MONTREAL, May 18, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, Desgagnés christened and launched the first dual-fuel asphaltbitumen-chemical tanker in the world, the M/T Damia Desgagnés. In addition to this world premiere, she is first Canadian-flagged dual-fuel tanker vessel and the only Canadian-flagged asphalt tanker.
"The addition of the Damia Desgagnés to our fleet is the result of tremendous work, many innovations and a good dose of audacity; she is a source of great pride," said Mr. Louis-Marie Beaulieu, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Desgagnés, who added: "The Damia Desgagnés is a tangible demonstration of Desgagnés's global vision and leadership with regards to sustainable development as well as its commitment to its clientele in order to offer a first-class, safe and environmentally-friendly marine transportation service for petroleum products".
It was in the presence of a number of dignitaries and guests that the vessel was named Damia Desgagnés, in honour of Mr. Louis-Marie Beaulieu's younger brother, Mr. Damien Beaulieu, who died prematurely in 2015. The twin godmothers France and Francine Beaulieu, sisters of Louis-Marie and Damien, proceeded to the naming of the vessel which had previously been blessed by their brother, Father Julien Beaulieu, pastor of the Sacré-Cœur parish in Welland, Ontario.
This vessel mainly owes its existence to a long-term contract signed with SUNCOR, a long-standing business partner of Desgagnés, thus protecting more than 30 direct jobs and several million dollars in annual economic spin-offs. "I sincerely wish to thank SUNCOR for all the trust demonstrated over the years towards Desgagnés, which motivates us to surpass ourselves" said Mr. Beaulieu.
With tanks offering a capacity of nearly 15,000 m³, and able to carry more than 13,500 tons of asphalt, this next-generation and state-of-the-art vessel was built at the Besiktas shipyard in Turkey, according to an original concept and specifications elaborated by Desgagnés in order to optimize its characteristics in terms of safety, environmental performance and operational efficiency.
Built with a double-hull and Polar 7 certification confirming its capability to navigate in ice-laden waters, she is equipped with a variable pitch propeller as well as bow and stern thrusters, guaranteeing an exceptional manoeuvrability and an optimum safety level. Her generators' power output of more than 3 megawatts allows her, through her propulsion shaft generator/motor, to reach a speed of up to 7 knots without the use of the main engine. This operational capabilities and flexibility further and tangibly improve safety for the crewmembers, the environment and for the ship itself.
The Damia Desgagnés has several sustainability certifications including "CLEANSHIP SUPER" and "GREEN PASSPORT", but, "what places her in a class of her own and makes her a world premiere", Mr. Beaulieu underlined, "is her capacity to be powered, with simple commands, by any of three types of fuel, but more specifically by liquefied natural gas (LNG)", which has undeniable environmental advantages by substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions, amongst others.
Let us recall that the vessel represents an investment of about $55 million, of which almost $9 million for the addition of the dual-fuel/LNG engine. "This is a very significant investment that clearly demonstrates Desgagnés's commitment to sustainable development and is directly in line with the environmental objectives of the governments of Canada and of Quebec," said Mr. Beaulieu, who thanked the government of Quebec for its $700,000 financial contribution under its programme d'aide à l'amélioration de l'efficacité du transport et de réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre (PETMAF).
LNG refueling distribution networks for vessels without specific service points and trading various routes remain a major challenge, but they are under development in collaboration with a number of business partners. Great steps have been made since Gaz Métro, the Port of Montreal and Desgagnés are now "LNG-Ready", i.e. ready to supply the vessel with LNG. Desgagnés will continue working with the various suppliers to improve and adapt their services to the needs of the marine industry. "LNG has a bright future in maritime transportation and Desgagnés will actively contribute to broadening its use" concludes Mr. Beaulieu.
Desgagnés, whose headquarters are in Quebec City and serving its customers mainly from its two offices in the Montreal area is a conglomerate that has specialized since the 19th century in marine transportation of liquid bulk, general cargo, dry bulk and passengers. Its activities also extend to ship repair as well as the rental and operation of heavy machinery. Desgagnés owns and operates a fleet of 21 ships, for a total deadweight nearing 208 000 tons and offering a total carrying capacity exceeding 286 000 m³, that navigate on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence, the Canadian Arctic, the East coasts of Canada and the United States and all the seas of the world. With an annual turnover nearing 250 million dollars, Desgagnés creates some 1,000 jobs in high season with a payroll exceeding 70 million dollars and annually generates several tens of millions in economic spin-off.
SOURCE Groupe Desgagnés inc.
For further information: Benoit Chassé, CIRC, Vice-President - HR & Communications, Groupe Desgagnés Inc., (418) 692-1000, email@example.com, www.desgagnes.com; Suzanne Laflèche, Office of the President, Groupe Desgagnés Inc., (418) 692-1000, firstname.lastname@example.org