Algoma Central Corporation purchases River Class vessels, takes delivery on newbuild

Algoma Innovator

Algoma Central Corporation has reached an agreement with American Steamship Company to acquire four vessels: the M.V. Buffalo, the M.V. Adam E. Cornelius, the S.S. American Valor and the S.S. American Victory.

The availability of these vessels presented an opportunity to expand Algoma’s vessel fleet and capacity at extremely attractive values. Both the M.V. Buffalo and the M.V. Adam E. Cornelius will provide efficient capacity to serve customers in the River Class segment of Algoma’s domestic dry bulk market. Both ships will complement the company’s existing fleet to ship salt, aggregates and other commodities. These additions enhance Algoma’s versatility in offering its customers different cargo sizes and vessel configurations to meet their specific needs.

The S.S. American Valor and the S.S. American Victory have the potential to be repowered as motor vessels, converted to articulated tug barges or have their forebodies mated with existing modern sterns; however, no immediate plan for these two vessels has been confirmed.

“Delivery of the vessels further solidifies our market position in the River Class segment where we see many opportunities,” said Gregg Ruhl, Chief Operating Officer at Algoma. “We are also working with our labor partners to develop a competitive labor structure for this segment.”

All four ships are former U.S.-flag lakers that will be transferred to the Canadian registry for service in the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence trade. The company’s purchase of these vessels and the ongoing delivery of newbuilds combine to make Algoma a leader in the marine industry. This acquisition illustrates Algoma’s innovative approach to the current market and highlights the potential for new growth in the company.

A new ship delivers

Algoma also has taken ownership of the Algoma Innovator from the Uljanik d.d. shipyard in Croatia.

The vessel is part of the company’s Equinox 650-foot class of self-unloading dry bulk lake freighters and is the first new forward-mounted boom ship to be built in 45 years. The vessel has been engineered to be a leader in the River Class business; its forward-mounted boom will permit cargo to be delivered into niche spaces allowing greater access and flexibility to customers.

The winter season in the North Atlantic does not provide safe conditions for a transit voyage by a lake freighter; consequently, the vessel is scheduled to depart Croatia mid-February to be ready for the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in late March. In addition, it is expected to come home with a cargo onboard.

“Although we have taken delivery, we need to ensure conditions are optimal for the crew to sail home safely,” said Ken Bloch Soerensen, President and CEO of Algoma. “We look forward to having the Algoma Innovator join our fleet for the 2018 season. The flexibility and efficiency of this vessel will advance Algoma further in the marine industry allowing us to continually meet the needs of our customers.”

Maritime Editorial