Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) today welcomed the final vessel in the Company’s ore carrier fleet, FMG Northern Spirit, with a naming ceremony in Port Hedland.
Since FMG Nicola sailed into Herb Elliott Port in December 2016, Fortescue’s eight ore carriers have completed 91 voyages from Port Hedland, shipping 23 million tonnes of ore to customers in China. Now fully operational, the fleet will provide approximately 12 per cent of Fortescue’s total shipping requirements.
Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines said that Fortescue has been realising the productivity and efficiency benefits of the fleet, which was designed to complement Fortescue’s world-class port infrastructure.
“Our fleet of eight ore carriers, including FMG Northern Spirit, is a natural extension of Fortescue’s supply chain and a critical element of our global scale operations and integrated infrastructure,” Ms Gaines said.
“By maximising tonnage, improving loading rates and increasing the safety of manoeuvring through the port and channel, these vessels are helping us achieve our vision of being the safest, lowest cost, most profitable mining company.
“The partnerships with the Yangzijiang Xinfu Shipyard and Guangzhou Shipyard International for construction of the ore carriers, together with our financing transaction with the China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co., Ltd. to finance the fleet demonstrate the breadth and depth of Fortescue’s relationship with China.”
FMG Northern Spirit was named by Geologist Keith Greig and Process Control Engineer Gustaaf Ingenluyff, following a competition that received 220 suggestions from team members across the business.
Northern Spirits is Fortescue’s internal recognition program and a symbol of the perseverance, dedication and ‘never, ever give up’ attitude, that is the cornerstone of the Company’s unique culture.
“Northern Spirits awards are given to staff who go over and above their normal duties. As the ship will operate from Hedland northwards to our customers, it seemed appropriate for the same ethos to be applied to our newest addition to the shipping fleet,” Mr Greig said.