CSL: New diesel-electric self-unloader begins service

Last week, Canada Steamship Lines’ (CSL) new diesel-electric self-unloading vessel, MV Nukumi, completed its inaugural loading and discharge of deicing salt for Windsor Salt.

CNW Group/The CSL Group

“The successful launch of Nukumi’s operations is the culmination of many years of planning with our … partner, Windsor Salt, to achieve the next level of safe, sustainable and efficient shipping in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Great Lakes region,” Louis Martel, President and CEO, The CSL Group, said.

Built by Chengxi Shipyard in China, the 26,000 dwt vessel was delivered to its owner in January 2022.

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Purpose-designed to service Windsor Salt’s deicing salt shipping and handling needs in Eastern Canada, the vessel’s advanced technology and innovative features were put to the test for the first time during loading at the Mines Seleines salt mine in the Magdalene Islands last week, and during the discharge in Montreal.

On its first trip to the Mines Seleine salt mine, the ship’s hull design and twin-fin diesel-electric propulsion system demonstrated the vessel’s ability to transit through narrow channels more quickly, at lower tide and with ‘exceptional’ maneuverability.

The ship’s fully automated single point of loading and cargo handling systems performed as designed and eliminated the need for vessel shifting during loading, making for a safer and more efficient operation.

During discharge in Montreal, the vessel’s shuttle discharge boom arrangement significantly reduced shifting, while sensor technology installed on the boom and programmed to auto-pile mode contributed to saving time and crew effort.

Several innovations built into the design of MV Nukumi are also reducing the ship’s overall environmental footprint and are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants by 25% and 80% respectively, compared with previous ships servicing the same routes.

These include diesel-electric tier 3 engines, a ballast water treatment system, a waste heat recovery system, and overall quieter machinery.

“Reducing the environmental impact of shipping our deicing salt and ensuring everyone’s safety are important objectives at Windsor Salt, and we are delighted that this new, advanced ship will help us achieve both,” Luc B. Savoie, Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer, Windsor Salt, commented.

CSL said it is grateful to the Ministère des Transports du Québec for its financial contribution as part of the Ministry’s program to improve the efficiency of marine, air and rail transportation.

“With Avantage Saint-Laurent, our government has given Quebec a clear vision for the marine industry: aligning economic development and protecting ecosystems. CSL’s Nukumi is a perfect example as to what we want to do on the St. Lawrence. I am very proud to support this project, which uses innovative marine transportation practices that respect the environment, and has concrete benefits for communities,” Chantal Rouleau, Quebec’s Minister for Transport, said.

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