Fednav, a Canadian-owned leader in Arctic navigation, announced that its vessel, the MV Nunavik, departed from Deception Bay en route to China via Canada’s Northwest Passage on September 19, with a full cargo of nickel concentrate. The Nunavik will be one of the first commercial vessels to transit the Northwest Passage completely, and the first to do so unescorted with an Arctic cargo, and with Canadian expertise.

The Nunavik is the most powerful conventional (non-nuclear) icebreaking bulk carrier in the world, and sails from Deception Bay, Northern Quebec year round, transporting product from the Canadian Royalties mine. The Nunavik will deliver 23,000 tonnes of nickel concentrate to Bayuquan in China. Nunavik will be supported by a shore-based team of ice navigation specialists from Fednav and its subsidiary, Enfotec. The vessel will receive regular ice charts including real-time satellite imagery in order to operate Enfotec’s proprietary onboard ice-navigation system, IcenavTM, further enabling safe and efficient transit. The route to China via the Northwest Passage is some 40 per cent shorter than the traditional Panama Canal route, and as a result, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1,300 tonnes.

“Fednav is proud to have designed this remarkable ship and to plan the first independent commercial voyage through the Northwest Passage,” said Paul Pathy, President and co-CEO of Fednav Limited. “It is through the extraordinary capabilities of the Fednav team, the ship’s crew, and its world-leading technology that we can undertake this journey with confidence.” To follow the Nunavik in this crossing, visit www.fednav.com/en/voyage-nunavik

Fednav has had a presence in Canada’s Arctic for 60 years, managing mining and resupply transportation activities. Today, Fednav transports around two million tonnes annually from remote Northern mines, and has participated in virtually every shipping project in the Canadian Arctic. In 1998, Fednav became the first company to provide year-round shipping, unescorted, with the first winter voyage from Deception Bay. Fednav owns and operates the 28,400-tonne MV Arctic, an oil-bulk-ore ice-breaking vessel, the 31,500-tonne MV Umiak I, and the 31,700-tonne MV Nunavik, the most powerful conventional ice-breaking bulk carriers in the world. These vessels operate independently in the harsh polar environment and provide total transportation solutions to Canada’s northern mines.

In order to respect the fragile environment of the Arctic, Fednav has consulted with experts to determine the route that would least impact the wildlife habitat in the Arctic. Fednav and WWF-Canada have partnered on maritime transport in Arctic waters that aims precisely to minimize the impact of its ships’ passage. WWF has been working with Fednav on two priorities of mutual interest: developing leadership in operational sustainability, and philanthropic support for arctic conservation. Funding and input from Fednav led to the development of a study identifying best practices in Arctic shipping: Benchmarking for Best Practices in Arctic Shipping.

Canadian Royalties Inc.

Canadian Royalties Inc. (CRI) is a Montreal-based, wholly-owned subsidiary of Jilin Jien Nickel Industry Co., Ltd., of China. Since 2001, CRI has discovered and delineated several potentially mineable nickel-copper-cobalt-platinum-palladium-gold deposits that collectively form the Nunavik Nickel Project. The initial development phase ran from 2007 to mid-2008, when the global financial crisis caused an interruption in development. In early 2010, Jilin Jien acquired CRI and, together with Chinese banks, invested approximately $1 billion to build the mine and commence production. CRI expects to produce 20,000 tonnes per year of nickel and copper in concentrate, respectively.