Friday, September 22, 2017

Halterm cranes (+ update)

As mentioned the other day, three of Halterm's old container cranes have been out of service for some time and apparently were not worth reconditioning.

Now we see that demolition has started on the first of the three. Two giant construction cranes have been set up at the end of pier 37-39 and crews have started to rig lifting gear to remove the boom on the first crane.

Two of the old cranes were moved farther east to accommodate the work. The remaining crane at pier36 (right) has also out of service for a time.

Workers at the top of the boom were lifted into place by basket.

There is still a question about the fourth crane, at pier 36, which has been out of service for a time. It was originally a typical crane but some years ago was fitted with special bogies allowing it to move from pier 36 to pier 41-42 on curved track. However that function is no longer possible with the four new wider track super-post-panamax cranes at pier 41-42.

Leaving Halterm with only four working cranes must be a major service issue for the operator, and some new cranes are obviously needed. There was talk of a new rudder tired crane, but nothing has been seen of that yet.

Fairview Cove already dismantled its oldest crane a couple of years ago, but also has smaller cranes that can't serve large ships fully due to limited height and reach.

By late this afternoon the first section of the boom was on the ground.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday traffic and updates

Not a particularly busy day in the port, with no cruise ships in but there was activity.

Work on cleaning the hull of the tanker Endeavour (see yesterday's post) has progressed down the port side and onto the starboard side. The difference is noticeable.

No ETD has been posted for the ship yet.

KSL Seville did take bunkers today, but remains in number 1 anchorage. It must be in for some sort of repair.

The Yang Ming container ship YM Express arrived this afternoon. Its first visit for THE Alliance's AL1 service was April 30 but I missed it on that day.

Built by China Shipbuilding Corp, Kaohsiung in 2015, the 47,952 grt, 57,320 dwt ship has a capacity of 4662 TEU (including 700 reefers).

The ship displays a variety of boxes, but CSAV is now a major owner of HAPAG-Lloyd and H-L has purchased UASC (United Arab Shipping Co). Activities of the latter have now been totally merged into H-L.

At Autoport MSC Immacolata made a brief visit, tying up just before noon and sailing at 1530 hrs.

Due the crowd at Halterm yesterday (the 9365 TEU CMA CGM Rhone and the 3108 TEU EM Kea  and all four big cranes hard at work ) there was no room  at pier 41-42. Tropical Shipping's Bomar Rebecca tied up at pier 36.  Oddly the ship used its own cranes to unload some containers and this evening moved to pier 41 to begin loading tomorrow. Tropical's destinations and schedules may well have been disrupted by recent hurricanes, which might account for the early arrival. Tropical ships usually arrive and sail on Mondays.

There are four cranes lining pier 36-37, but only one (the one on the far right) is a working crane. The others are no longer functional. The fact that Bomar Rebecca did not use it may or may not be significant. 


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Anchorages in use

Halifax's anchorages were in good use today for tow ships, neither of which will load or unload cargo here.
First in was the tanker Endeavour, arriving from Montreal in ballast. Flying the Singapore flag, the ship was built in 2004 by STX Shipbuilding in Jinhae, South Korea, a mid-range tanker of 30,032 grt, 46,1201 dwt. It is operated by Transpetrol. Tanker Management of Norway.

The purpose of this visit is for hull cleaning, and the workboat was soon alongside with its scrubber machine. This kind of work used to require drydocking, but with current technology the work can be completed with the ship afloat. Aside from removing harmful marine growth, and possible invasive species, hull cleaning also result in major fuel savings by decreasing hull resistance.

Late this afternoon the fully laden bulk carrier  KSL Seville arrived from Sept-Iles, QC carrying iron ore. Because of its size, it was met at the outer pilot station by two pilots and was soon joined by two tugs. As it crept into port it soon obvious why two tugs were required. Due to its great draft (reported to be 17.2m) the pilots used the deep water (western channel) which requires a sharp dogleg to return to the ranges of the main channel. The stern tethered escort, Atlantic Fir was used for braking, but also swung far out abreast to turn the ship.  Meanwhile Atlantic Oak, stationed forward also assisted in turning by pushing the bow. These large bulkers generally do not have bow thrusters, so the second tug was necessary.

