New Greener Ships for the Great Lakes
Shipowners are investing more than $1 billion to bring a new generation of super efficient, environmentally-friendly vessels to the Great Lakes-Seaway System over the next three years.
These first-class vessels, which include both ocean-going and domestic ships, will have the latest engine technology and hull design to increase fuel efficiency and decrease air emissions; double hulls to prevent spills in the event of an accident and state-of-the-art cargo handling systems to minimize dust and cargo residue.
Once government standards are established and technology is available, many of these vessels will also accommodate engine-exhaust gas scrubbers to further reduce air emissions, and ballast water treatment systems to mitigate the risk of introducing invasive species.
This recapitalization is an important step towards sustaining and growing an industry that moves millions of tons of raw materials annually for manufacturers, construction companies, farmers, and cities, and which is responsible for more than 200,000 direct and indirect jobs in the U.S. and Canada.
- In 2012-2014, Montreal-based Canada Steamship Lines will add four new self-unloading and two gearless bulk carriers to the Canadian Great Lakes fleet. These Trillium-class ships feature new engine technology and hull design to reduce fuel consumption and air emissions and the latest generation in self-unloading equipment to prevent cargo spills and reduce noise in ports, amongst other improvements.
- In 2013 and 2014, St. Catharines-based Algoma Central will add eight new vessels — two of which are owned by the Canadian Wheat Board — to its fleet. These Equinox-class vessels will release 45 percent less emissions than existing motor vessels, and feature numerous other systems to reduce a vessel’s environmental footprint. This investment is in addition to the M/V Algoma Mariner, which was christened in Port Colborne, Ontario in 2011 — heralding in a new era of state-of-the-art Canadian-flagged vessels dedicated to domestic trading in the Great Lakes-Seaway.
- In 2015-16, Montreal-based Fednav Ltd. will add six new energy-efficient vessels to its fleet, which will connect the Great Lakes-Seaway region’s ports with overseas markets and facilitate international trade. The ocean-going ships will be 20 percent more fuel efficient than their predecessors and will reduce air emissions by the same percentage. These ships will add to three other newly-built, environmentally-advanced vessels — the M/V Federal Yukina and its two sister ships — that began arriving to trade in the region in 2011. Twelve percent more efficient than its predecessors, the M/V Federal Yukina will save 770 metric tons of fuel a year and release 2,500 fewer metric tons of carbon dioxide.