Thursday, May 30, 2013

Aivik - arctic veteran retires

1. Aivik returning from the north last summer. Note the lighters and tugs on deck.

A veteran arctic supply ship arrived today in Halifax. After winter layup in Montreal, Aivik has been sold and and its Canadian register closed as of today.
Built in 1980 by Soc. Nouvelle des Ateliers du Havre, France, it is an ice class, heavy lift RoRo - an interesting combination. Its main feature is two large cranes with a combined lifting capacity of 310 tonnes, it also has a stern ramp and large open car deck. Its weather has flush hatches so that is can carry containers (168 TEU) and oversize cargoes. Its gross tonnage is 7,048.
When built it was named M,ont Ventoux and served several French companies until acquired by The North West Company of Winnipeg in 1990, with managers Igloolik Transport Inc (part of the Logistec Group).
It was renamed Aivik (walrus) and has been a regular in the arctic ever since. For a number of years it was flagged out in winter and traded internationally. In 1991 it was renamed Unilifter under the French flag again, but returned to Canada in 1992.
Since then, and with the formation of Nunavut and Nunavik, a new company Nunavut Eastern Arctic Shipping was formed to own the ship, and acquire more ships for arctic supply work. The current fleet of four ships (including Aivik's replacement) have none of the versatility of Aivik, but are better suited to the needs of NEAS. See:
Aivik has made "side trips" besides its northern work. Due to its heavy lift capacity it has carried transformers for Hydro Quebec. On one previois trip to Halifax, it arrived November 29, 1990 carrying the new engines and auxiliaries for CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent.
2. Aivik brought new engines for CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent in 1990.

During her normal summer supply work, the ship carries tugs and lighters on deck to service remote communities without piers. In its off season work it carried containers and RoRo cargo.
3. Anchored in Halifax in early 1991, the ship had a deck load of frozen containers.

According to the NEAS website, the replacement for Aivik will be called Mitiq (common eider) but as yet I have been unable to identify the ship. However it is likely to be an ex Spleithoff's vessel, similar to the three others ships in the fleet.

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