New Great Lakes bulk carrier to be built in Wisconsin

STURGEON BAY, Wis. (WLUC) - A historic agreement announced Tuesday calls for the first Great Lakes bulk carrier in 36 years to be built in Sturgeon Bay.

The Interlake Steamship Company and Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding announced Tuesday that they will partner together to build a new River-Class self-unloading bulk carrier, the first ship built on the Great Lakes to service the Great Lakes since 1983.

The 639-foot ship will transport raw materials to support manufacturing throughout the Great Lakes region.

"We are excited to construct this historic large-scale bulk carrier on the Great Lakes for Great Lakes operation," said Fincantieri's vice president and general manager Todd Thayse, in a statement.

Interlake President, Mark W. Becker, says the decision to choose the right partners for this project was critical.

"We've had a long and positive relationship of partnering with Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding as we have modernized and reinvested heavily in our fleet. They have skillfully handled four repowers, five exhaust gas scrubber installations, as well as regular maintenance and regulatory dry-dockings on our vessels," Barker said.

The ship is expected to generate hundreds of jobs for U.S. Merchant Mariners and Wisconsin shipyard workers.

It is scheduled for completion mid-2022.

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