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Algoma Central Corp. adds first Equinox class unloader to its fleet

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Dry Bulk,

Canada’s largest shipowner and operator of domestic Great Lakes vessels, Algoma Central Corp., has announced the arrival of the first Equinox class self-unloader, the Algoma Niagara. The seaway-max size vessel arrived at the Canadian port of Sept Îles, Quebec, on 1 November. 

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”, 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.

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 capacity of approximately 39 000 DWTt at design draught (29 100 t at seaway draught).

The Algoma Sault is nearing completion at the Yangzijiang shipyard, and the Algoma Conveyor – which the company acquired at an auction from the bankrupt 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 whilst the Algoma Conveyor is expected to be completed and delivered in early 2019.

The Equinox class represents a new generation of Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Waterway bulk cargo vessels. The ships have been designed to optimise fuel efficiency and operating performance, thus minimising environmental impact. A 45% improvement in energy efficiency per tonne of cargo carried has been demonstrated by the four operating Equinox Class gearless bunkers.

In addition to design features that target efficiency, the ships use an IMO approved exhaust gas scrubber certified to remove 97% of sulfur oxides from shipboard emissions; the first application of a fully integrated scrubber on a Great Lakes – St. Lawrence vessel class. 

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