Brazilian mining giant Vale — which controls more than 100 conventionally fuelled ore carriers — is enquiring on a series of dual-fuel 300,000-dwt VLOCs that could cost more than $1.5bn.

Shipping sources said Vale has approached a handful of shipyards in China for quotes with a requirement for 14 newbuildings to be delivered from the end of 2025 onwards as it seeks to reduce its shipping carbon footprint.