KSL Seville returning toward the main channel from the western channel, the stern escort tug is pulling the stern around from the starboard quarter..

KSL Seville flies the Hong Kong flag for Front Seville Inc, part of the John Frederiksen conglomerate and is managed by his bulk carier copmany Golden Ocean Group Ltd. It was built by Shanghai Waigaoqiao shipyard in 2015 and measures a hearty 93,366 grt, 181,903 dwt.

Back in the main channel, the tugs are keeping the ship in line due limited steerage way art slow speed.

No reason was given for the ship's arrival, and there is no sign that it will be taking bunkers.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Angeles subs for Maersk Pembroke

Maersk /CMA CGM had to scramble when Maersk Pembroke caught fie August 21 in the Celtic Sea on its way from Belgium to Montreal. While the ship had to be towed back to Europe for repairs, the containers it was due to pick up in Montreal and Halifax sat on the pier waiting for the next ship.

Maersk or CMA CGM found the container ship Angeles on short notice and brought in on line, picking up the transshipped cargo from Maersk Pembroke. After sailing from Europe to Montreal, it reached Halifax today. Maersk Pembroke's scheduled arrival in Halifax was September 2. In the meantime Maersk Penang "lapped" the ship and was here last weekend and EM Kea is due tomorrow, both on their regular schedules. I am not sure what cargo they would have loaded here, but perhaps there was some backlog.

Managers NSC display their houseflag and funnel mark in ingenious places.

The ship was built in 2008 by Zhejiang YangFan in Zhoushan as Angeles under the management of NSC Schiffahrt. It has since the names, 2014: ANL Kurango, 16: Angeles, 16: CMA CGM Pointe Caribe. It reverted to its original and current name January 1, 2017. It is similar in capacity to the ship it replaces at 32,901 grt, 34,700 dwt, 2797 TEU (including 746 reefers).


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Big Day in the Port of Halifax

It was a big day in the port of Halifax in many ways.

For one, it was the presence of no less than five cruise ships, Veendam at pier 20, Carnival Sunshine at pier 22, Insignia at pier 23, Zuiderdam at pier 30-31 and  AIDAdiva and pier 33-34.

The container ship Itea outbound early this morning with the Zuiderdam inbound.

It was also another big day for ZIM as one of its 10,000+ TEU ships arrived. Zim Antwerp was also here in June and was the second ZIM ship of that size to call here.

The 114,044 grt, 116,294 dwt ships came from the Hyundai Samho shipyard in 2009. Its 10,062 TEU capacity just squeezes past the magic 10k threshold to qualify as a large ship. US ports are seeing 14,000 TEU ships already and we may be in line for some too.

While not a large ship by Autoport standards, Siem Cicero is quite new, having been completed as recently as June of this year by the Uljanik shipyard in Pula, Crotia.

The ships comes in at 56,677 grt, 17,416 dwt.

And at Irving Oil in Woodside, a relative rarity, a Maersk tanker.

 Maersk Matsuyama dates from 2008 when Onomichi Zosen in Japan delivered the 26,911 grt, 47,165 dwt handysize tanker. As usual with foreign flag ship (in this case Panama) at Irving Oil, it arrived from the Netherlands with refined product. We should expect European import cargoes at Imperial Oil too after recent events in the southern US.

On top of all this September 13 and 14 are the annual Port Days where the Halifax Port Authority organizes a number of events to highlight the Port. [ A boat trip around the lower harbour on Harbour Queen 1 was one of the vents, and made most of the above photos possible.]

This year the concentration was on Supply Chain Innovation, and various speakers emphasized the importance of cooperation and teamwork to make the shipping process more efficient.  This is also an occasion for the Port to celebrate its achievements and certainly the projected 17% increase in traffic this year is a major one. Last year the Port of Halifax's volume increased by 15% making it the fastest growing container port in Canada, although its total volume is still well behind Vancouver and Montreal.

