Canada Steamship Lines (CSL) unveiled its newest Trillium Class vessel, the Thunder Bay, at a special Maiden Voyage celebration held in Port Colborne, Ontario. The Thunder Bay, which is equipped with state-of-the-art systems that reduce fuel consumption and air emissions, stopped at the city as it made its first transit in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System.
Rick Dykstra, MP for St. Catharines and Port Colborne Mayor Vance Badawey joined Louis Martel, President of Canada Steamship Lines, at Snider Docks to celebrate the ship’s arrival. The vessel is travelling from Escanaba, Michigan where she loaded iron ore pellets that will then be delivered to the port of Quebec, for markets overseas.
During a formal ceremony, Louis Martel, President of Canada Steamship Lines, paid tribute to the importance of the City of Port Colborne and the Niagara region to the company’s business. “For over 100 years, Canada Steamship Lines vessels have been travelling through the Welland Canal and benefitting from the supplies and expert services of companies in Port Colborne and throughout the Niagara region. We thought it was only fitting to celebrate the maiden voyage of our newest vessel in this great community.”
The Thunder Bay is the third of four new Trillium Class vessels to join CSL’s Great Lakes fleet. Conceived and built as part of CSL’s ambitious fleet renewal program, Trillium ships are equipped with the most advanced, sustainable and safe technologies available on the market today. “We built these ships to meet the high environmental standards expected by the communities in which we operate,” said Martel. “The Thunder Bay and all Trillium Class vessels use 15 per cent less fuel, release fewer emissions and dust, and provide outstanding operational efficiency.”
During the ceremony, Rick Dykstra, MP for St. Catharines, said: “In the wake of our government’s removal of the 25 per cent vessel import duty, Canada Steamship Lines and other Canadian shipowners are investing $1 billion to build the most modern, efficient and environmentally-friendly vessels the Great Lakes have ever seen. This investment helps our farmers and companies transport their goods more cost-effectively and at the same time delivers a more sustainable future to our communities.”
Mayor Vance Badawey commented on the significance of CSL’s fleet renewal program to the local economy. “The marine shipping industry creates jobs in our city, as well as throughout the region of Niagara and also attracts other industries to the region, who want to be in close proximity to the Welland Canal to transport their products. These new ships demonstrate Canada Steamship Lines’ commitment to securing a bright future for Great Lakes-Seaway shipping.”