Stay up to date and informed on the latest progress as Windsor Salt and Canada Steamship Lines’ new self-unloading vessel takes shape.

The Ship-Building Process

  • Contract Signing
  • Shipyard Contract signing
  • Design and Engineering
  • Model Tank Testing
  • Steel Cutting
  • Steel Block Production
  • Keel Laying Ceremony
  • Progress on the Slipway
  • Block Assembly
  • Next step coming soon
  • December 1, 2020 - Contract Signing

    December 1, 2020

    After a long-standing partnership and many years of planning, on September 18, 2019, Windsor Salt and CSL signed a long-term time charter contract on the basis of the construction of a new ship to service the Mines Seleine salt mine located on Grosse-Iles in the Magdalen Islands.

    Under the terms of the agreement, CSL, as the owner of the vessel, and will be responsible for all facets of its operation. As the charterer, Windsor Salt will makes all decisions related to the utilization and scheduling of the ship, essentially deciding on what it does and where it goes.

  • December 2, 2020 - Shipyard Contract signing

    December 2, 2020

    The contract between CSL and Chengxi Shipyard for the construction of the new vessel was signed in August 2019.

    Once the contract signed, the shipyard assigns a hull number to the newbuild vessel for reference. In this case, the hull (the main body of steel of the ship) has been given the number CX9203. As per shipping tradition, the vessel’s name will only be revealed during the ceremonial ship launching.

  • December 3, 2020 - Design and Engineering, and Equipment Selection

    December 3, 2020

    Based on the operational profile and requirements of the vessel, the design and engineering phase begins at the onset of the newbuild project. The ship hull form undergoes a feasibility study to determine its resistance in water. Following a model tank testing session, the hull efficiency is confirmed so the vessel’s basic design can get underway.

    The detailed engineering of the vessel is then defined and every aspects of the ship is meticulously optimized reviewing elements such as functional efficiency, propulsion, weight and fuel consumption. In parallel, the final design of the main systems and the choice of all equipment are made in accordance to the operational requirements defined in the technical specifications.

    Finally, 3D designs are then produced, which the shipyard uses to prepare the production plan. All drawings supporting the detailed design of the ship will be approved by Class – Lloyds Register in the case of CX9203.

  • December 4, 2020 - Model Tank Testing

    December 4, 2020

    During tank testing, which takes place in the early stages in the design and engineering phase, a scaled model of the vessel undergoes resistance and propulsion tests to determine fuel consumption and maneuvering behavior.

  • December 5, 2020 - Steel Cutting

    December 5, 2020

    Steel plates are the starting blocks of the new ship. Cut into carefully dimensioned sections, they will form the new vessel’s hull and deck.

    The steel plates are lowered into a plasma cutting basin and then submerged in water to control overheating and excess dust. Hundreds of sub-assembly panels, each cut to measure, will later be combined to form the basic building blocks of the new ship.

    When the first cut in the first plate of the new ship was made, the traditional steel cutting ceremony was held. During the ceremony the shipyard and owner’s representative gather in the steel-cutting workshop to witness the event and ceremoniously press on the start to begin the process.

  • December 6, 2020 - Steel Block Production

    December 6, 2020

    The ship’s structure begins to take shape as steel panels are welded together to form blocks. Constructed in the shipyard’s hull workshops, each block – 223 construction blocks in all – are assembled into 42 larger units that will be erected on the slipway prior to launch.

  • February 3, 2021 - Keel Laying Ceremony

    February 3, 2021
    Latest Development at the Shipyard

    The keel laying ceremony is a milestone event in the construction of a vessel as it marks the moment when the first block of the newbuild ship is placed on the slipway. Throughout the rest of the construction process, the vessel will remain on the slipway until the next important milestone, the launch. As per shipping tradition, one or two coins are placed under the keel block of the new ship as it is lowered, as a symbol of good fortune.

  • March 16, 2021 - Progress on the Slipway

    March 16, 2021

  • April 27, 2021 - Block Assembly

    April 27, 2021

    The prefabricated blocks that will form the vessel are lifted into place by a crane and assembled on the slipway according to a welding sequence. After each block is lowered into position, joints are welded together. Quality control inspections are critical at this stage to ensure the proper alignment of the blocks. In total, 219 blocks will form the new ship, each weighing approximately 150 tonnes.

About the Project

K+S Windsor Salt Ltd. (“Windsor Salt”) and Canada Steamship Lines (“CSL”) have partnered to build a new state-of-the-art self-unloading ship with a deadweight of 26,000 metric tons that will chart new waters in safe, sustainable and efficient shipping in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Great Lakes region. 

Leveraging their shared values of safety, sustainability and innovation, Windsor Salt and CSL began construction of the custom-made vessel in August 2020 after several years of collaborative planning, which included an environmental impact analysis, ship and shore personnel safety reviews, an efficiency evaluation of cargo operations, and navigational optimization.

The distinctive, purpose-designed 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 provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland. Windsor Salt’s consistent and timely delivery of deicing salt helps keep roadways safe during the winter season across Eastern Canada.

The new vessel will bring a long-term, safe, sustainable and reliable shipping solution to the region that relies on the Mines Seleine salt mine. 

CX9203 refers to the hull number assigned to the newbuild vessel by the shipyard at the contract signing. 

Vessel Features

More Sustainable Marine Transportation

Windsor Salt and CSL worked together to bring several innovations to enhance sustainability and reduce the environmental footprint of the new ship including:

  • Diesel-electric tier 3 engines and a unique hull design that will contribute to cutting CO2 emissions and improve energy efficiency;
  • A ballast water treatment system that is 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 approximately 25% less greenhouse gas emissions and 80% fewer harmful air pollutants.

Safer and More Efficient Shipping

The new ship also features several innovations to enhance efficiency and safety 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, which will improve the efficiency of cargo operations and the safety of ship and shore personnel.
  • A modern hull design and state-of-the-art propulsion system to enhance the maneuverability of the vessel and increase the safety of navigation in the shallow Magdalen Island channel.

About Bulk Deicing Salt

Salt has been used in deicing since the 1940s, providing safety and mobility for motorists, as well as for commercial and emergency vehicles. Without it, winter would be hazardous and chaotic.

 In Canada, the primary type used is rock salt, which is mined directly from the earth and requires no additional processing. In excess of 4.5 million tons of salt is used yearly to keep roads safe in Canada alone.

 Windsor Salt is proud to partner with CSL to deliver critical deicing salts Canadians know and trust more efficiently, safely and sustainably.