April 9, 2019
STURGEON BAY, WISCONSIN: A U.S.-flagged Great Lakes bulk carrier will be built for the first time in more than 35 years thanks to a historic agreement recently signed between The Interlake Steamship Company and Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding.
The new River-Class, self-unloading bulk carrier is believed to be the first ship for U.S. Great Lakes service built on the Great Lakes since 1983. The ship, which will transport raw materials to support manufacturing throughout the Great Lakes region, also represents hundreds of good-paying jobs for U.S. Merchant Mariners and Wisconsin shipyard workers.
Measuring 639 feet in length (78 feet W, 45 feet H, 28,000 DWT), the vessel will be constructed in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. The Interlake Steamship Company, headquartered in Middleburg Heights, Ohio, is the largest privately held U.S.-flag fleet on the Great Lakes, with nine vessels carrying bulk cargoes and a rich history dating more than 100 years.
“When we approached a historic project of this magnitude – building our company’s first ship since 1981 – we knew it was critical to choose the right partners. Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding is the shipyard that has the experience and skill to execute on our long-term vision,” says Interlake President Mark W. Barker, adding that this specific vessel is being built as the result of listening to and addressing the logistical needs of Interlake’s customers. “We’ve had a long and positive relationship of partnering with Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding as we have modernized and reinvested heavily in our fleet. They have skillfully handled four repowers, five exhaust gas scrubber installations, as well as regular maintenance and regulatory dry-dockings on our vessels.”
The Interlake Steamship Company, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and Bay Engineering are jointly designing the bulk carrier, complete with advanced vessel and unloading systems automation.
“We are excited to construct this historic large-scale bulk carrier on the Great Lakes for Great Lakes operation,” says Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding’s Vice President and General Manager Todd Thayse. “We are very proud of our long-term relationship with Interlake, and we appreciate their continued confidence in our shipyard and in our shipbuilding team. This new project and our past work are indicative of the quality and attention to detail that our customers have come to expect from Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding. It brings steady employment to the hundreds of women and men we employ from across the region, and the economic benefit to our suppliers and others is widespread,” he added.
Scheduled for completion in mid-2022, the carrier will be built by Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding’s nearly 700 skilled trade workers and will generate business for partnering contractors, vendors and suppliers. Major partners for the project include: American Bureau of Shipping (ABS); Bay Engineering (BEI); EMD Engines; Caterpillar; EMSTech,Inc.; Lufkin (a GE Company) and MacGregor.
“The Interlake Steamship Company is also extremely proud to build locally, supporting surrounding communities and states – a legacy that we began more than 100 years ago,” Barker says. “We live and work in the Great Lakes region, and promoting growth and the positive economic impact of Great Lakes shipping is integral to our mission and vision as a leader in this industry.”
This newest self-unloading bulk carrier has a unique cargo hold arrangement and cargo hatch covers designed for maximum cubic space and the ability to handle difficult cargoes.
The vessel incorporates a flap rudder as well as bow and stern thrusters for high-level maneuverability.
All aspects of the vessel have been looked at to ensure that it will have a low environmental impact to the Great Lakes and to those who work aboard. The hull has been optimized for efficiency and all systems have been designed to ensure low energy consumption.
Power and speed.
The vessel is designed for 7,800 shaft horsepower produced by two sixteen-cylinder Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) diesel engines that are EPA Tier 4 and IMO Tier III certified and is expected to have a top speed in excess of 15 m.p.h.
The vessel will be propelled by a single-screw, 18’ diameter, Kongsberg, controllable pitch propeller.
For its electrical power requirements, the vessel is provided with one 940 kW ship service diesel generator, two 2500 kW shaft generators and one 274 kW emergency generator.
Melissa Wollering, Fincantieri Marine Group, Senior Manager – Communications at 715.587.2993
Chrissy Kadleck, Interlake Steamship Company, Public Relations Director at 440.935.1275
About Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding
Located in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding (FBS) is an industry leader in the construction, conversion and repair of large ships – tracing its rich history back more than 100 years. The diversified FBS portfolio includes all types of vessels including articulated tug-barge units, dredges and dredging support equipment, automated loading carriers, ferries and offshore support vessels. On the repair side, FBS is expert at managing critical deadlines in the repair and sustainment of bulk carriers and other ships of the Great Lakes Winter Fleet.
Shipbuilding facilities at the 63-acre plant include a large graving dock, a U.S. Navy-certified drydock, and lifting capacity to meet the most demanding requirements. Erection buildings are climate-controlled and equipped with sophisticated computer-aided manufacturing equipment. Fincantieri’s skilled workforce has an average of more than 20 years of shipyard construction experience, in-house engineering, and a management team focused on client satisfaction and ontime delivery. Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding is an operating unit of Fincantieri Marine Group (FMG), the United States division of global shipbuilding giant Fincantieri. fincantieribayshipbuilding.com
Fincantieri is one of the world's largest shipbuilding groups and has built more than 7,000 vessels in over 230 years of maritime history. It is a leader in cruise ship design and construction and a reference player in all high-tech shipbuilding industry's sectors, from naval to offshore vessels, from high-complexity special vessels and ferries to mega-yachts, ship repairs and conversions, systems and components production and after-sales services. Fincantieri operates in the United States through its subsidiary Fincantieri Marine Group (FMG). This company, which serves commercial and government customers in the USA, including the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, has three shipyards (Fincantieri Marinette Marine, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and Fincantieri ACE Marine) located in the Great Lakes. www.fincantierimarinegroup.com
About The Interlake Steamship Company
As the largest privately held U.S.-flag fleet on the Lakes, Interlake has been carrying the bulk cargoes that have been fueling the region's economy since its founding more than 100 years ago. A second-generation, family run company, Interlake is propelled by a long-term vision to make its fleet of nine vessels the most efficient and environmentally responsible in the shipping industry. The company has invested more than $100 million to modernize and improve its ships to safely and reliably transport 20 million tons of raw materials annually, including iron ore and flux stone for the
steel industry, stone for the construction industry, coal for power generation and salt for de-icing needs on roads and highways. Interlake employs about 400 men and women who live and work in the region and the cargoes they deliver help generate and sustain more than 103,000 jobs in the eight Great Lakes states.