Singapore-based Chinese Capesize specialist Winning International Group has further expanded its marine transportation business from West Africa to China with an order for six very large ore carriers (VLOCs) worth almost $700 million.

According to the order for two VLOCs Winning has booked the sextet with Hengli Heavy Industry, a company based at CSSC’s Qingdao Beihai Shipbuilding yard in September last year. Shipbuilding sources say deliveries are set to begin in the second half of 2027, with the vessel priced at around $116 million per vessel.

The so-called WinningMax 325,000 dwt newbuildings, classified by the China Classification Society and DNV, will be nearly 330 m long and methanol-ready with 12,000 cu m fuel storage tanks. Compared to traditional capes, the newbuildings are expected to reduce energy consumption per ton-mile by nearly 50%.

Winning owns and operates one of the largest bulk carrier fleets in Singapore, with almost 100 vessels, of which 51 are owned. The company is currently the world’s largest bauxite carrier and is primarily involved in developments in Guinea, with an annual shipment of over 50 million tonnes.

In the second quarter, Greek broker Intermodal described an “unprecedented increase” in bauxite export from guineareached a new record of 38.01 million tonnes, most of which went to China. Bauxite is the only minor ore transported by Capesizes and is a key mineral for aluminium. China’s primary aluminium production also set a new record, at 17.77 million tonnes in the first five months of 2024, up 5.4% from the previous record set for the same period in 2023.