Friday, February 5, 2016

Nordana Sky damaged

The cargo ship Nordana Sky was damaged in the Kiel Canal Lock in Brunsbuttel Germany this morning. The ship was entering the lock which was partially occupied by the container ship Vera RainbowNordana Sky was unable to come to a stop in time and "rear-ended" the container ship.

Nordana Sky is still "listed" on the Canadian Registry, and was operated by Transport Desgagnés during 2015 on charter. It may have been reflagged since it returned to Europe, but was due back in Canada again next summer. A frequent caller in Pugwash, NS to load salt it also visited a number of Atlantic Canada and Quebec ports last year.

It had departed from St.Petersburg headed for the Suez Canal when the incident occurred and has now been detained. Damage was reported to both ships, so there will be a trip to a shipyard in the offing.

Nordana Sky was built by the Ferus Smit Shipyard in Leer, Germany in 2015. Soon after delivery in February 2015 as Symphony Sky, and under the Singapore flag, it was chartered  to Nordana, registered in the Netherlands and renamed. It arrived in Quebec City May 15, 2015 and was reflagged to Canada May 20. Its current status as "listed" versus "registered in Canada" is one I have never seen before, but I assume it acknowledges a continuing management by Desgagnés, but a return to the Netherlands flag. 


Thursday, February 4, 2016

MSC Cristiana - something different for MSC

The Medterranean Shipping Comany, better known as MSC, and for more than ten years the number two container shipping company in the world after Maersk, is not well known for its other shippping interests which include tankers and even autocarriers.
Today may have been the first time an MSC auto carrier has called in Halifax.

The ship appears to be fairly freshly painted. There is some black overspray on the white around the bow and along the side.

MSC Cristiana wears the black and white colours and yellow funnel of MSC, but also sports a pair of white stripes. That is really all that distinguishes it from the many other auto carriers that ply the seas. Most autocarriers are built in Japan and Korea, but this one was built by STX Dalian in Wafagdian, China.
(STX is a Korean builder, and at one time fourth largest shipbuilder in the world. It established the yard in Dalian as part of its global expansion. About a year ago the yard was declared bankrupt and liquidated.)

The ship is longer than many autocarriers, giving it greater capacity.

MSC Cristiania, dating from 2011 is owned by MSC and flies the Panama flag.(Most of MSC's container ships are charters.) It measures 59,835 grt, 22,287 dwt, with a car capacity of 6,700.
Its last port was Sagunto, Spain and before that ports in Italy and Turkey, Malaysia and Singapore.


Monday, February 1, 2016

UASC More Big - for now

The Columbus Loop service operated jointly by CMA CGM, China Shipping (CSCL) and United Arab Shipping (UASC) brought in another of their large ships today. UASC Umm Qasr at 9034 TEU ties sister ship UASC Zamzam , which arrived here 2015-10-17, as the largest container ships to call in Halifax.

The tug Atlantic Larch makes fast at the bow as UASC Umm Qasr looms out of the fog.

This is the first call for the ship on the Columbus Loop service that started in August 2015, but got into full swing in October. Those calls (15 ships) in the fourth quarter of 2015 boosted the Port of Halifax's yearly statistics into positive growth territory compared to last year's fairly dismal numbers.

The big ship begins its turn to back in to Halterm. The tug Atlantic Oak is on the starboard quarter assisting in the move.

There is much speculation on the future of these joint services as mergers come into play. One of the Columbus Loop partners, CSCL, has been forced to merge with China Ocean Shipping Co (Cosco) by the Chinese government. The two lines participate in competing alliances and it is any body's guess how that will shake out.

With Maersk breathing down everyone's neck, other lines are competing for business, with an oversupply of ships and diminished deamand.


Sunday, January 31, 2016

BIO Fire and Dockyard Spill

With little shipping activity to view, a trip around Halifax harbour today still revealed a few itrems of note.
At around 1635 this afternoon a fire broke out at a building on the grounds of the Bedford Institute, close to dock. At first there was rapidly rising black smoke, typical of fire fueled by a source such as an oil tank. Within ten minutes or so it appeared that the fuel had burned off and the smoke became whiter as portions of the building began to burn.

