Thursday, January 14, 2021

MSC Ornella -another first timer

 Another first time caller arrived for MSC yesterday and sailed today.

 Built in 2004 by Hanjin Heavy Industry and Construction Ltd in Busan, it is a 54,304 gt, 68,372 dwt ship with a 5050 TEU capacity. After working cargo at PSA Halifax, Pier 42 it moved early this morning to Pier 27-28 for repairs. The ship had a technical deficiency when it arrived, which was corrected, allowing the ship to sail for Montreal. 

Ships of this size are currently the largest that sail to Montreal, but due to seasonal draft restrictions they are not able to load to full capacity. Dropping off or topping up in Halifax allows the ships to sail more efficiently.

Halifax on the other had has no such restrictions (nor ice) and so can handle the largest ships currently trading to the east coast of North America, such as APL Sentosa which arrived at PSA Halifax today.

This is the second call in Halifax (see April photo above) for the 13,892 TEU ship. At 151,015 gt, 150,936 dwt it is not far off the 14,400+ TEU size of the current record holders.

Halifax still needs some more cranes to be able to handle two such ships at once, but that is unlikely to happen soon unless other lines up the size of their callers.


Wednesday, January 13, 2021

CSL times two

 CSL Tacoma arrived during the night at National Gypsum. The ship is a regular caller and would not normally rate much notice. However when fleet mate and sister ship CSL Tarantau arrived at Pier 9C for repairs it became a challenge to get a photo with both ships in the same frame.

With portions of CCGS Jean Goodwill (left) and CCGS Captain Jacques Cartier at right, and CCGS G.Peddle S.C. at the BIO, CSL Tacoma is still visible at National Gypsum's dock in Wright's Cove.

CSL Tacoma was built by the Chengxi Shipyard in Jiangyin, China and is a member of CSL's ocean going Trillium class of self-unloaders. It measures 43,691 gt, 71,552 dwt.

CSL Tarantau, also a Trillium class ship, built by the same yard in 2013 with a tonnages of 43,691gt comes in at 71,279 dwt. did not start life as a CSL ship. It was built for CSL Americas pool partner Klaveness and named Balto.

In 2016 Klaveness withdrew from the pool and sold its ships to the other partners, CSL and Algoma. Although Balto's orange hull was repainted and labelled for CSL, the CSL Tarantau still has orange painted self-unloading gear, betraying its Klaveness ancestry.

CSL Tarantau's arrival at Pier 9C was not unexpected. A crane and a truck load of equipment and several smaller vehicles and workers were ready to greet the ship. Some of the equipment may include replacement belts for the self-unloading equipment. Belts are subject to considerable wear and tear and need replacement after conveying thousands of tons of material.

It seems that the CSL ships may have been involved in a "topping off" operation in the Strait of Canso over the last few days. The big bulker NSU Voyager 107,829 gt, 208,745 dwt with a cargo of coal from Norfolk, VA was anchored for several days and CSL Tacoma was recorded alongside. CSL Tarantau on the other hand likely delivered a load of coal to Sydney, NS before coming here.


Saturday, January 9, 2021

Notorious Barge arrival

 The barge at the centre of the controversial tidal power turbine in the Minas Passage, Upper Bay of Fundy, arrived in Halifax today.

For more on the barge Scotia Tide and its towing tug, Atlantic Elm - see today's post on Tugfax


New for Melfi, the Imedghassen

 Melfi Lines, the trading name for the Melfi Marine Corp is a long time user of the port of Halifax. Its regular trade from Europe to Cuba, and onward connections to Caribbean and South American ports, now consists of a twelve day rotation with five days transit from the PSA Halifax terminal to the home port of Mariel. Over the years, the company has used a variety of chartered vessels, some short term and others quite long term. Today's arrival, on its first trip for Melfi Lines, is fairly typical of the ships the line uses, which is to say, multi-purpose, fitted to carry containers, and generals, and equipped with cranes for cargo handling.

The smart looking ship was built in 2012 by Daesun Shipbuilding + Engineering Co, Pusan as Majority and has carried the names 2013: Dignity C, 2017: Sofrana Surville, 2019: Majority and taking up its present name in 2019. It measures 9998 gt, 12,754 dwt with a capacity of 1048 TEU and carrying two 40 tonne cranes.