Although the Port hinted at critical infrastructure changes using all of the harbour, that the  port is on the edge of something big and that it is time to take a big leap, there were no details. Perhaps this is a run up to the revelation of the Port's long term plan - let us hope so - it is indeed time. 


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Liberal name change

The federal government has taken the liberty of changing the names of the new RCN Joint Support Ships (JSS) . Originally to be named the Queenston class the new ships will now be named the Protecteur class. Queenston will become Protecteur and Chateauguay will become Preserver continuing the names of the ships they will replace.

The original names were chosen by the previous Conservative government and reflected then Prime Minister Stephen Harper's preoccupation with the War of 1812-14. They commemorated two significant battles of the war, fought between "Canadians" (not yet a nation) and Americans. They hardly seemed to be diplomatically correct in terms of fostering good relations with our southern neighbours, so perhaps the change reflects the current government's fraught re-negotiations of NAFTA and that other issues between the two countries need to be worked out amicably.

In order to speed up delivery of the two ships, Seaspan Marine in Vancouver has told by the current government to delay construction of the new Polar class icebreaker which has been named John G. Diefenbaker. Do we see a pattern emerging here? Can we expect another renaming in the offing? Perhaps a Lester B. Pearson or even another well known former Liberal Prime Minister's name would be applied - would it be similar to the current Liberal Prime Minister's name? Would it be wise to make the change before the 2018 federal election, when the ship will not likely be delivered until 2021-well into a possible second mandate?
Oh horrors.

The new HMCS Protecteur will be the second ship of the name in the RCN, but HMCS Preserver will be the third. A pair of  World War II tankers were named Preserver and Provider and served as Fairmile depot ships until paid off at the end of the war and sold to South America. When Canada built its first post war supply ship, it was named Provider but a second ship of the class was never built.

The navy explains the new name change respects the previous ships and those who served on them. This is the same explanation that has been given in the past to cover a lack of imagination in ships naming, a change in naming policy or to overcome controversy  (CCGS Edward Cornwallis (ii) was not named for the man but for the previous ship of the same name according to a CCG official.)

Quite frankly if the RCN can't develop esprit de corps without reverting to nostalgia they need a wakeup call. When the name change is so overtly political do they think that matelots are too stupid to recognize it for what it is? And what message does it send to the forces - that they serve at the whim of political parties or that they serve all the people of Canada no matter their political affiliation?

I have a couple of suggestions for another name change for the JSS ships. They should be named Kitchener and Waterloo after two adjoining cities in southern Ontario.

Since the new ships will be built to the German Berlin class, we will be reminded that the City of Kitchener was named Berlin until 1916 when it was changed in view of the anti-German sentiment of the First World War. Many Canadians of German ancestry experienced discrimination solely because their names sound German.

We will also be reminded of the battle of Waterloo (in Belgium), wherein Prussian and British troops defeated Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815, resulting in his abdication as emperor of France. It was this war in Europe that distracted the British from the War of 1812-14 in North America, and largely left Canada on its own to defend itself. Napoleon met his Waterloo and we should all remember the necessity of overcoming the aspirations of all those who want to conquer the word.

So something to learn from the significance of the names of two ships other than how to score political points.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

CNAV Quest - Next one to go

The Canadian naval research vessel CNAV Quest (AGOR 172) is the next ship from the Atlantic force to head to the scrap yard. The tug Lois M ( the same tug that towed out the Preserver in August) arrived at HMC Dockyard this morning, September 12,  and is due to leave tomorrow. The destination is Sydport in Sydney, NS harbour, where Marine Recycling Corp has established a yard to break up ex RCN ships.

There are several references to Quest in this blog over the years, but to summarize, it was built in 1968 by Burrard Dry Dock in North Vancouver, and commissioned in 1969. Nominally a hydrographic research vessel (hence the white hull and buff funnel) it was assigned to the RCN and used by what is now Defence Research and Development Canada on a variety of under water acoustic projects.  A major refit from 1997 to 1999 somewhat marred its looks, particularly on the port side where an open alley was enclosed. Although laid up with stability and deck subdivision issues in 2009 , it was reconditioned for special projects and sent to Europe in 2011 with an unusual paint scheme of navy gray on the starboard side only. It also participated in arctic operations in 2012.

