Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Atlantic Superior

Thanks to a recent comment posted to this blog I can give an update on the bulker Atlantic Superior. The comment was too long for the available space in the comment box, so the last few lines did not make it through to me. {If that happens again, just cut off the first few sentences until it fits, because they did go through)
After wintering in Halifax last year there were rumours that  Atlantic Superior was to be laid up and sold for scrap. That did not prove to be true as the ship was transferred to CSL Americas (formerly CSL International) and made some trips on the Canada/US east coast.
It has since been transferred again, this time to west coast, where it is running between Canada and US in the aggregates trade.
As on the this coast, there is a shortage of aggregate in the US due to various causes, such as NIMBY (Not in My Back Yard) movements and environmental regulations. Canada has lots of aggregates, and there are still objections to opening new mines, but there are some big existing ones that show no signs of running out of rock. One such is Martin Marietta's operation at Auld's Cove NS with an estimated 150 years of stone in place.
On the west coast Polaris Minerals has a large operation that started up on Vancouver Island in 2007. It ships aggregates to CEMEX in Redwood City CA. CSL was using the ships CSL Acadian and Nelvana (both used to run on this coast), but they could not get to Redwoood City fully loaded at 45 foot draft (and deadweight of more than 74,000 tonnes), and had to lighter off part of the cargo to barges while at anchor in San Francisco Harbour. The barges then ran to Napa with their portion of the cargo. The ship would then dock in San Francisco or Richmond and unload more cargo until its draft was reduced to 30 feet allowing it to get into to Redwood City.
This arrangement was inconvenient, time consuming and costly with the economic downturn over the last few years.
Atlantic Superior to the rescue.It can load a healthy quantity of material (36,800 deadweight tonnes at maximum summer draft), has shallow draft (34 feet in fresh water) and can get into Redwood City at high tide with a full cargo. At time of writing the ship is due in Redwood City on another trip.
The ship was reflagged to the Bahamas September 17, 2013.
The other ships in the CSL fleet with similar names; Atlantic Erie and Atlantic Huron are still sailing under Canadian flag. Despite the similarity in names they are not sister ships.

3. Atlantic Erie with a maximum deadweight of 37,753 tonnes has the largest cargo capacity of the three ships. It is still running the St.Lawrence River.

4. Atlantic Huron seen in Halifax this past Sunday morning  December 8, for a load of gypsum, was widened to the new St.Lawrence Seaway maximum and no longer goes far from Canadian shores.

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