Algoma Central Corp. announced that the Algoma Equinox set sail from the Nantong Mingde Heavy Industries shipyard in Nantong, China on October 1, on its way to Canada. This vessel marks the third vessel to be built for Algoma’s Domestic Dry-Bulk fleet in China. These dry-bulk vessels included the Radcliffe R. Latimer (delivered in 2009) and the Algoma Mariner (delivered in 2011). In addition to these vessels, Algoma has also built the Algoscotia, a domestic tanker, and the Honourable Henry Jackman, an ocean-going dry-bulk vessel, in China. These vessels were delivered in 2004 and 2007, respectively.

The Algoma Equinox is the first in a series of eight Equinox Class vessels being built at Nantong Mingde shipyard. The series consists of four gearless bulk carriers and four self-unloading bulk carriers. Algoma will own six of the series, consisting of two gearless bulkers and four self-unloading vessels. CWB Inc., formerly the Canadian Wheat Board, will own the other two gearless bulkers, which will be operated and managed by Algoma. “Today, 20 Algoma crew members pushed away from the Nantong dock and began the long journey home,” said Greg Wight, Algoma President and CEO. “The journey is expected to take eight weeks, during which time the crew will put the new ship through its paces. I know I speak for everyone from Algoma when I say that I look forward to seeing the Algoma Equinox and the crew arrive back in Canada in mid-November.”

The Equinox Class represents the next generation of Great Lakes / St. Lawrence Waterway bulk cargo vessels. Algoma’s $300 million investment in six Equinox Class vessels demonstrates the Corporation’s commitment to operating in a sustainable manner. The ships have been designed to optimize fuel efficiency and operating performance thus minimizing environmental impact. A 45-per-cent improvement in energy efficiency over Algoma’s current fleet average is expected, resulting from the use of a modern Tier II compliant engine, increased cargo capacity, and improved hull form. In addition, a fully integrated IMO approved exhaust gas scrubber will remove 97 per cent of all sulphur oxides from shipboard emissions. The use of exhaust gas scrubbers represents the first application of an IMO approved integrated scrubber on a Great Lakes / St. Lawrence vessel class.

In conjunction with the sailing of the Algoma Equinox, Algoma has published its first Sustainability Report. This report replaces the Algoma Environmental Report and is substantailly broader, providing a detailed report card on all aspects of the Corporation’s sustainability performance. The 2013 Sustainability Reports highlights performance against metrics for safety, community involvement, environmental impact, and governance.

“Marine transportation is the most sustainable way of moving cargo, as was confirmed by the recent study Environmental and Social Impacts of Marine Transport in the Great Lakes—St.Lawrence Seaway Region, but we know that we must continue to improve our performance and are continually looking for ways to do so”, says Greg Wight in the introduction to the Report. “We have a long and proud history as a successful Canadian company and are making significant investments to ensure the continued success and well-being of our company, our employees and the customers we serve.”

Algoma’s 2013 Sustainability Report is available on its website at In addition, if you wish to follow the progress of the Algoma Equinox on its journey home, a crew member on the vessel will be maintaining a blog of the voyage, a link to which can be found on the home page of Algoma’s website.