Vale Idles Three Pellet Plants

Shifting steel-industry demand for raw materials prompted Vale to suspend operations at two
of its pellet plants in Brazil.
Vale reported in early October 2012 that an additional portion of its iron ore pro-duction in Brazil will be allocated to increase the supply of sinter feed, consequently reducing the availability of pellet feed for its pelletizing operations. As a result, the company is temporarily sus-pending operations at its São Luís and Tubarão I and II pellet plants, located in the states of Maranhão and Espírito Santo, respectively. These plants pro-duced 4.926 million mt of pellets during the first half of 2012, accounting for 18.3% of Vale’s total pellet production. Employees at the plants will be reassigned to other operational activities at Vale.

Vale’s reduction in pellet production stems from a change in the composition of steel-industry demand for raw materi-als, where there has been a contraction in pellet consumption in favor of greater use of sinter feed. Vale is continuing to invest in its iron ore and pellets growth pipeline, remaining confident in the long-term iron ore market fundamentals and, above all, in the high competitive-ness of its world-class assets, the Vale statement said.

As featured in Womp 2012 Vol 11 -