So Long, Salarium

Aug 11


After a long and productive 41-year career with the Canada Steamship Lines fleet, the 35,656 DWT self-unloader MV Salarium has been decommissioned. 

The long-serving vessel reached the end of her usable life earlier this year and will be dismantled at a green ship recycling yard in accordance with local legislation, international conventions and CSL’s Ship Recycling Policy.  

Originally named Nanticoke, the ship was built by CSL at Collingwood Shipyards and launched on December 18, 1979. The vessel was designed and built to be able to service coastal trades.

In April 2009, Nanticoke was chartered by Societé Québecoise d’Exploration Minière and renamed Salarium as a nod to the salt trades to which she would be primarily dedicated. 

Until her retirement, Salarium mainly transported salt between the Magdalene Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and ports along the lower St. Lawrence River, the Great Lakes and the East Coast of North America.

Notable Moments in Nanticoke/Salarium’s Career

  • During her maiden year of service in 1980, the vessel then named Nanticoke, took part in the first-ever direct transhipment of coal to an ocean-going ship while at sea.
  • During the 1997 navigation season, Nanticoke along with sister ships, Atlantic Huron and Atlantic Erie, participated in the complex Hibernia project where the ships discharged magnetite ore into an offshore drilling platform to ballast the rig to the ocean floor.
    The project called for 411,000 tonnes of the dense material to set the giant caissons firmly to the seabed off the coast of Newfoundland.
    The three ships were fitted with a Dutch-designed operating/discharging system where the magnetite was mixed with water to form a slurry. Nanticoke’s forward cargo hold was used specifically to house the added machinery and pumps and a special discharge unit was attached ahead of the bow.
    The three ships made four round trips from an exclusively built ore dock in Newfoundland to the Hibernia platform, taking an average of 12 days to complete the trip.
    The three CSL captains and officers received advanced ship handling techniques and training while using simulators due to the often volatile sea conditions in the north Atlantic.
    On August 13, 1997, Nanticoke delivered the last load of magnetite to the project. The specially-designed equipment was removed from all three vessels and each returned to their respective Great Lakes/Seaway trades.
  • In 2007, Nanticoke delivered a cargo of aggregates to Deception Bay in the Nunavik region of Northern Quebec. The aggregates were discharged into a caisson to build a dock for use by a mining company.
  • Between 2015 and 2020, the Salarium crew was involved in a whale sighting program initiated by the Marine Mammal Observation Network. The program aims to better understand the marine mammal distribution in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and protect and preserve this unique ecosystem.
Hibernia Project, Newfoundland 1997
Hibernia Project, Newfoundland 1997
Hibernia Project, Newfoundland 1997
Deception Bay, Qc 2007
Deception Bay, Qc 2007
Deception Bay, Qc 2007