Saturday, November 19, 2011

CSL Spirit: soon to be Canadian

1. CSL Spirit in Halifax in 2003.
Word on the street has it that the bulker CSL Spirit will soon*[see update below] be reflagged to Canada and fleet- mate Atlantic Superior will be going foreign.

CSL International operates CSL Spirit under the Bahamas flag and CSL Group's Canada Steamship Lines operates the domestic Canadian flag fleet.

CSL Spirit arrived in Halifax this evening for bunkers, but too late for a picture. However she has been in port many times and is no stranger to Halifax.

Launched in 2000 at Jiangnan Shipyard in China, she entered service in 2001 and was the first of three sister ships in the CSL International pool. The other two are Sheila Ann and Sophie Oldendorff. The are self-unloaders, with enclosed articulating booms and have a deadweight of just over 70,000 tonnes. They are Panamax vessels and have worked in various parts of the world over the years carrying stone, coal, ore and gypsum.

In her new role as a Canadian ship CSL Spirit will be put to work in Sept-Iles bay on shuttle service, running iron ore from the Pointe Noire pier to large ships anchored in the bay. The pier will be extended to take larger ships, but in the meantime they must anchor off and take their loads by shuttle. CSL Spirit has an unloading rate of 6,000 tonnes per hour for ore, thus speeding up the process slightly from the current pace that Atlantic Superior is able to work. Her unloading rate is about 5,500 tph. But as a much smaller ship at 36,800 deadweight, she has to make more trips.

The shuttle process requires constant tug attendance to move the shuttle vessel back and forth alongside the larger ship, and Groupe Océan has two tugs based in Sept-Iles for this work, André H. (ex Point Valiant (i), ex Foundation Valiant) and one of their new tugs, currently Ocean Yvan Desgagnés. They also do other docking work in the port, which is Canada's largest for tonnage.

Word also has it that Atlantic Superior will be coming to Halifax Shipyard for steel work this winter before reflagging.

CSL Group has a comprehensive web site and within it you can find spec sheets for CSL Spirit and Atlantic Superior(more on the latter ship when it arrives in Halifax.)

* Update the ship was reflagged Canadian on November 18, 2011, and registered in the port of Quebec.

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