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
  • Naming and Launching Ceremony
  • Boom Installation
  • Inclining Test
  • Ship Transfer Signing Ceremony
  • Maiden Voyage
  • Arrival in Canada
  • Beginning of Operations
  • MV Nukumi Named Bulk Ship of the Year
  • 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-Ile 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 M/V Nukumi.

  • 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

    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.

  • May 20, 2021 - Naming and Launching Ceremony

    May 20, 2021

    During a ceremony held on May 20, 2021, at Chengxi Shipyard in China, vessel sponsor Elizabeth (Betsey) Nohe gave the virtual signal to name and launch M/V Nukumi, the new state-of-the-art self-unloading ship under construction for Canada Steamship Lines (CSL) to serve long-time customer Windsor Salt.  Ms. Nohe is the Vice President, Supply Chain Management, Windsor Salt.

    The name Nukumi was submitted by a Windsor Salt employee as part of a company-wide naming contest. Pronounced “noo-goo-mee,” it refers to the legendary, wise figure of the Indigenous Mi’kmaq people, a culture with deep roots in Canadian Maritime Provinces. The nearly 200 names submitted by Windsor Salt employees were narrowed down to three by a cross-functional committee and then put to a vote.

    The new 26,000 dwt vessel is the result of a strategic partnership between CSL and Windsor Salt to bring a long-term, safe, sustainable and reliable solution to the delivery of deicing salt from Windsor Salt’s Mines Seleines in the Magdalen Islands to stockpiles throughout Quebec and Eastern Canada. M/V Nukumi is expected to commence operations at the start of the 2022 navigation season.

  • November 24, 2021 - Boom Installation

    November 24, 2021

    On October 28, 2021, at Chengxi Shipyard, MV Nukumi’s discharge boom was lifted on board the vessel, in a delicate operation that represents an important construction milestone for the newbuild.

    With the boom in place, related outfitting equipment was installed and the commissioning phases of the self-unloading system were completed.

  • December 2, 2021 - Inclining Test

    December 2, 2021

    On November 29, 2021, M/V Nukumi underwent an inclining test at Chengxi shipyard. The objective of the inclining test is to determine the new vessel’s stability and lightship weight, and confirm the coordinates of its center of gravity.

  • January 25, 2022 - Ship Transfer Signing Ceremony

    January 25, 2022

    On January 19, 2022, Chengxi Shipyard transferred ownership of M/V Nukumi to CSL during the official signature ceremony.
    The changing of the vessel’s flag was then completed and the crew embarked on the vessel to prepare for the maiden voyage.

  • January 31, 2022 - Maiden Voyage

    January 31, 2022

    M/V Nukumi departed on her maiden voyage on January 31, 2022, at 06:00, local time in China.
    The cutting-edge vessel with a dead weight of 26,000 metric tonnes will be the first diesel-electric Laker and the first single point loader to operate in Canada.
    Sailing from Jiangyin, China to Halifax, Canada, M/V Nukumi’s voyage is expected to take six weeks.

  • March 31, 2022 - Arrival in Canada

    March 31, 2022

    Welcome home M/V Nukumi!
    CSL’s new diesel-electric self-unloading ship arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on March 27, 2022, fresh from her maiden voyage.
    Purpose-built for Windsor Salt, Nukumi will begin servicing the Mines Seleine salt mine in late April.
    The ship is the first diesel-electric Laker and the first single point loader to operate in Canada.

    Photos: Steve Farmer

  • May 12, 2022 - M/V Nukumi Begins Service for Windsor Salt

    May 12, 2022

    Between May 5 and 12, 2022, MV Nukumi successfully completed her inaugural loading and discharge of deicing salt for Windsor Salt.

    The vessel’s state-of-the-art technology and innovative features were put to the test for the first time during loading at the Mines Seleines salt mine in the Magdalene Islands last week, and during the discharge in Montreal.

    On her first trip to the Mines Seleine salt mine, the ship’s modern hull design and twin-fin diesel-electric propulsion system demonstrated the vessel’s ability to transit through narrow channels more quickly, at lower tide and with exceptional maneuverability.

    The ship’s fully automated single point of loading and state-of-the-art cargo handling systems performed as designed and eliminated the need for vessel shifting during loading, making for a safer and more efficient operation. 

    During discharge in Montreal, the vessel’s shuttle discharge boom arrangement significantly reduced shifting, while sensor technology installed on the boom and programmed to auto-pile mode contributed to saving time and crew effort.

    Several innovations built into the design of M/V Nukumi are also reducing the ship’s overall environmental footprint and are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants by 25% and 80% respectively, compared with previous ships servicing the same routes. These include diesel-electric tier 3 engines, a ballast water treatment system, a waste heat recovery system, and overall quieter machinery.

  • November 23, 2022 - MV Nukumi Named Bulk Ship of the Year

    November 23, 2022
    Latest Development

    MV Nukumi was named Bulk Ship of the Year 2022 on November 22, 2022 at the prestigious International Bulk Journal (“IBJ”) Awards in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

    Presented to the year’s most outstanding bulk ship or newly built vessel, the award recognizes the many innovations built into the design of MV Nukumi to enhance safety, efficiency and performance, and to reduce the vessel’s overall environmental footprint.

    “I am honoured to accept this award on behalf of our newbuild teams who custom designed and built such an outstanding ship to service our customer, Windsor Salt,” said Louis Martel, CSL President and CEO. “IBJ’s notable acknowledgment underscores CSL’s ongoing commitment to providing our customers with the most advanced, safe and sustainable bulk shipping solutions.”

    The cutting-edge 26,000 DWT MV Nukumi is the first diesel-electric Laker and the first single point loader
    to operate in Canada. The ship features a unique hull design, quieter machinery, a single point of loading system
    and a shuttle boom.

    CSL partner EMS-Tech Inc. was also recognized by IBJ, receiving the Best Ship Loading or Unloading System award for its contribution in delivering MV Nukumi’s state-of-the-art self-loading and self-unloading systems.

    Bulk Ship of the Year, MV Nukumi, in Saint John’s Harbour, Newfoundland. Photographer: Tyler Mayo.
    CSL owner Paul Martin and Louis Martel, CSL President and CEO, accept the Bulk Ship of the Year Award presented by Class NK.
    Left to right: Dr. Abdul Rahim, Corporate Officer and Regional Managing Director, Class NK, Paul Martin, CSL owner,
    Louis Martel, CSL President and CEO, and Ray Girvan, Publisher, IBJ

About the Project

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.

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.