Canada Steamship Lines’ New Self-Unloading Ship Takes Maiden Voyage

M/V Nukumi
M/V Nukumi
The M/V Nukumi on her maiden voyage from Jiangyin, China to Halifax, Canada. Photo courtesy Canada Steamship Lines.

M/V Nukumi, Canada Steamship Lines’ new purpose-designed self-unloading ship, which was built to service salt mining, processing, and distribution company Windsor Salt, departed on her maiden voyage on Jan. 31.

The cutting-edge vessel with a deadweight of 26,000 metric tons is expected to be the first diesel-electric Laker and the first single point loader to operate in Canada.

Sailing from Jiangyin, China to Halifax, Canada, M/V Nukumi’s voyage is expected to take six weeks.

“Featuring a unique hull design, quieter machinery, single point of loading system and a shuttle boom, the new ship will bring a long-term, safe, sustainable, efficient and reliable shipping solution to the Magdalen Islands region, where it will load deicing salt at Windsor Salt’s Mines Seleine mine and deliver it to stockpiles throughout Eastern Canada to help keep roadways safe during the winter season,” Canada Steamship Lines said in a statement.

M/V Nukumi
The M/V Nukumi during her maiden voyage to Halifax, Canada. Photo courtesy Canada Steamship Lines.

Windsor Salt and Canada Steamship Lines partnered to build the state-of-the-art vessel, which has a deadweight of 26,000 metric tons and will chart waters in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Great Lakes region.

The two companies began construction of the custom-made vessel in August 2020 after several years of collaborative planning, including an environmental impact analysis, ship and shore personnel safety reviews, an efficiency evaluation of cargo operations and navigational optimization.

The distinctive vessel was created to service Windsor Salt’s need to deliver deicing salt from its Mines Seleine salt mine on the Magdalen Islands to stockpiles in Montreal, Quebec City and other destinations within the Quebec and Newfoundland provinces.

M/V Nukumi
The bridge of the M/V Nukumi. Photo courtesy Canada Steamship Lines.

Among the vessel’s features are diesel-electric tier 3 engines and a unique hull design that can contribute to cutting CO2 emissions and improve energy efficiency; a ballast water treatment system that’s expected to reduce the transfer of invasive species; quieter machinery that will reduce vessel noise to protect the area’s North Atlantic right whales and other marine mammals.

Compared to the previous vessel servicing the same salt routes, the new ship is expected to emit about 25% fewer greenhouse gas emissions and 80% less harmful air pollutants, according to CSL.

The new ship also features several innovations to enhance efficiency and safety, the builders say, including a fixed, single point of loading system with a single hopper into which the salt is loaded, combined with a cargo handling system that eliminates the need for the vessel to shift during loading.

These things, CSL and Windsor Salt say, improve the efficiency of cargo operations and the safety of ship and shore personnel. Also included are a modern hull design and propulsion system to enhance the maneuverability of the vessel and increase the safety of navigation in the shallow Magdalen Island channel.