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Fednav proposal on three ice-breakers for Canadian Coast Guard

2018-06-28

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).

Due to the drastic deterioration in recent years of the Canadian Coast Guard's icebreaker fleet, Montreal-based Fednav Ltd. proposed to the federal government to take charge of the construction of three icebreakers in a Norwegian shipyard that could be delivered in 24 months. In a televised interview carried on June 27 on the French-language Radio-Canada network, Fednav President Paul Pathy revealed the offer was made a year and half ago -  but no reply had yet been received.

Under the proposal, Fednav would finance the whole operation and assume the design and construction risks. While remaining owner of the vessels, Fednav would lease them to the CCG for 15 years. Cost of each icebreaker built at Norway's Havyard shipyard would be about $240 million.

"I am disappointed not to have received a reply," Mr. Pathy told Radio-Canada. "If I receive a call from the Prime Minister, I push on the button and in two years we have new and modern icebreakers."

During the interview, Mr. Pathy stressed the advantages of having the icebreakers built in Norway as opposed to Canada. In addition to being ready in 24 months, their costs would be two times cheaper than icebreakers built in a Canadian shipyard.

In the past few years, not only has there been a long delay in the start-up of construction of a planned polar icebreaker, the current aging working Coast Guard fleet has been beset by mounting mechanical problems that have impacted on commercial shipping and caused the cancellation of Arctic research voyages.

With a fleet of more than 100 vessels, Fednav is Canada's largest ocean-going dry bulk shipping company. It is the leading international carrier on the Great Lakes and biggest provider of shipping services to mining operations in the Canadian Arctic. (Photo is artist rendering of proposed icebreaker design)

 
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