Equinox

Canada-based dry bulk vessels operator Algoma Central has selected Croatian shipbuilder Uljanik to build three Seaway Max self-unloading bulk freighters.

The 740ft vessels will complement the company’s Great Lakes St Lawrence Waterway dry-bulk fleet.

Planned to be designed with a boom forward configuration, the new ships will incorporate features of the existing Equinox design.

The vessels will feature a 78ft beam, exhaust gas scrubber technology, and will accommodate 29,300t at maximum Seaway draft.

The contract replaces three of the deals cancelled with a Chinese shipyard earlier this year, and is subject to delivery by the shipyard of security for the construction instalments, Algoma said.

Algoma president and CEO Ken Bloch Soerensen said: "Our experience with the Uljanik Group on the Equinox 650 Class project has given us confidence in the Shipyard’s ability to deliver high quality vessels on the agreed timelines.

"Our Equinox project has faced significant delays as a result of the financial problems encountered by Nantong Mingde shipyard.

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"Our experience with the Uljanik Group on the Equinox 650 Class project has given us confidence in the Shipyard’s ability to deliver high quality vessels."

"Working closely with Uljanik, we are confident in the continuation of Algoma’s fleet renewal project."

The company expects to receive all the new vessels in 2018.

Algoma is also in talks with various other parties with respect to fleet renewal opportunities.

On the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Waterway, the company operates 18 self-unloading dry-bulk carriers, seven gearless dry bulk carriers and seven product tankers. It has stakes in ocean dry-bulk vessels operating in international markets.


Image: Equinox Class ship the Algoma Harvester entering Port Colborne harbour from Lake Erie. Photo: courtesy of CNW Group / Algoma Central Corporation.