QUÉBEC CITY, March 30, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Desgagnés announces with enthusiasm and great pride that it has taken delivery today of the M/T Damia Desgagnés, a brand new vessel recently completed in Turkey. A next generation and state-of-the-art asphalt-bitumen-chemical tanker, she is the first of a series of four oil carriers, custom-built according to an original concept developed by Desgagnés and ordered at the Besiktas shipyard located in Yalova near Istanbul, Turkey.
"The addition of the Damia Desgagnés to the Desgagnés fleet is the result of tremendous work, innovations and constant collaboration with the shipyard, and is the source of great pride," said Mr. Louis-Marie Beaulieu, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Desgagnés, who adds: « The Damia Desgagnés tangibly demonstrates all of Desgagnés's 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". Mr. Beaulieu wished to further express his personal pride in this achievement by bestowing the name Damia Desgagnés to this new vessel, in honour of his younger brother, Mr. Damien Beaulieu, who passed away prematurely in 2015.
The Damia Desgagnés is the first dual-fuel powered Canadian-flagged tanker and the first-ever asphalt carrier of this type. Double-hulled, she is equipped with a Wärtsila 5RT-flex 50DF engine developing a power output of 5,450 kW, and her most notable characteristic is that with simple commands, she can be powered by any of three types of fuel, namely heavy fuel oil, marine diesel oil or liquefied natural gas (LNG), which has undeniable advantages in terms of sustainable development by drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions, amongst others.
With a deadweight of around 15,000 tons, her tanks offer a carrying capacity of 14,950 m3 when filled at 98%. She can carry over 13,500 tons of asphalt at a draft of 7.8 meters in seawater. The Damia Desgagnés also holds a Polar 7 certification, confirming her capacity to navigate in ice-laden waters. In addition, in order to ensure exceptional maneuverability and increased safety, she is equipped with a variable pitch propeller, a 750 kW bow thruster, a 550 kW stern thruster and a dynamic positioning system.
Since last August and in addition to the training received in Canada, over 15 Desgagnés crewmembers and managers traveled to Turkey in order to familiarize themselves with the Damia Desgagnés's special features and technologies as well as with her dual-fuel propulsion system, in addition to participating in the various verifications, inspections and trials. An intense training effort has been carried out to prepare Desgagnés's crewmembers to take charge of the Damia Desgagnés and the three other tankers currently in various stages of construction. To date, a total of nearly 2,500 hours of training in the handling of LNG has been given. "It's stimulating to work on a modern and cutting-edge vessel. We are very eager to go out to sea and bring her back to Canada" comments Mr. Sébastien Déry, Chief Engineer aboard the Damia Desgagnés. "We've worked really hard in the last few months to learn and to ensure we have mastered the technologies aboard the Damia Desgagnés. The reward is there with the pride of being part of the commissioning of a ship that is so much on the leading-edge with regards to environment and safety" adds Mrs. Marie-Claire Dusseault, Chief Officer aboard the vessel.
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 different partners such as Gaz Métro and the ports of Quebec and Montreal. 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.
The M/T Damia Desgagnés is scheduled to weigh anchor around April 10th. She will most likely make a first delivery in Europe before heading to North America, where she should arrive mid-May, all subject to the cargo that she will carry.
Desgagnés, whose headquarters are in Quebec City, 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 ships 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.