Fortescue has taken delivery of the seventh ore carrier at Port Hedland last week at an event attended by the company’s Founder and Chairman, Andrew Forrest and Fortescue’s latest Vocational Training and Employment Centre (VTEC) team.
FMG Amanda is the third of four ore carriers built at China’s Guangzhou Shipyard International, with delivery of the final vessel expected in mid-2018. The first four ore carriers were also built in China at Yangzijiang Shipyard in Jiangsu Province.
The vessel joins the company’s fleet of ore carriers, FMG Nicola, FMG Grace, FMG Sophia, FMG Sydney, FMG Matilda and FMG David.
Designed to complement the Fortescue’s world-class port infrastructure, the ore carrier fleet will provide approximately 12% of the company’s total shipping requirements while maximising tonnage, improving loading rates and safer manoeuvring through the port and channel.
FMG Amanda has been named after Amanda Bennell, a graduate of Mr Forrest’s training initiative who participated in the VTEC program in 1999 when it operated at Anaconda Nickel.
Ms Bennell – who had been struggling with drug addiction prior to enlisting in the program – said she felt ‘humbled and grateful’ that the vessel is bearing her name.
“When I arrived at that mine site the day before my 19th birthday, 18 years ago, I had an instant feeling of happiness and independence,” Ms Bennell said.
“VTEC doesn’t come without challenges but it does come with a promise; a promise that you will gain the training, skills and employment to ensure you and your family will have financial stability and hope for tomorrow.”
“I hope my journey may influence others to believe that they too deserve a rewarding and fulfilled life.”
Mr Forrest said the FMG Amanda has been named to reflect Amanda’s hard work and determination, and act as reminder of the great opportunities that exist when people are offered a hand up, not a hand out.
“This simple idea has driven the success of VTEC since it began. It’s terrific to see this value alive and well in our current VTEC community,” Mr Forrest continued.
“Amanda sets a strong example for all Australians and demonstrates that courage, perseverance, fortitude and optimism are the keys to success and the tools that help overcome all obstacles.”