In partnership with Sumitomo Corporation and Oshima Shipyard, the environmentally advanced vessels will be built in Japan and will become what Fednav calls the "flagships" of its fleet of over 80 ships. They will be used to carry grain, steel, iron ore and sugar through the St Lawrence Seaway to and from Great Lakes ports and around the world
In addition to ports of call where the company operates terminals - Hamilton, Cleveland, Milwaukee and Burns Harbor - the vessels will also call into other ports on the Great Lakes such as Duluth/Superior, Thunder Bay, Detroit and Toledo.
Oshima Shipyard will build the 35,000t ice-class bulk carriers, whose advanced design and more efficient engines will result is 20% less fuel consumption and 20% fewer GHG emissions than vessels built by Oshima for Fednav 10 years ago, although those were among the most efficient of their time. NOx emissions will also be reduced by around 20%. All the vessels will receive DNV's Clean-Design notation.
“The environment is one of our top priorities when we consider the design of a new vessel for the Great Lakes,” said Paul Pathy, Fednav's President and Co-CEO. “It is very important to us and also to our customers that our vessels not only respect, but exceed environmental regulations in Canada and worldwide."
The six additional vessels will be delivered between 2015 and 2016, as part of a series of 21 new ships added to Fednav’s fleet since January 1, 2012. Fednav has the largest fleet of ice-class vessels in the world, capable of navigating along the St. Lawrence Seaway, in the Baltic Sea and even in the Arctic.
- The St Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation has reported that year-to-date shipments from March 22 to July 31 through the seaway totalled 17.1 Mt, up slightly from 17 Mt for the same period last year. Shipments for the month of July totalled 3.9 Mt, down 3% from the same month in 2011. The navigation system continues to see strong growth from coal and iron ore exports and wind turbine imports but has been affected by a decrease in US grain and petroleum, coke and scrap shipments. “There has been very little American winter wheat travelling through the Seaway due to the crop being impacted by flooding earlier this year and we expect that corn and soybeans shipments this autumn will be negatively impacted by the current droughts in the US,” said Bruce Hodgson, director of market development for the corporation.
- Year-to-date iron ore and coal shipments have both increased by 28% to 5.2 Mt and 2.2 Mt respectively. Shipments of wind turbines are up 32% over the same period last year. Year-to-date coke shipments are down 35% to 0.77 Mt due to changes in production and delivery flows by steel manufacturers. Export volumes of US grain via the Seaway system is down 50% to 379,000 tonnes. Shipowners like St Catharines-based Algoma Central Corporation, however, are expecting Canadian grain shipments to be strong this autumn. “The new wheat crop will start moving in September-October and all indications are that it looks pretty good,” said Greg Wight, CEO of Algoma Central Corporation. Another bright note has been an influx of imported steel products to the Port of Oshawa. The port reported that its total year-to-date tonnage has increased by 63% to 205,000t compared to the same period last year, driven in large part by an influx of "rebar" for construction of condo apartments in the Greater Toronto Area. The steel is being imported from Turkey and Portugal.