Algoma Central Corporation, a leading provider of marine transportation services, announced that the first Equinox Class self-unloader, the seaway-max size Algoma Niagara, arrived at the Canadian port of Sept Iles, Quebec on November 1st.
The Algoma Niagara is the fifth Equinox Class vessel in Canada and she joins her four gearless sister ships in the Algoma fleet. The vessel is currently undergoing inspections and re-flagging as a Canadian vessel before beginning commercial operations.
“We are very pleased to see the Algoma Niagara in her home waters” said Gregg Ruhl, Chief Operating Officer of Algoma. “The performance of the Equinox Class has met all our objectives for efficiency and reliability”, Mr. Ruhl continued. “Being able to provide these benefits to customers in our self-unloading trades is something we have been looking forward to.”
The ship is expected to load its first cargo of iron ore from Port Cartier this weekend and depart for Hamilton shortly thereafter. Her next cargoes will be metallurgical coal for steelmaking followed by a grain cargo from Thunder Bay. Mr. Ruhl added, “Algoma is proud to support western Canadian farmers as they export their crop to foreign markets.”
The Algoma Niagara is the first of three Equinox Class self-unloaders currently under construction at the Yangzijiang shipyard in Jiangsu China. The ship is a traditional boom-aft twin belt self-unloader with a deadweight capacity of approximately 39,000 tonnes at design draught (29,100 tonnes at seaway draught).
The Algoma Sault is nearing completion at the Yangzijiang shipyard, and the Algoma Conveyor, which the Company acquired at auction from the failed Nantong Mingde shipyard earlier this year, is undergoing refurbishment and final construction. The Algoma Sault is expected to arrive in Canada in time to start the 2018 navigation season and the Algoma Conveyor is expected to be completed and delivered in early 2019.
The Equinox Class represents the new generation of Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Waterway bulk cargo vessels. The ships have been designed to optimize fuel efficiency and operating performance thus minimizing environmental impact.
A 45% improvement in energy efficiency per tonne of cargo carried has been demonstrated by the four operating Equinox Class gearless bulkers. This dramatic improvement is a result of the use of modern Tier II compliant engines, increased cargo capacity, and an improved hull form.
The Equinox Class vessels are the first truly bespoke Lakers, designed to meet the particular operating constraints of the Waterway. In addition to design features that target efficiency, the ships utilize an IMO approved exhaust gas scrubber certified to remove 97% of sulphur oxides from shipboard emissions; the first application of a fully integrated scrubber on a Great Lakes – St. Lawrence vessel class.