Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Teekay tanker brings rain

The Suezmax sized Teekay tanker Shenlong Spirit arrived yesterday for Imperial Oil. It has remained at anchorage number one however, probably because wind speeds exceed prudent limits for berthing at the number 5 dock.

The ship's name derives from the Chinese spirit dragon that in mythology is the master of storms and the bringer of rain. Sure enough ever since this ship has been in port we have had showers and drizzle.
Note to Teekay: we had enough of this weather in May.

Built in 2009 at Bohai Shipyard in China, the ship measures a healthy 85,030 gross tons and 159,021 deadweight tonnes (full load.) What makes it a Suezmax ship is that it was the maximum size for transiting the Suez canal at full draft when the ship was built. The current sliding scale draft regulations on the Canal limit ships to 66 feet of draft depending on width. (Ships wider than 164 feet must reduce draft to maintain the same wetted surface cross sectional area to ensure buoyancy.) The Suez was deepened in 2009, from 60 ft, so that a Suezmax ship is now in the region of 240,000 tonnes deadweight - much larger than Shenlong Spirit. If the Suez Canal Authority goes ahead with plans to deepen again to permit 70 feet of draft, then the Canal will probably accommodate almost every ship known or contemplated. (There is also an air draft restriction of about 215 feet.)


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