’s values and we were honoured to be joined today by the current group of VTEC trainees, who are a very important part of our Fortescue family.
“The trainees are about to begin the next phase of their Fortescue journey as they start their employment at Christmas Creek next month.”
Grace Forrest said it was great to be a part of the ceremony that also recognised International Women’s Day and the 2017 theme – empower a woman, empower a nation.
“Gender equality is a core priority for Fortescue, evident through its gender balanced board and the number of women in leadership roles throughout the company,” Grace Forrest said.
Through VTEC, Fortescue is committed to empowering generational change through training and employment opportunities, with 30 per cent of the current cohort being women.