Algoma Central Corporation’s brand new ship, Algoma Equinox, made its way into the Port of Duluth-Superior on December 11, 2013 to load iron ore for Cleveland Cliffs at the BNSF Railway Dock in Superior. This marked the ship’s first full transit of the entire Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway since arriving in the system a week earlier.
Algoma Equinox departed the Nantong Mingde Heavy Industries shipyard in Nantong, China on Oct. 1, 2013 transiting 14,700 nautical miles over the course of 61 days. After making its way through the Panama Canal in mid-November, the vessel arrived in Canada for its first load of iron ore from ArcelorMittal Mining Canada in Port Cartier, Quebec, on December 1, 2013. The ship departed the following day en route to Hamilton, with its first official cargo to unload at the ArcelorMittal Dofasco dock – officially entering the Seaway for the first time at the St. Lambert Lock in Montreal on Dec. 3. The iron ore pellets loaded at BNSF in Superior are headed to Quebec City. Algoma Equinox arrived in the Port of Duluth-Superior under the command of Captain Seann O’Donoughue (though it was Captain Prakash Rao at its helm during the voyage from China to Canada).
This gearless bulker is the first in a series of eight Equinox Class vessels being built at the Nantong Mingde shipyard, all designed for service on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence waterway. Delivery of the other seven will occur at approximately three month intervals through 2014 and 2015. The series consists of four gearless bulk carriers and four self-unloading bulk carriers. Algoma will own six of the series, including two gearless bulkers and four self-unloading vessels. CWB, formerly the Canadian Wheat Board, will own the other two gearless bulkers, which will be operated and managed by Algoma.