CSL, BCI team up on diesel-electric transhipment vessel for Mardie Project

Canadian shipping company Canada Steam Ship Lines (CSL) has unveiled a 21-year strategic partnership with Australian resources company BCI Minerals Limited to build and operate a diesel-electric transhipment vessel to support the Mardie Salt and Potash Project.

Construction of the new vessel will begin in spring 2026 with delivery scheduled in mid-2027. The newbuild will have four azimuth drives and an integrated diesel-electric propulsion and powering system.

“We are excited to partner with BCI and spearhead the development of this custom-built diesel-electric ship, which will provide a high-performance, safe and sustainable solution for the Mardie project,” Louis Martel, President and CEO, The CSL Group, commented.

“Aligned with CSL and BCI’s commitment to environmental sustainability, the design of the new ship provides a pathway to achieve our decarbonization targets. Its diesel-electric propulsion system is engineered for future conversion to clean fuels or electrification.”

Courtesy of CSL

The 16,000 dwt transhipper will handle 5.35 million tonnes of salt and 140,000 tonnes of sulfate of potash per year. Loading will take place at BCI’s jetty loadout facility in Cape Preston, Western Australia, with the vessel navigating 12-15 nautical miles to transfer the cargo to ocean-going ships from Handysize to Newcastle Max.

“BCI Minerals is very pleased to sign this major contract with CSL for a vessel specifically designed for the Mardie Salt and Potash Project, which will provide BCI with a secure and cost-effective shipping solution providing real benefits to our operations and our customers,” David Boshoff, BCI’s Managing Director, said.

Beginning in the second half of 2026, CSL will provide a vessel on time charter to deliver transhipment services to the Mardie Project while the new dedicated vessel is under construction.

In December last year, CSL also entered into a 20-year strategic partnership with Australian cement supplier Adelaide Brighton Cement (Adbri) to build and operate what has been described as the ‘world’s first fully electric battery-capable self-unloading vessel’.

What is more, Eureka Shipping, a cement carrier services provider jointly owned by CSL and SMT Shipping, recently ordered a biofuel-capable, shore power-ready mechanical/pneumatic cement ship. The newbuild is currently under construction at the Holland Shipyards Group in the Netherlands and is scheduled for delivery in 2025.

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