From the Halifax side of the harbour the fire appeared to be contained in a single storey building not connected to the main BIO complex. It also did not appear to threaten any of the ships that were alongside.  Fire department resources were called in from around Dartmouth and from Halifax and soon extinguished the fire.
Hard by the MacKay bridge, the fire sent up a plume of jet back smoke at first. CCGS Hudson, CCGS Matthew and CCGS M.Perley were near the fire but did not appear to be threatened.

Meanwhile at HMC Dockyard, HMCS Athabaskan* was still boomed off today after a fuel spill January 22.  The ship was fueling from HMCS Preserver (now a sort of navy filling station, that does not go to sea) when about 800 liters escaped.

Canada's only active destroyer, Athabaskan* is soon to be retired and has suffered a litany of problems in recent months.

The spill was mostly contained in a boom and was cleaned up quickly, but no cause has been revealed. It appears that the problem was aboard Athabaskan* and it has been incarcerated until fixed. 

* Except for the fact that the photo shows Iroquois most of the above is true. Iroquois has been decommissioned and was apparently moved to this jetty recently as part of a shuffle of ships within the Dockyard. Athabaskan is elsewhere and my not be boomed off at all.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

BBC HAREN - a question of timing and luck

No sooner had Halterm announced the impending acquisition of some new shoreside equipment to the tune of $4.5 mn than they had a container crane failure while unloading the ship BBC Haren.

Container spreader on the ground and slack wires - a sure sign of trouble.

On Tuesday Halterm said they will acquire 3 front-end loaders, 8 intermodal tractors and 5 RoRo terminal tractors in the second Quarter of this year.
Some Halterm gear is getting a bit ragged. [file photo]
 [file photo]
Perhaps the new tractors will be like this Terberg demonstrator parked at pier 29 recently. It has the dealer's sticker NC Nielsen on the windshield. Terbergs are built in the Netherlands, and Nielsen is from Denmark.Note the rotated driver's seat that allows for better visibility for backing.

Halterm has already spent an undisclosed amount refitting the number one (southernmost) crane on Pier C during the past year, but it malfunctioned today and had to be removed from service. The other three cranes on Pier C were working on Zim Luanda and it wasn't until after 1530 that the number 2 crane could be moved into position to work BBC Haren

The second crane in line moves into position after finishing work on the Zim Luanda. The slack wires are sagging from the number one crane's boom. The government inspector's grey car is parked astern of the ship.

Fortunately it does not appear that there was any damage to crane, ship or cargo but the cargo was a high hazard one and perhaps they were lucky. Also the ship is a small one, with a small quantity of containers to unload, so it was not held up for a  long. The tank/containers were plastered with radioactive warning labels, and there was at least one government inspector on board the ship taking photos.

Special casks contain radioactive material. Uranium hexafluoride is a favourite such cargo.

BBC Haren is a member of the large BBC Chartering (Briese Schiffahrts) fleet of Haren (Ems), Germany and flies the Antigua and Barbuda flag. Built in 2010 by Damen Yichang (the Dutch company's Chinese  shipyard) as Beluga Loyalty, it was renamed BBC Haren  in 2011. It then dropped the BBC and sailed as Haren from 2012 to 2015 before adding the BBC again. A multipurpose ship of 7878 grt, 11,000 dwt, it carries two 80 tonne cranes that can perform a combined lift of 160 tonnes. It has a container capacity of 671 TEU, has box shaped holds and pontoon type hatch covers that are handled with a traveling gantry.

The bespoke logistics company Peters and May Group, specialists in race car, superyacht, and boat tranport have reserved space on the ship. Although it is too late for you to send your yacht south from Halifax there is still space from Port Everglades to Antigua and Saint Thomas after the Key West Race, but in time for the RORC600.