The ship is owned and operated by Global Maritime Algerie SpA, and flies the Algerian flag. Its name also refers to a temple-mausolueum dating perhaps to 200 BC and considered to be one of the country's major heritage sites. 

The ship arrived with some sort of technical deficiency and was escorted from the pilot station by the tug Spitfire III. It then tied up at pier 34, a berth usually used for repairs or layups. Its scheduled departure date was January 8, but that has now been extended.


Thursday, January 7, 2021

Augusta Luna - in the news, twice

 Most ships lead uneventful lives, seldom appearing in the news or attracting much attention to their activities. That has certainly been the case with Nirint Shipping's Augusta Luna, a regular caller in Halifax. It plies its normal route from Europe to the Caribbean and back via Halifax with nickel sulfides from Cuba. The cargo, which is very tricky to handle in bulk, (it tends to behave like a liquid) is therefore shipped in large bags which prevents liquification and means that it can be handled as break bulk cargo.

A versatile ship of 12,772 gt, 17,370 dwt, Augusta Luna has a capacity of 903 TEU (nominal) including 60 reefers. It also carries two 150 tonne and one 80 tonne cranes. Built in 2011 by the Xinshun Shipyard Group in Yueqing, China, it started life as Rickmers Yokohama. In 2015 it became Lolland and Augusta Luna in 2019. 

To assist in loading heavy cargo the ship carries a pair of large spreaders, stowed starboard side forward at number one hatch (painted the same colour as the cranes.) Those cranes were put to good use "recently" when the ship loaded "a number" of Russian built railway locomotives for Cuba. The press release about the move was rather coy about details, but did state that the engines weighted 86,000 kg each - fairly light work for this ship. Even at a 31 meter outreach the larger cranes have an 80 tonne maximum capacity. 

The other newsworthy recent event occurred on December 25 in Mariel, Cuba, when the ship allided* with the tug Capricornio I, causing a 50cm dent in the hull in the way of the starboard number 1 ballast tank. No dent was obvious today while seen through a couple of layers of fence. The press item also stated that the dent was 7.4 meters above the waterline. Even at light draft that would seem to me to be very high on the hull for a ballast tank.

(* The term allision, which I like, means coming into contact with a stationary object, as opposed to a collision when two moving objects come into contact.)

After completing its cargo work tomorrow, the ship will be returning to Rotterdam to start its cycle again. It is due next in Halifax February 18.


Maersk Nimbus

A.P.Moller-Maersk A/S (known as "Maersk") is only one component  of the huge Moller family of companies, which includes real estate, supply chain management, retail, port terminals and others. (It hived off its oil and gas investments in 2016). Best known as the largest container shipping company in the world, Maersk also owns the largest tug company in the world (Svitzer), a significant offshore support vessel fleet, autocarriers (in joint venture with Hoegh) and tankers.

Today's arrival, Maersk Nimbus is one of five "cloud class" tankers built in 2016 and 2017 by Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan. However they were not built for Maersk but for BP Tankers. British Nimbus, as it was originally named, was delivered in 2016 and measured 28,137 grt and 39,999 dwt. With its sisters it was among the smallest ships in the BP fleet, intended for MidRange trade in North Europe and the Mediterranean. The ships are equipped with exhaust gas scrubbers and other state of the art equipment to ensure economical operation.

In late 2019 BP did a lease back deal with Maersk to take over ownership of eleven tankers, and lease them back to BP for three years. These sorts of deals are more common with new ships, but they are also a way for companies to take debt from its books and to raise funds.

The ship became Maersk Nimbus in February 2020 and the Maersk funnel colours were applied. That does not disguise the huge scrubber casing installed aft of the superstructure. 

The ship's last port was New York, and it tied up at Imperial Oil.


Monday, January 4, 2021

Algonorth - again, and close up

 I was not expecting Algonorth to remain in Halifax when I made yesterday's post. However,  once the ship finished unloading last night it moved over to pier 25-26. That berth is used to unload grain, so is often selected for short term stays for repairs or for winter layups.

The ship is certainly showing signs of wear and tear from transiting the St.Lawrence and Great Lakes locks. The "lock rash" is all the evidence needed to show why the attractive Swedish paint job is impractical for working the Seaway.

It now appears that Algonorth will be staying in Halifax for a maintenance period. "Fire wires" have been deployed over side forward and aft, which will allow tugs to move the ship in case of emergency without having to rely on a ship's crew to rig lines.