A traditional maritime country with 3,000 km of waterways — including the St. Lawrence Seaway — and a vast array of ports located along the Canadian coastline, the Canadian Maritime Industry continues to offer technological and operational innovation.
The second largest country in the world, the Canadian coastline stretches out 243,791 km. Aside from the St. Lawrence Seaway, port activity remains high in Thunder Bay, Toronto and Vancouver with a merchant marine of 60 ships, including chemical and oil tankers, and passenger and RoRo ferries totaling 775,391 DWT.
Canada is not only bustling with exporting ships carrying timber, crude petroleum, natural gas and aluminum, the country is also home to a variety of companies that provide the means to allow these vessels to run smoothly and efficiently. In St. Catherine's, Ontario, Canada, Port Weller Drydocks is known for its extensive knowledge of engineering connecting the design, installation and testing aspects of inter-disciplinary projects. Port Weller and its parent company, Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering are equipped to perform both the conversion and construction of vessels while still adhering to the capability of the full-service repair facility.
A $5.5 million project to enhance the company's steel-cutting, welding and fabrication capabilities was established this November. Consisting of a Plasma Arc Cutting Machine with Bevelling Capacity, Robotic Profile Cutting and Welding Lines and Semi-Automatic Panel Production Line, these upgraded components will be further enhanced by a newly-designed material flow inside Port Weller's steel workshops. The dock credits its most recent project to be the $100 million hull replacement program of Canada Steamship Lines former J.W.
Since entering the maritime scene in 1977, Ontario-based Thordon Bearings installed its first composite bearings in a river boat strut and stern tube more than 15 years ago. The secret of Thordon's success — the inner lining of the GM2401 polymer alloy, fused to a high strength polymer outer jacket, providing the utmost stability. As an exhibitor last September at the SMM Exhibition in Hamburg, Germany, Thordon showed its SeaLion marine mechanical face seals. Constructed as a necessary part of the company's stern tube bearing systems, the SeaLion is able to function via water or Thor-Lube lubrication. The system also features a rotating carbon-graphite face, supporting the protection of lubricating liquid loss.
Providing leak free performance, the SeaLion guarantees for complete elimination of stern tube oil pollution.
Princess Cruises can thank Thordon for the development of its new COMPAC system. The pollenfree water lubricated propeller shaft bearing system is installed on the line's Grand Princess. Using seawater as lubrication, and built to fit shaft liners measuring in diameters of 642 mm and 607 mm, COMPAC allows for bearing removal without shaft pulling.
In Vancouver, the joint venture between maritime application developer Rydex and global mobile communications company ICO exhibits Canada's advanced technological base. Effective March I, the two signed a memo of understanding enabling ICO's maritime distributors access to services across a variety of market areas. Rydex, responsible for maritime communication operations including automatic data communication, e-mail and shipboard IT support, is currently engineering a satellite service for availability in the year 2000. The handsets, which can easily be slipped into a pocket, permit for roaming between ICO and any mobile network. No cellular network availability? — providing unrestricted mobility, ICO's satellite network will search until one is located.
Multi-network international mobile satellite service provider, Ottawa-based Stratos will be at the forefront this August as first global provider of the new Inmarsat M4 service. Delivering high quality voice, fax and a variety of data services via portable terminals the size of a laptop computer, the M4 will be introduced this August.
A product currently available from Stratos is its new Iridium World Page Service. Offered either by itself or in conjunction with Iridium voice services, this option allows paging customers to receive messages from anywhere throughout the world via a 4 oz. pager which can easily be clipped to one's belt. Iridium will soon have a new supplier as well. Stratos and Hughes Global Services recently formed an agreement making the latter a supplier of Iridium services by way of a U.S. government contract. HGS will deliver the full selection of Iridium services and related products through its General Services Administration contract. In the area of heating, ventilation and air conditioning, Stork Canada leads the way with its recent supply and installation for the staterooms of B.C. Ferries Pacificat. The fast ferry, in conjunction with its project managers — Catamaran Ferries International, have a second ship in the works, as well as a third on the way the end of this year. Stork's HVAC package consists of 37 individual heat pumps grouped into 11 control zones with outdoor air ducted to each indoor cassette. Exhaust ventilation from the spaces is provided via a group of galley and washroom exhaust systems. No stranger to the highly specific fast ferry design, Stork has therefore modeled its criteria with this type of vessel in mind, mainly: climate comfort and control level, equipment dimensions, and reliability and weight of the installation. Located in Vancouver, the Stork plant is also equipped for production of refrigeration packages up to 50 tons, as well as the selection and supply of all HVAC and refrigeration equipment necessary to complete the system's implementation.
Another Vancouver company, Offshore Systems, was granted orders from Marinette Marine Corporation Shipyard for ECPINS® systems for U.S. Coast Guard Sea Going Buoy Tenders. The contract also includes an option for nine more systems through 2003. Offshore Systems International, the company's wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary was also chosen by the USCG (and Bollinger Shipyards) to provide the Yokogawas Electromagnetic Speed Log from the USCG Coastal Patrol Boat Program. The two contracts awarded to Offshore and its Fife, Wash-based subsidiary are estimated at a value of $1 million, with the open possibility for new orders in the future as per the same options.