STURGEON BAY — For the first time in roughly 40 years, an ore carrier built in the U.S. has been launched in the Great Lakes.
The bulk carrier, built for the Interlake Steamship Company of Ohio, was launched Thursday at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Green Bay.
James Barker, chairman of Interlake Steamship thanked the workers, many of whom were on hand for the launch ceremony.
“I want to acknowledge the workers who put so much time and energy on this boat,” Barker said. “We are dedicating this launch to the men and women who have built this ship and have built ships on the great lakes for over 100 years.”
The Mark W. Barker, named after the president and CEO of Interlake Steamship, will now sit dockside until spring while final work is completed. The boat will be christened in June in Cleveland.
The new River-class, self-unloading bulk carrier is believed to be the first ship for U.S. Great Lakes service built on the Great Lakes since 1983, according to the trade publication WorkBoat.com.
The 20,000 ton ship will transport raw materials such as salt, iron ore, and stone to support manufacturing throughout the Great Lakes region.
Interlake Steamship, a privately held, family owned and operated business, traces a legacy on the Great Lakes back to 1883.