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New Great Lakes ship touted as more energy-efficient

The Algoma Harvester arrived in Hamilton Harbor on Tuesday in preparation for Wednesday’s christening ceremony. (CNW Group/Algoma Central Corp. photo)

A new ship on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway has its company touting her as an example of a new breed of bulk cargo vessels.

The Algoma Harvester is Algoma Central Corp.’s second of a kind, joining the Algoma Equinox, which is billed as being able to minimize environmental impact by optimizing fuel efficiency and operating performance resulting in 45 percent more energy efficient vessels.

The Algoma Harvester was christened Wednesday in Lake Ontario’s Hamilton Harbor in St. Catherines, Ontario.

“We have been extremely pleased with the performance of the first Equinox Class vessel,” said Greg Wright, president and CEO of Algoma.

“We expect the ship to move 1 million tons per year,” he said of the newest, the Harvester.

The Algoma Harvester will eventually make its way into the Port of Duluth-Superior during the 2014-15 shipping season as part of its expected 10 grain and iron ore trips. The Algoma Harvester will primarily serve the company’s agriculture and iron and steel industry customers, making regular voyages from lakehead ports on Lake Superior, such as Thunder Bay and Duluth/Superior, to Port Cartier, Quebec City, and Baie Comeau in the St. Lawrence.

Algoma operates a 32-vessel Canadian-flagged Great Lakes fleet, and its Harvester is part of a $300 million project to construct six state-of-the-art Equinox-class vessels.

“Fleet renewal is critical for a sustainable supply chain,” said Jim Baske, president and CEO of the Harvester’s first customer, ArcelorMittal Dofasco.

The original Algoma Equinox called on the BNSF dock in Superior on Dec. 11, 2013.