Canada Steamship Lines (CSL), the Montreal headquartered ship owner and operator of self-unloading vessels, has announced a 21-year strategic partnership with Australian based BCI Minerals Limited (BCI) to build and operate an innovative transhipment vessel to support the Mardie Salt and Potash Project (Mardie Project) in West Pilbara, Australia.

As part of CSL’s comprehensive transhipment solution, the custom-designed transhipper will handle 5.35 million tonnes of salt and 140,000 tonnes of sulphate of potash per year.

Loading will take place at BCI’s jetty loadout facility in Cape Preston, Western Australia, with the vessel navigating 12-15 nautical miles to transfer the cargo to ocean-going ships from handysize to newcastlemax bulkers.

The new vessel will be shallow draft to maximize cargo lift within tide and channel constraints with a total deadweight of approximately 16,000 metric tonnes.

She will have gravity discharge, suitable for loading salt, sulphate of potash and other dry bulk commodities onto ocean-going vessels, with a deadweight of up to 207,000 tonnes.

Her high manoeuvrability, with double-ended propulsion and four azimuth drives and an integrated diesel-electric propulsion and powering system. The single-point loading system with a loading rate of 3,300 tonnes per hour and self-unloading system with a discharge rate of 4,000 tonnes per hour gives a fast turnaround.

Construction of the new vessel will begin in spring 2026 with delivery scheduled in mid-2027.

In the interim, beginning in the second half of 2026, CSL will provide a vessel on time charter to deliver transhipment services to the Mardie Project, while the new dedicated vessel is under construction.