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Press release from CNW Group

Algoma Central Corporation christens first completely new Canadian Flag dry-bulk carrier in over 25 years

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Algoma Central Corporation christens first completely new Canadian Flag dry-bulk carrier in over 25 years16:00 EDT Thursday, August 25, 2011(TSX:ALC)PORT COLBORNE, ON, Aug. 25, 2011 /CNW/ - The MV Algoma Mariner — the first completely new Canadian flag dry-bulk carrier to be brought into service on the Great Lakes in over 25 years — was today christened in a special ceremony in Port Colborne, Ontario.The Canadian-flag ship, which is owned by Algoma Central Corporation, has been registered in the city of Port Colborne and resident Lisa Badawey was selected as the official sponsor of the vessel.A crowd of local dignitaries and members of the marine industry watched as Mrs. Lisa Badawey, who is the wife of the city's Mayor, Vance Badawey, imparted a traditional blessing and pressed the button to lower a champagne bottle to break against the bow of the vessel. A banner was then lowered to officially reveal the name of the vessel on the side of the ship.As part of the customary proceedings, Father David Mulholland from The Mission to Seafarers in Toronto offered prayers and other words of inspiration and wisdom to the 19-person Canadian crew.The MV Algoma Mariner, which has a number of environmental and technical improvements including being 25 per cent more fuel efficient (see full list of benefits below), will carry traditional dry-bulk commodities such as iron ore, coal, salt, aggregates and grain in the Great Lakes-Seaway system and in Atlantic coastal waters for the next 30-40 years.Greg Wight, President and CEO of St. Catharines-based Algoma Central Corporation, said at the ceremony:  "I am pleased to be able to say that, although the MV Algoma Mariner is the first completely new dry-bulk vessel to enter Canadian service in a long time, it will not be the last.  In addition to the MV Algoma Mariner we have contracted for six new Equinox Class vessels and the Canadian Wheat Board, a major user of the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Waterway and customer of Algoma, has contracted to purchase an additional two Equinox Class vessels.  These vessels will be managed and crewed by Algoma.He continued: "With the introduction of the new MV Algobay last year, the MV Algoma Mariner and the soon to be constructed "Equinox Class" vessels, Algoma will own and operate the most modern and environmentally efficient fleet in the entire Great Lakes system."Vance Badawey, mayor of the City of Port Colborne, said: "Today's christening of the MV Algoma Mariner exhibits a confidence that the marine industry is alive and well - an industry that is prepared to be a major contributor to the revitalization of our region's new economy.  We applaud this investment by Algoma and congratulate them on their announcement of the new Equinox Class ship order.  The City of Port Colborne within the Niagara Region has been designated as a Gateway Economic Centre by the province of Ontario. The catalyst to this designation is the Canal - the Marine industry.  In partnership with our transportation partners, we are working extremely hard to earn worldwide recognition that we are a "Transportation Hub" that highlights an availability of all methods of transportation to move goods globally. This builds on our strength - the Welland Canal," stated the mayor.The official Port of Registry for the MV Algoma Mariner will be Port Colborne in recognition of Algoma's long association with the community.  Algoma owns the Port Colborne-based ship repair company Fraser Marine and Industrial, the largest top-side ship repair company operating in the Great Lakes region and Port Colborne has long been a major hub for the winter lay-up of vessels and the associated vessel maintenance.Algoma's MV Algoport was also named after the city.  This vessel was retired after a long and successful career with Algoma and the MV Algoma Mariner was developed to be that vessel's replacement.  The forebody and cargo handling systems of the MV Algoma Mariner are identical to the MV Algobay, which joined Algoma's fleet last year, however, the stern section is a completely new design by Deltamarin, designers of Algoma's new Equinox Class vessels.The MV Algoma Mariner was delivered by Chengxi Shipyard in China on May 31, 2011 and reached Canadian shores on August 2, 2011.  Following today's ceremony, it will deliver coal (picked up earlier from Superior, Wisconsin) through the St. Lawrence Seaway to Sydney, Nova Scotia.Mr Wight remarked at the ceremony today that the occasion was also a visible symbol of the recent integration of the Algoma Central Corporation and the Upper Lakes Shipping fleet.  He said: "This vessel was originally to be jointly owned by the two companies but with our recent acquisition of the Upper Lakes Shipping fleet, the MV Algoma Mariner became 100% owned by Algoma. The crew of the MV Algoma Mariner are all former Upper Lakes employees and we are pleased to formally welcome them to the Algoma family."Facts and Stats of the MV Algoma MarinerVessel: Self-unloading dry-bulk carrierLength overall: 225.56m (two football fields)Carries: abt.26,000 tonnes (in St. Lawrence Seaway)Carries: abt.38,000 tonnes (maximum capacity in Coastal waters)Cargo holds (6) abt.39,000m³Captains: Ken Mackenzie and Robert LovelessChief Engineers: David Cooke and Todd WaltersEnvironmental / Operational EnhancementsVessel designed for future installation of Water Ballast Treatment System.Vessel designed for future installation of Exhaust Gas Scrubber and associated equipment.All waste streams are managed and treated.  Propeller and rudder shafts are water lubricated to reduce the risk of oil discharges to water.Vessel is fitted with a thermal oil system which recovers heat from exhaust gases.Optimized hull and rudder design to improve fuel efficiency and reduce wake.Modern slow speed engine: fuel efficient, low maintenance and long life.Self-unloading areas certified for carriage of coal and the entire unloading system, including the unloading boom, integrates dust control and suppression systems.Wash water for cleaning cargo holds is recovered and directed to built-in used wash water holding tanks.Modern engine room controls built to unmanned engine room standards.Enhanced crew accommodations including broadband internet and satellite TV connections, comfortable day rooms and plans for a full gymnasium.About Algoma Central CorporationAlgoma Central Corporation owns and operates the largest Canadian flag fleet of dry and liquid bulk carriers operating on the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Waterway, including 20 self-unloading dry-bulk carriers, 10 gearless dry bulk carriers and seven product tankers.  Algoma also has interests in ocean dry-bulk and product tanker vessels operating in international markets. Algoma owns a diversified ship repair and steel fabricating facility active in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence regions of Canada. In addition, Algoma owns and manages commercial real estate properties in Sault Ste. Marie, St. Catharines and Waterloo, Ontario.Image with caption: "Algoma Mariner christening ceremony at dock in Port Colborne, Ontario. (CNW Group/Algoma Central Corporation)". Image available at: with caption: "Algoma Mariner is christened. (CNW Group/Algoma Central Corporation)". Image available at: with caption: "From left to right - Chief Engineer Dave Cooke, Captain Rob Loveless, Chief Engineer Todd Walters, Sponsor Lisa Badawey, Algoma Central Corporation President and CEO Greg Wight, St Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation President and CEO Terry Bowles and Mayor of Port Colborne Vance Badawey. (CNW Group/Algoma Central Corporation)". Image available at: further information: Greg D. Wight, FCA President and Chief Executive Officer 905-687-7850                Wayne Smith Senior Vice-President, Commercial 905-687-7898