Canadian provider of marine transportation services Algoma Central Corporation informed that its first Equinox Class self-unloader, the seaway-max size Algoma Niagara, arrived at the Port of Sept Iles, Quebec, on November 1.
The Algoma Niagara is the fifth Equinox Class vessel in Canada and it joined four gearless sister ships in the company’s fleet. The vessel was scheduled to undergo inspections and re-flagging as a Canadian vessel before beginning commercial operations.
The 225.6-meter-long bulker loaded its first cargo of iron ore from Port Cartier past weekend and departed for Hamilton shortly thereafter.
Delivered in September this year, Algoma Niagara is the first of three Equinox Class self-unloaders currently under construction at the Yangzijiang shipyard in Jiangsu China. The ship is a traditional boom-aft twin belt self-unloader with a deadweight capacity of approximately 39,000 tons at design draught.
The Algoma Sault is nearing completion at the Yangzijiang shipyard, and the Algoma Conveyor, which the company acquired at auction from the failed Nantong Mingde shipyard earlier this year, is undergoing refurbishment and final construction. The Algoma Sault is expected to arrive in Canada in time to start the 2018 navigation season and the Algoma Conveyor is expected to be completed and delivered in early 2019, according to the company.
The Equinox Class represents the new generation of Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Waterway bulk cargo vessels. The ships have been designed to optimize fuel efficiency and operating performance thus minimizing environmental impact, the company said.
Separately, Algoma released its financial results for the third quarter of 2017 which show that the company saw a drop of almost 15 percent in its net earnings. During the quarter, Algoma’s net earnings dropped to CAD 32.8 million (USD 25.7 million) from CAD 38.5 million posted in Q3 2016.
The company experienced a 23.5% increase in net earnings from continuing operations for the third quarter over the same period in 2016 – excluding the net gain on the cancellation of the shipbuilding contracts recognized in 2016. Inclusive of this net gain, net earnings from continuing operation were CAD 22.5 million in the third quarter of 2016, against CAD 24.4 million reported in the corresponding period of 2016.
Revenues for the period rose to CAD 136.6 million from CAD 118.2 million recorded in Q3 2016.
Algoma Central Corporation operates the largest Canadian flag fleet of dry and liquid bulk carriers on the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Waterway and also owns ocean self-unloading dry-bulk vessels operating in international markets. The company has begun an expansion into international short-sea markets through its 50% interest in NovaAlgoma Cement Carriers and NovaAlgoma Short-Sea Carriers.