The "Hands-Free Mooring System" used by ships transiting the St. Lawrence Seaway has won a prestigious award from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
“With the creation of the world’s first Hands-Free Mooring system for movement of ships through locks, I am proud to say that The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation is truly a world leader in marine technology,” said the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Canada's Transport Minister.
The Promising Innovation in Transport Award is offered by the International Transport Forum at the OECD, an intergovernmental organization for the transport sector, with 54 member countries. The award will be presented tomorrow in Leipzig, Germany, during the 2015 Summit of Transport Ministers.
The Hands-Free Mooring System employs vacuum pads mounted on vertical rails to secure the ship during the lockage process, tracking the ship as it is raised or lowered, while keeping it at a fixed distance from the lock wall.
The equipment replaces the traditional practice of manually securing cargo ships in locks with steel mooring lines, which is more time consuming, labor internsive and potentially dangerous process.
“Seaway employees have demonstrated an innovative spirit that is essential to success in today’s global economy,” said Terence Bowles, President and CEO, The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation . “With strong support from a wide variety of stakeholders, including Transport Canada who partnered with us in providing funding for the modernization project, we are setting the stage for a thoroughly modern lock operating system, which will ensure the Seaway’s future competitiveness and sustainability.”
Full deployment of the Hands-Free Mooring system at all of Canada's Seaway locks is scheduled to be completed in 2018.