The Baie St. Paul, Canada Steamship Lines’ first of four new Trillium Class self-unloading lakers set sail on October 5 on its maiden voyage from Chengxi shipyard in Jiangyin, China to Montreal, Quebec.

“Every first voyage of a new ship is an exciting event, but with the Baie St. Paul, the occasion is truly historic as CSL prepares to welcome the most modern vessel on the Great Lakes,” remarked Louis Martel, President of Canada Steamship Lines. “We are very proud of this achievement and are grateful to the design and newbuild teams for the hard work and dedication they have devoted to this challenging project and continue to apply to every new Trillium Class vessel.”

Commanded by Captain Mike Despotovich and Chief Engineer Dominique Tanguay, the Baie St. Paul will use a weather technology service to plan its route across the Pacific Ocean. It is expected to take 50 to 60 days to complete its voyage. To make possible its ocean passage, the gravity-fed self-unloading laker will be fitted with temporary reinforcing structures that will be removed upon arrival in the port of Montreal. As part of CSL’s ambitious fleet-renewal program, the Baie St. Paul will set the course for three additional new Trillium Class self-unloading vessels and two new bulk carriers to be introduced into the company’s Great Lakes fleet in 2012-2013.

According to Mr. Martel, these new vessels represent the beginning of a new era for CSL and for bulk shipping in the Great Lakes. “Employing leading edge technological innovation, the Trillium Class ships will set new standards in operational and energy efficiency, reliability, and environmental protection. For customers, this cements CSL’s standing as an industry leader and further positions the company to continue to meet their evolving needs,” he said.

Also departing from Chenxgi shipyard is the Rt. Hon. Paul E. Martin, a new CSL Trillium Class self-unloading Panamax vessel. The Rt. Hon. Paul E. Martin will join the CSL International fleet along with two other Trillium Class Panamax ships to be delivered in 2013.

A real-time map tracking the voyages of both the Baie St. Paul and the Rt. Hon. Paul E. Martin is posted on CSL’s website at Canada Steamship Lines and CSL International are divisions of The CSL Group, the world’s largest owner and operator of self-unloading vessels. The CSL Group delivers more than 80 million tonnes of cargo annually for customers in the construction, steel, energy and agri-food sectors.