The Shulanghu grinding hub has three production lines creating a nominal capacity of 3 million tonnes per year, the company said.
The first product to be produced under Vale's partnership with the Ningbo Zhoushan Port Group will be a high-grade ground iron ore fine called GF88, which uses Vale's Carajas 65%-iron fines (IOCJ) as a raw material.
"[GF88] provides an excellent environmental-friendly solution for pellet production and supports steelmaking clients with the challenge of reducing their carbon footprint," noted the press statement.
The production of GF88 does not require fuel and water, so it does not generate tailings or wastewater.
Marcello Spinelli, Vale's executive director of ferrous minerals, said via video-link to the inauguration ceremony: "Vale is enriching its product portfolio to better meet China's increasing demand for quality, environmental performance and innovation in a new era. GF88 is a truly 'green' mineral product."
Stricter environmental controls in China are expected to lead to mills lowering their sintering of iron ore fines, and increasing their pellet mix. Ningbo Zhoushan Port is China's largest iron ore transfer base.
"GF88 enjoys high iron content, low impurities and low loss-on-ignition characteristics," added Spinelli. "It also deploys a unique, innovative and environmental-friendly production process, which has no need for heating or water and generates no tailings. With the launching of GF88 in China, together with other high-quality iron ore products and blends, Vale will continue to contribute to China's greener future".
Vale and the NZP Group have been cooperating on ore blending for the production of the Brazilian Blend Fines (BRBF) since 2016. In December 2019, the companies also signed a grinding service contract to launch new ground iron ore products in China.
Vale has committed to investing US$2 billion in initiatives to reduce direct and indirect carbon emissions by up to 33% by 2030.