However in 2014 it was "parked" effective March 31 due to lack of funding for the next fiscal year. It has not sailed since. Decommissioning was announced September 2, 2016 and the ship was sold in March of this year.

This leaves the now decommissioned Athabaskan still occupying a berth in the Dockyard. It is still being prepared for the inevitable.


Onego Ponza - another load of rails

After only four days in port Onego Ponza is sailing this evening after unloading a cargo of rails from Poland. This is not the first visit for the ship. It was here in August 2009, March 2011 and again in September 2015, also with rails.

Onego Ponza with fresh looking paint, beginning to unload. Pontoon hatch covers have been lifted off by the traveling gantry and stacked fore (not visible) and aft.

Daewoo Mangalia shipyard in Mangalia Romania built the ship's hull and superstructure and it was completed by the Bodewes Volharding shipyard in Foxhol, Hoogezand, Netherlands in 2002. Launched as Sider Ponza, it was renamed Sider Monique on delivery. In 2009 it was renamed Onego Ponza by Eckhoff GmbH+Co of Jork, Germany. It has the usual box shaped holds and pontoon type hatch covers of a multi-purpose ship. It is also equipped with a pair of 40 tonne cranes.

As with many German ships it is is registered in Antigua and Barbuda. Its builder, an offshoot of Korea's Daewoo Industries (51%), and co-owned by the Romanian state (49%) is the biggest employer in the country. However with Daewoo's current financial woes at home and $1bn in accumulated losses for the Managalia yard alone, its share is likely to be taken over by Damen according to recent news reports.


Monday, September 11, 2017

Rotterdam arrives

The cruise ship Rotterdam arrived and tied up in bright sunshine this morning unlike the short look -in last week. It apparently reached New York and sailed on schedule after its transatlantic crossing.

Many cruise lines are adjusting their fall and winter schedules due to severe hurricane damage in some of the ports of call. While this may mean some changes in the Halifax cruise season, it is hard to pre there will be as the routes of developing storms are far from certain and the next one may reach our waters.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Hyundai Sunday

ZIM continues to bring in bigger ships. Today's first time arrival was the Hyundai Mercury, a ship owned by the nebulous Arzel Shipping Inc, and managed by Eastern Pacific Shipping (UK) Ltd. The latter is the London branch of a Singapore company that manages more than one hundred ships of all types. This particular ship, not surprisingly built by Hyundai Heavy Industries, Ulsan in 2009, has a capacity of 8562 TEU and measures 94,511 grt, 9581 dwt.

Hyundai Mercury just clear of Halterm, heads for sea.
The crane shadow neatly frames the pilot door let into the side of the ship.

The ship serves the ZIM Container Service Pacific route, and has worked its way up the astern seaboard from Savannah (Sept 2), Charleston, Norfolk and New York. It has now sailed for Kingston, Jamaica, then on through the Panama Canal to China and Korea before returning to the Canal, Kingston and Savannah by mid-November to start the rotation all over again.

Leaving its last east coast port and heading for the hub port of Kingston, Jamaica, the ship is fairly lightly loaded, since most cargo is likely imports from China and Korea.


Friday, September 8, 2017

HAPAG-Lloyd ships

Since the formation of THE Alliance earlier this year, there has been a dearth of HAPAG-Lloyd ships in Halifax. Other members of the block have been providing the ships on the various routes that call here.
However with the Chilean company CSAV holding 34% of H-L since 2014, the nature of H-L has changed and several CSAV ships have been folded into non-South American trade routes. The current H-L fleet consists of 219 ships both owned and chartered, with a capacity in excess of 1.6 mn TEU.

Among them is Palena which is owned by something called HL-4160 chartering (possibly associated with Southern Ship Management of Valparaiso, Chile) and since earlier this year the ship has been carrying full HAPAG-Lloyd livery, but still with a traditional CSAV name.

Palena sails this morning as the fog clears.

