Last Friday was the official kick-off to the 2014 Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway shipping season.

Brian Benko, VP Procurement and Information Technology, delivered a keynote address at the annual Welland Canal top hat ceremony, noting the importance of the locks, canals and channels that permit Great Lake and global trading, “ The system is vital to ArcelorMittal and the communities in which we operate providing us with an efficient and sustainable source of transportation. Not only does the Seaway support industries like ours, it maintains rich biodiversity and contributes to regional employment and tourism.”

2014 marks the Seaway’s 56th navigation season which was opened with the passage of Algoma’s Equinox through Lock 3. The vessel is the first of eight Equinox-class ships that are being purpose-built for trade in the St. Lawrence Seaway. “The Algoma Equinox carries more cargo, sails faster, consumes significantly less fuel and is the first Great Lakes vessel to be equipped with a scrubbing system that virtually eliminates sulphur oxide from its emissions,” said Algoma Central Corporation’s President and CEO Greg Wight.

Dofasco’s docks welcome approximately 200 Algoma Central vessels a year delivering 4 million metric tons of iron ore pellets and 1.6 million tons of coal.

[Pictured above (left to right): Brian Benko, VP of Procurement and Information Technology, Terence Bowles, CEO of St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, Algoma Chief Engineer Francois Tremblay, Algoma Captain Ross Armstrong, Betty Sutton, Administrator of the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation and Greg Wight, CEO of Algoma Central Corporation.]