Pioneer in sustainable maritime transport:

Desgagnés christens and inaugurates two polar class dual fuel/LNG vessels

Quebec City, June 20, 2019 — Desgagnés today proceeded with the double christening and inauguration of the M/T Paul A. Desgagnés and the M/T Rossi A. Desgagnés, two leading-edge polar class dual fuel/LNG (liquefied natural gas) petroleum/chemical tankers. The ceremony was held in front of about 500 guests at the Port of Quebec. These additions to the Desgagnés fleet represent the completion of an investment plan, worth more than $200 million and launched in 2015, for the construction and commissioning of four new vessels.


The twin new-generation ships are the result of an original concept developed by Desgagnés to optimize characteristics related to safety, environmental performance and operational efficiency, as well as to adapt to the navigational conditions of northern Quebec and the Great Lakes regions. Each vessel represents an investment of $50 million, of which close to $9 million for each ship was solely for the purpose of adding a dual fuel/LNG engine. With a deadweight of almost 15,000 tonnes and tanks with a capacity of more than 17,000 m³, the vessels are suitable for transporting refined petroleum or chemical products. They were built at the Besiktas shipyard in Turkey.


“Desgagnés is very proud to have state-of-the-art vessels in its fleet,” said its President and Chief Executive Officer, Louis-Marie Beaulieu. “The addition of the Paul A. Desgagnés and the Rossi A. Desgagnés demonstrates Desgagnés’ vision and leadership in sustainable development in a tangible way, as well as its commitment to its customers to offer a first-class marine petroleum transportation service that represents quality, safety and respects the environment.”


Previous ships in the series, the Damia Desgagnés, the world’s first dual fuel asphalt plant, and the Mia Desgagnés, the world’s first dual fuel polar-class petroleum-chemical tanker and sister ship to the two inaugurated today, were christened at the Port of Montreal in 2017 and 2018.


Desgagnés, an architect of change in sustainable maritime transport

The Paul A. Desgagnés and the Rossi A. Desgagnés have already received several certifications for sustainable development, including “CLEANSHIPSUPER” and “GREEN PASSPORT”.


Their particular features are numerous:

  • A fuel system that makes it possible to use three different types of fuels, especially LNG, a fuel that has undeniable environmental advantages by allowing, among other things, a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • A double hull and Polar 7 certification which confirms their ability to navigate through ice.
  • A variable-pitch propeller as well as bow and stern thrusters guaranteeing exemplary manoeuvrability and an optimum level of safety.
  • Electric propulsion from the more than three megawatts of power from a generator/motor integrated into the propeller shaft, allowing the vessels to reach a navigation speed of 7 knots without using the main engine. This flexibility and propulsion option further enhances and tangibly improves safety for the sailors, the environment and the vessel itself.


In addition, the innovation does not stop with the construction of these ships, which are equipped with many advanced technologies. “The Desgagnés team faced significant challenges in integrating them into their operations, developing the LNG distribution network for maritime needs, recruiting skilled labour in an environment of scarcity and then training them in a context where training and certification programs did not exist and had to be created. Thanks to the exceptional contribution and collaboration of various business partners, including Énergir, Transport Canada and the Ports of Montreal and Quebec City, the challenges posed by this futuristic project have been met,” added Mr. Beaulieu.


A major investment

The construction and commissioning of ships such as the Paul A. Desgagnés and the Rossi. A Desgagnés have been made possible thanks to major business partners and securing long-term contracts. “I would like to express our appreciation to Valero Energy and Suncor Energy, two key and vital players, for their significant and tangible contribution to the birth and development of our bulk liquid transportation unit and to the realization of these dual fuel vessels,” said Mr. Beaulieu.


“This is a significant investment that confirms our commitment to reducing our environmental footprint,” adds Mr. Beaulieu, who also thanked the Government of Quebec for its participation through the program to help improve the efficiency of transportation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (PETMAF), financial assistance that could reach up to $3 million depending on the energy efficiency that will be demonstrated by each vessel.


The names pay tribute to two builders at Desgagnés

Paul A. Côté worked at Desgagnés for nearly 40 years, mainly in the marketing of bulk carriers and multipurpose cargo ships as Director of Sales and Traffic at Navigation Desgagnés. Paul A. Côté was directly involved in the creation and development of the liquid bulk transportation sector from its very beginnings in 1996.

Mario Rossi, a graduate of the IMQ and a licensed engineer from South Shields Marine and Technology College in England, played a major role in the design and supervision of the project for the ship’s christened today, and made a significant contribution to Desgagnés’ success throughout his years at the company.


About Desgagnés

Desgagnés, headquartered in Quebec City, has specialized in maritime transport since the 19th century, including liquid bulk, general cargo, dry bulk and passenger vessels. Its activities also extend to ship repair as well as the rental and operation of heavy machinery. Desgagnés owns and operates a fleet of over twenty vessels, providing a total of more than 375,000 tonnes deadweight, or a total capacity of approximately 450,000 cubic metres, and which crisscross the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway system, the Canadian Arctic, the eastern coasts of Canada and the United States and all the seas around the globe. With annual sales of about $325 million, Desgagnés creates more than 1,100 direct jobs in high season with a payroll of more than $85 million, and generates tens of millions of dollars of economic spinoffs annually.