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Castaloop off and running
as new stevedoring firm

2017-06-22

McKeil Marine's Evans Spirit  won the International Bulk Journal's 2016 Ship of the Year Award during the IBJ's Salute to Excellence in the Maritime Bulk Industry gala awards ceremony in London, UK on November 21.
"It's a fantastic way to closeout our 60th anniversary year: having a vessel named after our founder, Evans McKeil, win this prestigious international award," said Steve Fletcher, President and CEO of McKeil Marine.
Acquired by McKeil in 2015, the Evans Spirit is a cargo ship with the shallow draught characters of a tug and barge; however, compared to a tug-and-barge unit, she can transport approximately 40 per cent more cargo about 50 per cent faster on a very similar amount of fuel.  She is in service throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
Evans Spirit was shortlisted for 2016 Ship of the Year competing with three other vessels: CS Bright, Mitsui OSK Lines, Japan;  Damen Shipyards, Netherlands; and MN Baroque, Swiss Marine, Switzerland. The award is presented to the owner, operator or builder of an outstanding individual bulk ship. Judged on operational efficiency, design innovation, safety and environmental protection, the Evans Spirit was selected as winner. (Photo Paul Beesley).

Castaloop, the first new stevedoring enterprise created in eastern Canada in several decades, is off and running.

"Focused on bulk and breakbulk cargo, Castaloop quickly found its niche in  the handling of wind energy components in Port Hawkesbury and then followed by several ongoing vessels at the Port of Bécancour," Castaloop President Philip O'Brien told Maritime Magazine.

Due to what he termed "a shortage of competition" in the Canadian Great Lakes, St. Lawrence and Maritimes, Mr. O'Brien said  "a need to develop an alternative service"  constituted "the founding principle behind the launch of Castaloop."

The stevedoring operation based in Quebec City was established late in 2016 through a partnership between Somavrac and Groupe Bellemare, both headquartered in Trois-Rivières, mid-way between Montreal and Quebec City on the St. Lawrence River.

Late in May of this year, Castaloop successfully carried out the loading of wind energy components on the Hansa Heavy Lift vessel, the M/V HHL Rhine, at the Port of Bécancour. It was the first in a series under a four-vessel contract, and followed the conclusion of a long-term,  operating lease agreement with the Société du Parc Industriel et Portuaire de Bécancour.

The heavy lift ship arrived at Bécancour on the same day as the onset of a province-wide labour and construction strike. But the Castaloop team took the necessary measures to complete the cargo-handling moves.

Origin of the name of Castaloop? Mr. O'Brien indicated it was inspired by the Finnish designer Vesa Timonon. "It represents the unification of unique pieces that, once combined, generate a strong and eternal ring." (Photo Castaloop)

 

 
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