Palena is a 6541 TEU ship (including 600 reefer plugs) of 73,934 grt, 82,248 dwt, built in 2006 by Hyundai, Ulsan. It is a regular on the EC5 service for THE Alliance (Halifax, Jedel Ali, Singapore, Laem Chebang, Singapore, Colombo, Halifax and various east coast US ports).


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Rotterdam - shortest stop on record

Rotterdam, co-flag ship of Holland America Cruises (with Amsterdam) made one of the shortest port calls on record today. It was less than an hour and a half  from arriving at the pilot station to clearing again, and within those tight confines obviously had no time to tie up securely at pier 31. Shortly after 0800 I saw the ship in the stream off Halterm heading seaward, so it must have made very good time outbound. 

The ship is en route Rotterdam to Boston via St.John's and was originally scheduled to spend the day in Halifax. However its name was removed from the official Cruise Halifax web site at some point.

In view of the high winds and driving rain today, and iffy forecasts for the next few days, perhaps the line decided not to lose time en route to Boston and scrubbed the official visit. Why it called in at all remains a mystery.

File photo from 2002 - definitely not today.

Built in 1997 by Fincantieri Marghera, Italy, the 61,849 grt ship has a capacity of 1404 to 1685 passengers and a crew of 620. It made its first call in Halifax May 13, 2002 and has called fairly regularly since. Its current schedule sees it touring Europe in the summer, and South America in the winter, with a brief fall season on the eastern seaboard.

After arriving in Boston September 9, the ship is due in Halifax again September 11 and 25 and  October 5 and 9.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Tiger - a Wilhelmsen giant

Wilhelmsen's Tiger made its second call in Halifax today. The first was March 1, 2016, but on that occasion it did not manage to pass my camera.

 Atlantic Oak follows the ship out to Ives Knoll, but did not have a line up. - it was just going to pier 41.

A 7th generation Daewoo car carrier design, it was built in 2011 by Daewoo's Okpo shipyard. At 74,255 grt, 30,140 dwt, it has a capacity of no less than 7,934 cars. Newer ships can carry more than 8,000.

Fitted for carriage of other roll-on, roll-off cargo, it first unloaded at pier 31 yesterday before moving to Autoport overnight. It's stern ramp is rated for 320 tonnes, so it can handle some pretty large rolling loads.

Scotia Pilot is smothered in spray as it paces the ship outbound.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Drama Queen 1

A small drama unfolded in Halifax harbour Sunday evening when the party /tour boat Harbour Queen 1 lost power during a tour. The boat drifted inside the Halterm pier extension onto the breakwater.

It took the combined efforts of the Halifax Tugger and Atlantic Oak to get the boat off and back to its base at the Cable Wharf.

Divers were to examine the boat for damage today, and before it re-enters service there will be an investigation to determine why it lost power.

 Harbour Queen 1 shortly after entering service in Halifax in April 1987.

Harbour Queen 1 was built in 1985 in Oromocto, NB as Pioneer Princess II and operated tours out of Fredericton for a couple of years before making the voyage to Halifax. An imitation of a Mississippi river boat, it has a pair of dummy funnels and a motorized paddle that does not propel the boat.

 I am not sure anyone is fooled by the paddle, but it is part of the package.

The boat is equipped with an anchor (see port bow above) which was deployed when it went adrift, but likely did little to stop the boat.

Vessel operators Murphy Sailing Tours Ltd will certainly miss the services of this vessel as we are entering the height of the cruise season, with three ships in today (Veendam, Norwegian Gem and Insignia.)

Today Halifax Tugger was back at its more prosaic duties, wrangling the garbage scow from the cruise ships, such as the Insignia.



Saturday, September 2, 2017

Friday evening and Saturday activity

Just as the sun was setting Friday evening the container ship Brotonne Bridge got underway from Fairview Cove for sea. The Cerescorp container terminal had been particularly busy over the past few days, with ships anchored in Bedford Basin waiting to berth.

With Atlantic Oak made up astern as tethered escort, Brotonne Bridge begins to make its turn for the Narrows.

