The following is text of a news release from the Chamber of Marine Commerce:
(OTTAWA) — Canadian shipowners and the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. (SLSMC) have spent an estimated $130 million on repair and infrastructure projects this winter, preparing for the 2019 shipping season and supporting the economies of communities throughout the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence and east coast.
SLSMC allocated $40 million for infrastructure upgrades and repairs in the Welland Canal and Montreal to Lake Ontario segments of the St. Lawrence Seaway. The work includes upgrades to electrical distribution systems, lock rehabilitation and canal bank protection in certain areas.
Canadian shipowners have invested an estimated $90 million to prepare their ships for the upcoming season. Projects include steel replacement and coating, five-year dry-dock inspections, communication and energy-efficiency upgrades, standard maintenance checks and annual inspections.
“Every year, the marine industry invests in keeping our waterways, ships and locks safe and reliable and to improve our environmental performance,” said Bruce Burrows, president of the Chamber of Marine Commerce. “This work will help ensure a successful 2019 shipping season and at the same time maintains marine-related jobs throughout the winter months in communities throughout the region.”
Vessel repairs and winter lay-up span Canadian and U.S. port facilities including Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto, Port Colborne, Toledo, Thunder Bay, Midland, Sarnia, Les Mechins (Quebec), Hamilton, Port Maitland, Sturgeon Bay (Wisconsin), Sydney (Nova Scotia), Sault Ste. Marie, Erie (Pennsylvania), Ashtabula (Ohio), and Windsor.
Note: Shipowner information includes aggregated data from Algoma Central Corp., Groupe Desgagnes, CSL Group, McKeil Marine, McAsphalt Marine Transportation Limited, Rand Logistics and Ocean Group. The companies operate Canadian-flag ships, articulated tug-barges (ATBs), tugs, workboats, pilot boats and dredges in the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence, and the east and north coasts.