Superior Shipyard Converts Steam Ship To Diesel

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Fraser Shipyards will convert the 56-year-old Herbert C. Jackson to a diesel-propulsion system.  The Jackson is a 690-foot vessel that regularly carries almost 25,000 tons of iron ore between Marquette, Mich. and Detroit.

Its repowering marks the fourth steam-to-diesel conversion for Interlake’s 10-vessel fleet since 2006 as it strives to reach new emission requirements.  The Jackson’s aging steam turbine with twin boilers had been converted from coal-burning to fuel oil in 1975.

“This is a huge step forward and  is  hoped will lead to many large projects,” said Tom Corelli, Fraser vice president, the Interlake Steamship Co. of Ohio.

The project employs 65 to 75 full-time workers; reduces carbon footprint and environmental impact and increase reliability.  The Jackson’s conversion effort is part of $110 million U.S. vessel operators will spend on maintaining and modernizing ships this offseason, said the Lake Carriers’ Association in a late-December news release.

The arrival of the Jackson at the 125-year-old Fraser shipyard signals the start of the winter lay-up.

After successful sea trials, the Jackson is expected back on route in late June.  The shipping season on the Great Lakes resumes following lay-up in March.

Source: Duluth News Tribune

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