Built in 2010 by Samsung Shipbuilding + Heavy Industry in Koje, the 46,444 grt, 58,200 dwt ship has a capacity of 4526 TEU. It is working on the AL6 service of THE Alliance.

The new cruise ship Mein Schiff 6 made its first call in Halifax this morning. Completed in May of this year and christened June 1, the ship was built by Meyer Turku Shipyard in Turku Finland, for Tui Cruises of Germany.

There was quite a crowd awaiting the arrival of the ship on cool crisp morning in Halifax.

The 98,811 grt ship has a capacity of 2,790 passengers and has a crew of 1,030. The ship follows the design of two previous ships, Mein Schiff 3 and Mein Schiff 5, that have proven very popular with German passengers.

Things moved rather slowly in the harbour thereafter. The expected arrival of the small container ship Berta did not happen at 1100, but closer to 1200.

Scotia Pilot returning from the pilot station, having embarked the pilot on Berta, was making good speed and lots of spray.

This was the first chance I had to see the new pilot pilot boat Scotia Pilot in operation. It certainly appeared to be steady and fast, but generated a lot of spray, most of which was kept off deck thanks to the large bow flare.

Berta is certainly in the small range for a container ship, with a capacity of 645 TEU in a ship of 6264 grt, 7400 dwt. It is owned by Intersee Schiffarts of Germany, and flies the Antigua and Barbuda flag.

With the tug Atlantic Willow tucked in on the starboard quarter to assist, the ship will be turning to back into pier 31.

It is operating for Nirint with bagged nickel sulfides from Cuba. After discharge, using its own 40 tonne cranes, it will be heading for Rotterdam.

Meanwhile out at number one anchorage the CMA CGM Nabucco had completed its Canadian Food Inspection Agency inspection for Asian Gypsy Moth larva, and had weighed anchor, but awaited the passing Berta before moving alongside pier 41.

Using three tugs, Atlantic Oak, Atlantic Fir and Spitfire III the ship gets underway from the nearby anchorage area.

The ship first called in Halifax in May of this year, but I did not get a photo. It is one of four sister ships (the other are CMA CGMs La Traviata, Otello and Tosca) in the CMA CGM fleet. So far CMA CGM Otello is the only other one of the class to appear in Halifax on the Columbus Loop service. Built in 2006 by Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan, the 91,410 grt, 101,810 dwt ship has a capacity of 8488 TEU (including 700 reefers).

The ship used three tugs, but this did not cause delays elsewhere in the port, as Atlantic Towing Ltd appears to have augmented its Halifax tug fleet to four tugs - something that has been needed for some time.


Friday, September 1, 2017

Bigger ships for ZIM

With the opening of the enlarged locks in the Panama Canal earlier this year, ZIM has been bringing larger ships in. Theses ship, too large for the old canal, can now go transpacific and continue on through Panama to the North American east coast.

Many of these ships do not belong to ZIM, but are chartered in. Such is the case with today's arrival, Asklipios, a 113, 412 grt, 118,815 dwt vessel with a capacity of 9954 TEU (including 1400 reefers). Although not breaking the through the "magic" (but arbitrary) 10,000 TEU barrier, it is still a big ship for Halifax.

 Asklipios towers over bow tug Atlantic Fir with the high horsepower Spitfire III braking at the stern.

Built in 2011 by Samsung Shipbuilding and Heavy Industry Co in Koje, South Korea, the ship started life as Hanjin Spain under the Panamanian flag. With the collapse of Hanjin as a victim of the shipping recession, and declared bankrupt in February 2017, its ships were put up for sale. Capital Ship Management, owned by Evangelos Marinakis, snapped up five sister ships from the fleet. He acquired the former Hanjins United Kingdom, Netherlands, Korea, China and Spain for a reported $31mn [US] each, and arranged for charters to other lines, allowing them to replace smaller and less efficient (former Panamax) ships.


Monday, August 28, 2017

Ferbec - Quebec Report #11

Another ship that may be a familiar sight on the St.Lawrence for some time to come is the bulk carrier Ferbec. The largest ship in the CSL domestic fleet, it is also the second ship to carry the name for the comapny and is plying the same route as its illustrious predecessor.

