Fortescue Metals Group has welcomed its second ore carrier, FMG Grace into Port Hedland. Mr Andrew Forrest, Fortescue Founder and Chairman, was joined by Nicola and Grace Forrest, the ship’s namesake, as well as ten Vocational Training and Employment Centre (VTEC) trainees to celebrate the milestone.
A ceremony was held on board the FMG Grace which included the formal naming of the ship and a traditional blessing. The ship’s captain was presented a piece of Indigenous art by local artist and Karimurra woman May Chapman.
“We were very proud to welcome the second of Fortescue’s fleet of ore ships into Port Hedland today. I am delighted that my daughter Grace was with us to officially name the FMG Grace at this very significant event,” Andrew Forrest said. “Family is at the heart of Fortescue’s values and we were honoured to be joined today by the current group of VTEC trainees, who are a very important part of our Fortescue family. The trainees are about to begin the next phase of their Fortescue journey as they start their employment at Christmas Creek next month,” Mr Forrest said.
“It was great to be a part of the ceremony that also recognised International Women’s Day and the 2017 theme ‘Empower a woman, empower a nation’. Gender equality is a core priority for Fortescue, evident through its gender balanced board and the number of women in leadership roles throughout the company,” Grace Forrest said.
Through VTEC, Fortescue is committed to empowering generational change through training and employment opportunities, with 30 per cent of the current cohort being women, while Grace Forrest is a strong advocate for women's rights throughout the world and is a co-founder of The Walk Free Foundation.
Following the arrival of FMG Nicola in December 2016, FMG Grace is the second of four very large ore carriers (VLOCs) from the Yangzijiang Shipyard in China. A further four ore carriers are being built at Guangzhou Shipyard International, with the delivery of the final vessel expected in mid- 2018.
The ships are designed to complement Fortescue’s world class port infrastructure through maximising the tonnage per ship, improved loading rates, and safe manoeuvring within the port and the channel. When fully operational, the fleet will provide approximately 12 per cent of Fortescue’s total shipping requirements.