Canada’s dry and liquid bulk carrier owner and operator Algoma Central Corporation has signed conditional contracts with Croatian shipbuilder Uljanik Group to build three 740 foot Seaway Max self-unloading bulk freighters to join the company’s Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Waterway dry-bulk fleet.
These contracts replace three of the contracts Algoma signed with China’s troubled Nantong Mingde Heavy Industries which were cancelled earlier this year.
The agreements are contingent upon delivery by the shipyard of acceptable security for the construction installments required under the contracts.
Back in April, Algoma commissioned Uljanik to build two Equinox Class 650 foot self-unloading dry bulk lake freighters.
“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,” said Ken Bloch Soerensen, President and CEO of Algoma.
“Our Equinox project has faced significant delays as a result of the financial problems encountered by Nantong Mingde shipyard. Working closely with Uljanik, we are confident in the continuation of Algoma’s fleet renewal project.”
These new Equinox Class ships will have an overall length of 225.55 metres (740 feet) and a beam of 23.77 metres (78 feet), qualifying as Seaway Max size ships. The vessels will carry 29,300 tonnes at maximum Seaway draft. The new dry bulkers will also be equipped with the exhaust gas scrubber technology.
The first vessel is scheduled for delivery in early 2018 with the balance of the ships delivered by the end of that year.
Algoma is reportedly continuing discussions with other parties on further fleet renewal opportunities.