Algoma: First Equinox Class Vessel Launched (Canada)Algoma Central Corporation (“Algoma”) announced the launch of the first vessel in its new series of Equinox Class vessels designed for service on the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Waterway.

The vessel will be named Algoma Equinox. The launching occurred at 07:28 local time, December 24, 2012 at the Nantong Mingde Heavy Industries shipyard in Nantong, China.

This Equinox Class series will include eight vessels consisting of four gearless bulk carriers (requiring shore-side equipment for cargo discharge) and four self-unloading bulk carriers. Algoma will own six of the series, consisting of two gearless bulkers and four self-unloading vessels. The expected delivered cost of these six Equinox vessels is approximately $300 million. The CWB will own the other two gearless bulkers which will be operated and managed by Algoma.

The Algoma Equinox is expected to commence operations in Canada during the 2013 navigation season. It will be followed by the delivery of the other seven Equinox Class vessels at approximately three month intervals through the remainder of 2013 and in 2014.

The Equinox Class represents the next generation of Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Waterway bulk cargo vessel. The ships have been specially designed to optimize fuel efficiency and operating performance thus minimizing environmental impact. A 45% improvement in energy efficiency over Algoma’s current fleet average is predicted with the use of a modern Tier II compliant engine and a fully integrated IMO approved exhaust gas scrubber that will remove 97% of all sulphur oxides from shipboard emissions. The use of exhaust gas scrubbers represents the first application of an IMO approved integrated scrubber on a Great Lakes – St. Lawrence vessel class.

“This is a very exciting day for Algoma” said Greg Wight, Algoma President and CEO. “Today’s launching represents the culmination of years of work by our employees to create the Equinox Class. We are very excited to achieve this important milestone and are looking forward to the completion of this vessel and its delivery to Canada in 2013.”

(Source: worldmaritimenews)