Danish shipper wins Baffinland tugboat contract

Svitzer will deploy two ice-class tugs to Nunavut marine port starting this summer


Danish shipping company Svitzer will begin servicing Mary River's Milne Inlet port this summer. (FILE PHOTO)

Danish shipping company Svitzer will begin servicing Mary River’s Milne Inlet port this summer. (FILE PHOTO)

A Danish shipping company has received the contract to ship iron ore from Baffinland Iron Mine Corp.’s Mary River mine starting this summer.

Svitzer Americas will deploy two ice-class tugs to begin servicing Baffinland’s Milne Inlet marine terminal by mid-July, the company said in a May 11 release.

Baffinland plans to ship more than four million tonnes of iron ore to international markets during the open-ice season this year.

“We are enthusiastic to service Baffinland at Milne Inlet as it requires us to draw on our vast ice management experience both in Canada and from our global portfolio in locations such as Sakhalin, Russia and Svalbard, Norway,” said Svitzer’s chief operating officer Marinus Lorwa in the release.

While Svitzer’s head office is based in Copenhagen, its subsidiary Svitzer Canada operates three tugs at a marine terminal in Nova Scotia and operates another tug for an ArcelorMittal operation in Quebec.

“Svitzer is an industry-leader in ice management and terminal towage operations,” said Baffinland’s executive vice president, Michael Zurowski, in the same release. “We are confident that Svitzer will be a key player in maximizing our safety and efficiency in supporting vessel operations at Milne Inlet.”

Workers at Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s Mary River iron project transported the mine’s first load of iron ore to its port site at Milne Inlet in September 2014.

During its initial first phase of export, Baffinland plans to ship out its first batches of stockpiled product this July through to about October.

Baffinland had applied to amend its project certificate to increase annual iron ore shipments from 4.2 million tonnes per year to 12 million metric tonnes by extending the shipping season by several months with the help of ice-breaking vessels.

But the Nunavut Planning Commission rejected the proposal earlier this spring, in favour of protecting Arctic sea ice.

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