Quebec, March 11, 2015 – This week, Fednav celebrated the 100th voyage of its bulk-carrying icebreaker, the Umiak I in Quebec City in the presence of the officers and crew of the vessel. The ship shuttles all year round between Vale’s mine in Voisey's Bay, Labrador, and the Port of Quebec, despite exceptionally difficult ice conditions during the winter months. Fednav acknowledged the crew’s professionalism in the presence of representatives of Vale, the vessel’s ship managers—Canship, the Port of Quebec, and local partners.
The Umiak I is the bulk most powerful icebreaker in the world, Polar Class 4 and has the largest engine of a Canadian-flagged vessel. The Umiak I navigates in the ice covered waters of the Canadian North twelve months a year, without the need for an escort, and can operate in extreme conditions. It is capable of navigating at a continuous speed (3 knots) in 1.5 m ice. The only vessels that operate in the Canadian Arctic all year round are owned and operated by Fednav Limited (Nunavik, Umiak I, and Arctic).
Its engine can deliver 29,600 hp, three times the power of a conventional bulk carrier of the same deadweight. Enfotec Technical Services, a subsidiary of Fednav provides up-to-date information on ice conditions through its IceNavTM navigation system to the Umiak I on all the winter voyages.
Since entering service in 2006, the ship has transported the entire production of nickel ore concentrate from the Voisey’s Bay mine and has returned from Quebec City with machinery, food, and other essential goods to supply the mine and its staff.
"Fednav is pleased to celebrate this important milestone,” said Paul Pathy, President and Co-CEO of Fednav Limited. “This represents Fednav’s commitment to mining development in northern Canada, and ongoing support to our partner, Vale.”
Fednav is an international ship-owning company headquartered in Montreal. Its principal activities include the transport of bulk and general cargo worldwide. The company has offices in Antwerp, Barbados, Hamburg, Rio de Janeiro, London, Singapore, and Tokyo and regional offices in Canada and the United States. Fednav also has terminal, logistics, ice analysis, and shipping agency services and divisions. It employs 260 people and nearly 2000 crew members and stevedores.
Vale is a global mining company with headquarters in Brazil, leader in the production of iron ore and the second largest producer of nickel. Operations at Vale’s open-pit mine and concentrator at Voisey’s Bay in Labrador began in 2005. This 6,000 tonnes-per-day facility produces two types of concentrate: nickel-cobalt-copper concentrate and copper concentrate. Nickel concentrate produced at Voisey’s Bay is currently processed at Vale's operations in Sudbury and Thompson, but processing will eventually shift to the new hydrometallurgical processing facility in Long Harbour, Newfoundland. At present, the Voisey’s Bay operation employs about 450 people.