Windsor Salt and Canada Steamship Lines (CSL), a unit of The CSL Group, have entered a strategic partnership to build a new cutting-edge self-unloading ship.

Bearing 26,000 metric tonnes of deadweight, the new ship will serve in the Gulf of St Lawrence and Great Lakes region.

After several years of joint planning, Windsor Salt and CSL started constructing the custom-made vessel in August last year.

The vessel was created to cater to Windsor Salt’s need to transport de-icing salt from its Mines Seleine salt mine on the Magdalen Islands to stockpile destinations such as Montreal and Quebec City.

The new ship will provide secure, sustainable, and reliable shipping solution to the region that depends on the Mines Seleine salt mine.

Windsor Salt marine distribution manager Tom Labash said: “Through our partnership with CSL, we wanted to prove not only that we could but we should strive for better because it’s important to challenge the status quo, especially when we have the opportunity to reduce our environmental impact and improve safety while delivering the de-icing salt Canadians know and trust.”

The new vessel will feature diesel-electric tier 3 engines, a ballast water treatment system, quieter machinery, and a unique hull design that will improve energy efficiency and reduce CO₂ emissions.

The ship is expected to emit approximately 25% less greenhouse gas emissions and 80% less harmful air pollutants in comparison with the former vessel, sailing the same salt routes.

In addition, the new vessel will be equipped with a fixed, single point-of-loading system, along with a cargo handling system, as well as a modern hull design and propulsion system to improve the manoeuvrability of the vessel and enhance the safety of navigation.

On 29 January, the keel-laying ceremony for the newbuild was held at Chengxi Shipyard in China’s Jiangyin.

The ship is expected to start operations in the Magdalen Islands in 2022.