Photo: CSL’s Baie St. Paul opens the Seaway’s 2021 navigation season. Photo: CNW Group/The CSL Group Inc.

CSL to test biodiesel on half of its fleet in 2021

Canadian shipping company Canada Steam Ship Lines (CSL) will be testing second generation biodiesel on half of its fleet over the course of the 2021 navigation season — a first for the Great Lakes shipping industry.

These tests are a follow-up to the successful trials of B100 biodiesel fuel on the main engines of two CSL ships last year.

The announcement was made by Louis Martel, President and CEO of the CSL Group, during the Seaway Opening ceremony on 22 March 2021.

On Monday, CSL Trillium-class self-unloading ship Baie St. Paul was the first vessel to transit St. Lambert Lock, marking the official beginning of the St. Lawrence Seaway’s 63rd navigation season. This is the second Seaway Opening for Baie St. Paul, which began operating on the Great Lakes in 2013 as the first in a new class of smarter, cleaner and more efficient ships. 

CSL’s Baie St. Paul opens the Seaway’s 2021 navigation season. Photo: CNW Group/The CSL Group Inc.

“Replacing fossil fuel with biodiesel on vessels requires no modification of existing equipment and provides a viable carbon neutral fuel source over its lifecycle,” Martel explained.

“This is what makes biofuels a very attractive option to reduce our environmental footprint, and we are eager to continue testing them and other solutions that offer the potential to contribute to cleaner air and waterways.”

CSL said it has aligned with Canada’s nationally determined targets under the Paris Climate Agreement with a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35% below 2005 levels by 2030.

To achieve this ambitious objective, the company is taking concrete actions by building more efficient ships, investing in R&D and innovation, and exploring and testing new technologies, fuels and digital solutions.

Among them, CSL is building a new 26,000 dwt diesel-electric self-unloading ship, purpose-built for Windsor Salt with advanced environmental technologies. The vessel will service Windsor Salt’s Mines Seleine located in the eco-sensitive marine environment of the Magdalene Islands.

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“The pace of transformation and digitalization we are witnessing in shipping today is a game-changer, and we are fully committed to modernizing and investing in the long-term viability, sustainability and success of our company and sector,” CSL Group CEO pointed out.

“Marine transportation continues to be the most efficient, reliable and eco-responsible choice for shipping large cargos, and investments made today in green solutions will have positive impacts for generations to come,” he concluded.

Based in Montreal with regional operations in the Americas, Australia and Europe, Canada Steamship Lines is a division of The CSL Group, the largest owner and operator of self-unloading ships in the world.