Archives for May 2009

Algocape greeted by sun and visitors

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The Algocape picked a nice sunny day at the end of May to make its first appearance in the Twin Ports this season. She was welcomed by perhaps the largest crowd so far this year at the Marine Museum in Canal Park. This is the Canadian flagged laker’s 69th trip to the Twin Ports since 1996. On many of those visits, it brought cement into the port but on this trip, it came in light and loaded iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth. Photo taken on May 30, 2009
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-31-2009

Party for Pere Marquette 41-Undaunted

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The barge Pere Marquette 41 arrived at the Hallett Dock on Thursday afternoon (above) ready to load a cargo of taconite rock, also called Mesabi hard rock by project sponsor Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) at UMD. A large group of reporters, port officials, and project members were at the dock to greet the vessel when it arrived. It was a celebration heralding a potential new business venture, using taconite rock from the Iron Range as road bed aggregate, in this case, in Chicago. Dock-side celebrations have been few and far between with diminished boat traffic and increased security measures. It was good for the port to pay attention to the tug and barge and good for the region that we were watching what many hope will be a new cargo going through the Twin Ports. Several people pointed out that more jobs was the bottom line in the project. Photo taken on May 29, 2009
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-30-2009

Big day at the Hallett Dock #5

pm20090529_6181The tug Undaunted pulled her barge, the Pere Marquette 41, into the Hallett Dock #5 in West Duluth on Thursday afternoon, May 28th. Both were making their first trip on Lake Superior and they are here to pick up the first cargo of taconite rock to be taken from Duluth.
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Reporters, cameras and project members all awaited the vessel as she backed into the dock.
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It is a project developed at the UMD Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) that is finding new ways to use taconite ore from the Iron Range. This rock has a very low level of iron content in it and would not be used to make pellets but it is an ideal material to serve as aggregate in making road surfaces. This rock is going to Chicago for a test run.
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Mike McCoshen, Hallett Dock President, is interviewed about the project
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Above, Peter Passi of the Duluth News Tribune interviews Ron Johnson from the Duluth Seaway Port Authority
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The taconite pile about to be loaded is seen just behind an anxious audience. Behind the pile, the ship loader (blue) is slowly moving into position.
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pm20090529_6246There were two front-end loaders picking up the taconite rock and dropping it in the hopper that fed the conveyor belt up to the barge. Above, foreground, you see one of them picking up a load at the pile while the other one, top right, is about to dump the rock into the hopper.Taconite is moving up the ship loader conveyor and into the vessel’s cargo hold. The hard work begins and for the rest of us, it is time to go home.
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Hollyhock arrives to assist Alder

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We have three Coast Guard cutters in Duluth and no ice. It’s a good thing since the three ships are not in the best of shape. The Mackinaw arrived a couple weeks ago and is currently up on blocks in the Fraser Shipyards dry dock. The Coast Guard cutter Hollyhock arrived in Duluth on Wednesday (above). It was expected a little later since it has an appointment in the same dry dock after the Mackinaw gets out, probably late in June. It is here now to help the ailing Alder with some buoy tending. Both the Alder and the Hollyhock are Juniper class cutters, the Hollyhock was launched in early 2003; the Alder in 2004. The Alder will undergo repairs later this summer although the exact time and place have not been determined. Photo taken on May 27, 2009
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-28-2009

Pere Marquette and Undaunted arrive Duluth

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The Pere Marquette 41 and tug Undaunted arrived in Duluth late this afternoon (above). They are here to load taconite rock that will be taken to Chicago to be used as a surface treatment on roads. It may also be used in the manufacture of cement. This is an entirely new use for taconite taken directly out of the ground. Usually, we receive iron ore pellets from the Iron Range that have been processed in large ball mills that take ground-up taconite and combine it with other ingredients including limestone and turn it into pellets that eventually get fed to giant blast furnaces in steel mills such as US Steel in Gary.

H. Lee White departing Twin Ports

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The H. Lee White, seen above going under the Lift Bridge last October, will be here today with a cargo of limestone loaded in Calcite, Michigan. After discharging that cargo, it will move over to Midwest Energy Resources to load 30,000 tons of coal for Marquette, leaving sometime early afternoon. It will then return to the Twin Ports on Saturday for another 30,000 tons of coal, this time to Milwaukee. The White has loaded iron ore pellets in Two Harbors for Gary several times this year. It has also made a couple trips to Silver Bay from Midwest Energy with coal. Unlike most US freighters, she has been known to move through the Welland Canal that connects Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. The Welland was built to allow ship traffic to go around Niagara Falls. Photo taken on October 18, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-27-2009

G.L. Ostrander exits Duluth with Integrity

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On Sunday morning, the tug G.L. Ostrander arrived in Duluth pushing the barge Integrity that was loaded with a cargo of cement. On Monday afternoon, the pair departed the Twin Ports by way of a very windy Duluth ship canal (above). There was a line for the coal dock on Monday that will probably last through today. Both the Canadian Progress and Canadian Olympic were at anchor waiting on the Paul R. Tregurtha on Monday. Both likely came in, loaded coal and departed by first light today. That left the coal dock for the Indiana Harbor unless the American Mariner, expected last night with limestone, discharged that cargo and got over to the coal dock first.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-26-2009