The ship carries ilmenite ore from Havre-St-Pierre to Sorel-Tracy on a continuous shuttle operation for Rio Tinto Fet et Titane.

The current Ferbec entered service in May of this year when it was registered in Sorel May 18. It was previously sailing for CSL's international fleet as CSL Melbourne since 2010. Built in 2002 by Nantong Cosco KHI in Nantong, as Orientor and carried the name Orientor 2 from 2002 to 2010. It is a Handy Size bulker of 27,198 grt, 49,502 dwt fitted with four cranes and grabs to work cargo.

Its predecessor of the same name was a gearless bulker, built in 1966 by IHI, Tokyo as Fugaku Maru and acquired and renamed by CSL in 1977. Its sale for scrap in 2005 raised the ire of environmentalists, because it was known to contain hazardous materials. Renamed Michalakis under the Mongolian flag, it sailed to Alang, India where it was beached for scrapping March 24, 2005.

Havre-St-Pierre is the loading port for the ore, which is mined at Lac Allard 43 km inland and transporter by rail to the port. Established in 1950 by Quebec Iron and Titanium (QIT) the mine yields high grade titanium dioxide which is refined to development metal powders used as white pigment for paints, paper and numerous other commodities.

The mine has been operating at reduced capacity for some time and will only run for 24 weeks this year, however that may result in a sufficient stockpile to keep the ship running. However Rio Tinto has another mine, this one in Madagascar, that could potentially supply the Sorel-Tracy operation at lower cost.


Sunday, August 27, 2017

NACC Québec - Quebec Report #10

The cement carrier NACC Québec was upbound this afternoon on its second trip to the Seaway. On its first trip last week,it discharged at a new terminal in Cote-Ste-Catherine.  This trip it will be going to Oshawa.

Built by Tuzla Gemi in Tuzla, Turkey in 2011 as  Tenace, the ship was brought into Canadian registry this spring by NovaAlgoma Cement Carriers (NACC). A 50/50 joint venture between Algoma and Nova Marine Holdings SA of Luxembourg the company was established to carry cement in bulk form. This particular ship is in dedicated service to the new McInnis cement plant in Port Daniel, on the south coast of the Gaspé peninsula. It will also be making international voyages seasonally.

The ship started life as a conventional bulk carrier of 9286 grt, 14,600 dwt, but with a special cement loading and discharging system installed its revised tonnages are 10,243 grt, 14,906 dwt. Immediately recognizable by the forest of cargo handling pipes, and the outrageous funnel, the ship will become a regular sight on the river.

The ship was in Halifax briefly August 12.


Saturday, August 26, 2017

Light Loads - Quebec Report #9

There has been lots of daytime shipping activity in recent days, but many of the ships appear to be lightly loaded.

Detroit Express with its ungainly cranes, and light draft is carrying a normal load. Built by Hyundai Heavy Industries and Construction, it was not however built in Korea, but at their satellite shipyard in Subic, Philippines.

Carrying no cargo at all the sailing vessel Mondango 3 made an impressive sight as it motored up river, on its way from Halifax to Quebec City. The skein of geese is an early sign of autumn.

Federal Mosel was also quite obviously carrying little if any cargo, but did sport a lone container on deck. The ship is new this for Fednav. Built by New Times Shipbuilding Co in Jingjiang, China, it measures 22,947 grt, 36,583 dwt, and is max-sized for the Seaway with its plumb bow and no bulb. It is destined for Hamilton, ON.

The tour boar Cabaret has been operating from Pointe-au-Pic this summer, with nature and sightseeing trips to the Gros Cap-a-l'Aigle area, usually twice or three time daily.

The tanker Patras was also in ballast. It is returning from a delivery to Sydney, NS. The ship is working on a coasting license for Pétro-Nav, due to a shortage of Canadian flag tankers. Pétro-Nav sent two of its small tankers north this summer to refuel various outposts, and so were not available for St.Lawrence cargoes.\