CSL Assiniboine Refit, Repair and Upgrade

Owner: Canada Steamship Lines
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The 'CSL Assiniboine', formerly the 'Jean Parisien', entered Port Weller Drydocks in 2004 for substantial refit, repairs and upgrades. The 'Jean Parisien' was built at Davie Shipbuilding Ltd, Lauzon, PQ and entered service for Canada Steamship Lines in July 1977. When she entered service, the vessel was fitted with a Stephens Adamson designed 'standard' self-unloading system, comprising twin 84" wide tunnel conveyors, twin 60" wide thwartship transfer conveyors, single 102" x 108" Loop Belt elevator and 78" x 250' long discharge boom conveyor. The system was rated for a discharge of 6,000stph of iron ore and 4,800stph of coal.

When the vessel left PWDD in May 2005, it was a much different vessel. The original forebody was replaced with a new, longer and wider forebody arrangement comprising an entirely different unloading system. The sloped hopper system was replaced with a raised flat double bottom arrangement. The twin tunnel and transfer conveyors were replaced with a single, centrally mounted continuous type tunnel / 'C' Loop elevator.

Like the 'John D. Leitch' before it, the 'CSL Assiniboine' carries two wheel loaders, which move the non-gravity portion of the cargo to the centrally mounted gate system.

Unloading systems of this type are becoming increasingly popular for three primary reasons, namely:

  1. reduced conversion cost
  2. increased cubic capacity
  3. desire to maintain fleet flexibility


The ‘CSL Assiniboine’ ultimately offers Canada Steamship Lines a self-unloader with added flexibility and more cubic at a reduced cost, albeit at the cost of reduced discharge rate capability. In spite of the change from full gravity to gravity with mechanical assist, the CSL Assiniboine now operates with a smaller crew size, a testament to the gains that have been achieved by technical advancement, and improved product reliability and efficiency. The unloading system was designed by EMS-Tech Inc. and comprises EMS-Tech Inc. patented remotely controlled basket gates.