The ship was carrying one boat on deck - completely rigged and ready to sail away once it is offloaded in warmer waters. Lagua is an Italian catamaran motorsailor en route from the Med to the Carib for the season.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

British Merlin - safe in port

The fully loaded BP Tanker British Merlin (Isle of Man flag) finally arrived in Halifax in the wee hours of this morning. It had reported a turbo charger malfunction and was taken in tow by the big tug/supplier Maersk Cutter, during a voyage from Whiffen Head, NL to Philadelphia with crude oil. The tow was slowed by weather for several days, and even today its towed speed was barely over 4 knots.

One of twelve ships in BP's "Bird" class, it is an AFRAmax ship (nothing to do with Africa) designed for efficient delivery of cargo to most of the world's ports. At 63,661 grt, 114,761 dwt with double hull and special ice bow, it measures 251.5m overall, 43.8m breadth and 15m depth.

All twelve BP birds were built by Samsung Heavy Industries Co Ltd, Koje, South Korea and are
powered by a 7 cylinder B+W engine, built under license by Hyundai Heavy Industries, Ulsan, generating 21,509 bhp and giving a speed of 15.7 knots, when all is well.

At one time most Aframax ships were also Panamax, but the limiting breadth of 32.31m was too restrictive and most recent Aframaxes are wider. They will be able to transit the new Panama Canal however.

Irving Oil has just applied to use the sister ship British Cygnet for two trips from Whiffen Head to Canaport in February. The ship will be carrying 675,000 bbl of Hibernia crude per trip.

Most sources state that British Merlin was completed in July 2003 and was in service soon after. For some reason BP's own website states that the ship was delivered March 2, 2005.
See BP's website here and click on Our Fleet, then look for Bird class.

Harbour regulations require that a ship at anchor, without use of its main engine, must have a tug alongside at all times. Svitzer Nerthus was given the job, and it tied on the ship's port bow in this photo, but later moved to starboard midships.


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Coast Guard Type 1100 upgades on the way

CCGS Sir William Alexander is one of six Type 1100 ships in the CCG fleet. It was built by Marine Industries Ltd in Sorel, QC in 1987.

 Two federal ministers descended on St.John's Friday January 22 to announce the latest expenditures in the $360mn Coast Guard upgrade program. The new minister of Public Services and Procurement and the new minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Coast Guard revealed the nature of the work aboard CCGS Ann Harvey.

Wartsila Canada has been awarded a $6.2 mn contract for design and supply of new propulsion control systems for CCGS Sir William Alexander and CCGS Ann Harvey. The systems will improve vessel operation and reduce maintenance. (Specifics were very thin. No mention is made if they will be more fuel efficient, or produce less SOx and NOx, so I guess not.)
Completion of the supply portion is due in two years (I am assuming it also includes installation.)

The contract has an option to extend the work to include all the other Type 1100s for another $12.7mn.
That would see CCGS Edward Cornwallis, Martha L. Black, George R. Pearkes and Sir Wilfrid Laurier all brought up to the same standard.

Both the Sir William Alexander and Ann Harvey are type 1100 light icebreaker / navaids ships that also multi-task in SAR and patrol duties.
The ships have diesel electric propulsion systems, consisting of three Alco / Bombardier diesel engines, three generators and two electric motors driving twin screws.

Different ships in the class have slightly different overall propulsive power according to Lloyd's Register:
George R. Pearkes, Martha L. Black and  Sir William Alexander have 2,991 bhp main engines and 3,550 shp electric motors for a total power of 8,937 hp.
Ann Harvey and Edward Cornwallis have 3,500 bhp main engines, 3,549 shp electric motors for a total power of   10,500 hp.
Sir Wilfrid Laurier has 3,500 bhp main engines, 3,549 shp motors and a total power of 10,650 hp.

The ships also vary in appearance. The two Halifax based ships, Edward Cornwallis and Sir William Alexander have one less deck in the superstructure below the bridge, and the latter ship is fitted with a crane instead of the traditional goal post mast and derrick.

CCGS Edward Cornwallis has a goal post mast and derrick for buoy handling.