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HANSA 03-2020

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Schifffahrt | Shipping

Schifffahrt | Shipping © Fednav Fednav took delivery of the »Federal Montreal«, a »Laker« built in Japan. The shipping company works on a fleet modernization US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) which is described as »an important step for enhancing the ability of seaports to deliver jobs, economic opportunities, and efficient movement of goods and people«. SLSMC states: »We earnestly hope that the implementation of the USMCA will be one of several improvements within the global trading arena, providing for a better cargo outlook in 2020.« In the course of the water level development, those responsible in politics and industry had to deal with an additional challenge. Despite all the obvious advantages for the economy of the region, there is also a headwind for shipping. Last year, for example, there were resident protests along the Upper St. Lawrence River between Montreal and Lake Ontario because of the elevated water levels in the river. The shipping industry had argued that higher water levels were needed to be able to sail fully loaden down to Montreal with bulkers. Residents, however, are concerned about the safety of their properties, as even small waves are crossing on to their waterfront properties. Some of the critics argue that bow waves from passing ships have eroded significant proportions of their waterfront properties. For a moment it seemed it would be difficult to find a compromise. Hydraulic engineering experts proposed measures to increase the productivity of shipping without requiring higher water levels. Ideas included innovative pumping systems for the locks, coupled systems for ships, bow wave deflectors and ship wake deflectors. So far, there is no official statement of the SLSMC regarding the progress of safety measures or talks with navigation stakeholders. For the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes region (that would allegedly be the fourth largest economy in the world if it were a country) the development also depends on the global and regional trade (and environmental) policies in the US and Canada. US presidential elections are pending in November, it remains to be seen which impact the election campaign will have on the rhetoric and on the activities of the political leaders involved. Despite the shifts in trade policy and in trade flows, those responsible do not expect any significant changes in cargo types and all in all they are more confident when looking into the future. Fleet additions In the meantime, shipping companies work on the modernization of their fleets. For example, Italian shipbuilding group Fincantieri works on a Great Lakes bulker for Interlake Steamship at its subsidiary site Bay Shipbuilding in Wisconsin. It is the first time in 35 years, a new bulk carrier is being built for the Great Lakes in North America. The vessels will operate as a river-sea vessel under US flag – with 195 m length, 24 m beam, almost 14 m draught and a deadweight tonnage of 28,000 dwt. For Interlake Steamship Company this is the first newbuilding since 1981. Completion of the bulk carrier is scheduled for 2022. According to Interlake, the selfunloader has a »unique cargo bay layout and hatch cover designed for maximum space and the ability to handle difficult loads. The Canadian shipowner Fednav operates a large fleet of mostly ice-class and ice-breaking bulk carriers in Arctic waters and around the world. The latest delivery, their 50 th vessel classed by DNV GL, is aid to set new standards for efficiency, cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 30%. In August 2019 the Canadian shipowning company took delivery of its latest 34,500 dwt ice-class handysize bulk carrier »Federal Montreal« from Oshima Shipbuilding. »Federal Montreal« is a so-called laker, with proportions specifically designed to navigate the St Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes. Compared to typical bulk carriers which have a length-to-beam ratio of 5.5 or 6 to 1, lakers are narrower, with a ratio of roughly 9 to 1. This results in structural challenges requiring very careful design considerations, DNV GL states. Federal Montreal will trade internationally as well as up the St Lawrence River and the Great Lakes region and is one of six newbuilds contracted to Oshima Shipbuilding as part of Fednav’s vessel replacement programme. The industry is facing huge challenges, says Tom Paterson, senior VP Ship Owning, Arctic and Projects, at Fednav: »The short-term challenge is cash flow. The medium-term challenge is knowing when and what to build. We are now looking at ‘Generation 4’ lakers which will be Tier III-compliant and only consume about 19 tonnes of fuel per day at 14kn, instead of 29t of fuel per day like our first-generation lakers built 20 years ago.« These new vessels shall have the same length and beam as their older sisters, but the new design is supposed to result in »huge savings in fuel costs and emissions«. n Italian group Fincantieri builds a Great Lakes bulker for Interlake Steamship at its subsidiary site Bay Shipbuilding in Wisconsin © Fincantieri 26 HANSA – International Maritime Journal 03 | 2020

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