NEWS

Oilsands supertanker Genmar Daphne in St. Lawrence awaits new fire pump

10/14/2014 01:56 EDT | Updated 12/14/2014 05:59 EST
A supertanker on its way to collect oilsands bitumen from a port in the St. Lawrence River is being held by Transport Canada because of a problem with the emergency fire equipment on board.

The Genmar Daphne — a massive, 240-metre-long vessel — was on its way to a port at Sorel-Tracy, Que., before it was anchored at Les Escoumins by Transport Canada.

The government agency identified a problem with the emergency fire pump on the ship.

"The vessel will be authorized to resume its route only when the repairs have been carried out to the satisfaction of Transport Canada," reads a news release issued by the Transport Ministry.

Bitumen transported to Quebec by Suncor

The Genmar Daphne is another of the supertankers recently allowed to travel the St. Lawrence River to pick up oilsands bitumen transported to the area by train.

Since July, Suncor has been transporting diluted bitumen from Alberta by train to a storage facility in Sorel-Tracy owned by Kildair Services.

A year ago, ships wider than 32 metres weren’t allowed in that part of the St. Lawrence River, but the federal government increased the allowable size in December 2013.

The oil tanker flies the flag of the Marshall Islands, a North Pacific nation. It arrived in Les Escoumins — across the St. Lawrence from Rimouski — on Oct. 12.

Its captain told CBC News that the ship crew signalled the issue to Transport Canada itself as part of the requirements of travelling in Canadian waters.

He said a new pump was being flown in from Singapore and that the ship could be on its way within two or three days.

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