China’s Caofeidian Port is expanding its iron ore mixed trading center’s capacity to reach a 400,000mt per month while aiming at a 1bn mt capacity in the future making it one of the largest in the world.
China Minmetals Group, Caofeidian Port Group and Hegang Group are the investing approximately CNY10bn ($1.4bn) for the center that will serve as a bonded ore distribution, spot and futures delivery warehouse. The plan covers an area of around 2,000 acres. The first phase of the project is functional and has a capacity to produce 4mn mt of refined mixed ore products with a iron ore transaction scale of 16mn mt. The facilities can mix over 2,000mt/hr of iron ore powder at max speed. On completion, the center could handle annual iron ore spot transaction volume of more than 100mn mt.
Caofeidian port is in China’s steelmaking city of Tangshan, in Hebei Province. The port handles significant volumes of iron ore and coal for Shougang Steel, which was shifted from Beijing to Caofeidian in 2006 under steel industry transformation policy. Caofeidian port managed 370mn mt of cargo in 2019, up 2.8pc from the prior year with imports and exports valued at $2.05bn.
Majors suppliers of iron ore Rio Tinto has set up a subsidiary in China to increase portside spot trading and ore blending to gain the ability to provide customised ore mixes to Chinese steelmakers, especially small to mid-sized mill. These port-side centers could help suppliers serve companies beyond Tangshan along the Yangtze River region.
Recently, the port started handling and transferring domestic and international cargo with open-top containers to enhance its transit capacity. Caofeidian Port is a also expanding its coal berth, beside handling iron and steel shipments, the port of major hub for coking coal imports.