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St. Lawrence Seaway opens 2024 season with a Renewed Management Operations and Maintenance Agreement


St. Catharines – The St. Lawrence Seaway opened its 66th season of operation today with an official ceremony in Niagara Region.  Terence Bowles, President and CEO of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) was joined by U.S. Great Lakes St. Lawrence Development Corporation Administrator Adam Tindall-Schlicht in welcoming the many who came out for the event, including M.P. Vance Badawey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Canadian Minister of Transport.

“We are thrilled to have a renewed Management Operations and Maintenance Agreement with the Government of Canada. This long-term contract brings stability and predictability for the Corporation and customers alike,” said SLSMC President and CEO Terence Bowles. “It allows the SLSMC to continue its mission of maintaining a safe, secure, reliable, environmentally-friendly, and cost-effective system.”

“The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the Seaway’s long-term economic growth and sustainability. We are working to make maritime trade as efficient and cost-effective as possible–so people can get the goods they need, when they need them, at the best possible prices, and to support good, well-paying jobs in Canada,” said Minister of Transport, Pablo Rodriguez.

“The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System’s performance continues to highlight its resiliency and importance as a global maritime supply chain,” said Administrator Adam Tindall-Schlicht. “An exceptional reliability record and significant investment in infrastructure and technology are enhancing efficiencies and have kept the Seaway System safe, sustainably minded, and competitive. We look forward to building on last season’s accomplishments.”

The inaugural vessel of the 2024 season was the Algoma Sault, an Equinox class self-unloading bulk carrier brought into service in 2018 with new technology to increase fuel efficiency and reduce environmental impact. Algoma Central Corporation, owner of the vessel, is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2024, and was represented at the event by President and CEO Gregg Ruhl.

“The St. Lawrence Seaway is not just a passage for vessels but an essential conduit for Canada’s economic and environmental prosperity,” said Mr. Ruhl. “Ship owners and operators, shippers, ports, shipyards, suppliers, and the Seaway are all part of this vital bi-national network.”

Given the fuel efficiency of new vessels, and the recently announced plan by the Canadian and U.S. governments to establish a Green Shipping Corridor, the St. Lawrence Seaway is poised to be part of Canada’s solution to the challenges of climate change in the transportation sector. Through the use of innovative technologies and hydro-electricity generation, SLSMC has already reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 58% from 2005 levels.

“Moving more goods that drive our economy by water will help optimize supply chains and realize the potential of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Green Shipping Corridor,” said Terence Bowles. “We’re optimistic about a strong navigation season and, with our renewed long-term agreement with the Government of Canada, assured of a bright future for our system.”

Nearly 38 million tonnes of cargo were handled in 2023 by the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Photo from L to R -Terence Bowles, President and CEO, The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation; Stéphane Gilbert, Chief Engineer, Algoma Central Corporation ;Robert Loveless, Captain, Algoma Central Corporation; Adam Tindall-Schlicht, Administrator, Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.