Port of Thunder Bay opens for season

MarketsFarm — The 2021 navigation season is officially underway at the Port of Thunder Bay, as the tugboat Sharon M1 and barge Huron Spirit arrived late Friday.

The tug-barge combo discharged a calcium chloride brine solution, used as a stabilizer and dust suppressant. The same combo also opened the season 2020, one year ago to the day.

Two bulker vessels arrived early Saturday morning for grain cargoes, and six more were anticipated over the weekend as grain loading operations in the port hit the ground running.

Two wintering vessels carrying bulk grain departed the northwestern Ontario port ahead of the official opening: MV Blair McKeil of the McKeil fleet, and MV Algoma Strongfield of the Algoma Central fleet.

Thunder Bay, on the northern shores of Lake Superior, had its busiest year in over two decades in 2020, with annual cargo volumes topping 10 million tonnes for the first time since 1997.

Of the 10.2 million tonnes of total cargo shipped in 2020, grain accounted for 9.2 million tonnes, up from 7.9 million in 2019.

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