K+S Windsor Salt Ltd. (Windsor Salt) and Canada Steamship Lines (CSL) have announced a partnership to build a new state-of-the-art self-unloading ship with a deadweight of 26,000 metric tons for use in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Great Lakes region.
Windsor Salt and CSL began construction of the vessel in August 2020 after several years of collaborative planning. The distinctive, purpose-designed vessel was created to service Windsor Salt’s need to deliver deicing salt from its Mines Seleine salt mine on the Magdalen Islands to stockpiles in Montreal, Quebec City, and other destinations within the provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland.
“Through our partnership with CSL, we wanted to prove not only that we could – but we should strive for better – because it’s important to challenge the status quo, especially when we have the opportunity to reduce our environmental impact and improve safety while delivering the deicing salt Canadians know and trust,” said Tom Labash, Marine Distribution Manager for Windsor Salt.
Given the shipping route is located in the sensitive marine environment of the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Windsor Salt and CSL worked together to bring several innovations to enhance sustainability and reduce the environmental footprint of the new ship, including:
• Diesel-electric tier 3 engines and a unique hull design that will contribute to cutting CO2 emissions and improve energy efficiency;
• A ballast water treatment system that is expected to reduce the transfer of invasive species;
• Quieter machinery that will reduce vessel noise to protect the area’s North Atlantic right whales and other marine mammals.
Compared to the previous vessel servicing the same salt routes, the new ship is expected to emit approximately 25 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions and 80 per cent fewer harmful air pollutants.
The new ship also features several innovations to enhance efficiency and safety including:
• A fixed, single point of loading system with a single hopper into which the salt is loaded, combined with a cargo handling system that eliminates the need for the vessel to shift during loading, which will improve the efficiency of cargo operations and the safety of ship and shore personnel.
• A modern hull design and state-of-the-art propulsion system to enhance the maneuverability of the vessel and increase the safety of navigation in the shallow Magdalen Island channel.
Louis Martel, President and CEO of The CSL Group, commented: “CSL is very excited about leading the design and construction of this pioneering ship for our customer and introducing a new level of safety and environmental sustainability in Canadian waters. We would also like to thank the Ministère des Transports du Québec for its financial contribution to the newbuild project, as part of the Ministry’s program to improve the efficiency of marine, air and rail transportation. Thanks to this generous support, CSL is able to acquire and install equipment to reduce the new vessel’s greenhouse gas emissions.”
The keel laying ceremony for the newbuild was held at Chengxi Shipyard in Jiangyin, China, on January 29, 2021. The vessel is expected to commence operations in the Magdalen Islands at the start of the 2022 navigation season.