Interlake Orders Great Lakes Newbuild

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

April 9, 2019

(Image: Interlake Steamship Company, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding)

(Image: Interlake Steamship Company, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding)

U.S. ship owner The Interlake Steamship Company said it has ordered a new U.S.-flagged Great Lakes bulk carrier, the first to be built in more than 35 years. 

Measuring 639 feet in length (78 feet W, 45 feet H, 28,000 DWT), the vessel will be constructed by Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., for scheduled completion in mid-2022.

The new River-Class, self-unloading bulk carrier is reportedly the first ship for U.S. Great Lakes service built on the Great Lakes since 1983.

The Interlake Steamship Company, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and Bay Engineering are jointly designing the bulk carrier, complete with advanced vessel and unloading systems automation. Other major partners involved in the project include American Bureau of Shipping (ABS); Bay Engineering (BEI); EMD Engines; Caterpillar; EMSTech, Inc.; Lufkin (a GE Company) and MacGregor.

“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 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.”

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.

“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.

This new self-unloading bulk carrier will have a unique cargo hold arrangement and cargo hatch covers designed for maximum cubic space and the ability to handle difficult cargoes.

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 mph. The vessel will be propelled by a single-screw, 18’ diameter, Kongsberg, controllable pitch propeller. The vessel incorporates a flap rudder as well as bow and stern thrusters for high-level maneuverability.

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.

All aspects of the vessel have been looked at to ensure that it will have a low environmental impact, and tthe hull has been optimized for efficiency and all systems have been designed to ensure low energy consumption.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2019 - Great Ships of 2019

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