It is a distressing fact that at this time of year, interesting ships arrive in Halifax in the evening or in snow storms, when there is no visibility and no chance for a photo. Such was the case Monday afternoon when the CSL Metis arrived at National Gypsum. This is the first time I have seen this ship in Halifax, so I was pleased that the weather cleared off enough today to get a photo.
1. CSL Metis lines up for the Narrows (viewed from the Halifax side of the harbour). It is not fully loaded due to the restricted draft at the National Gypsum pier.
There are also lots of photos on line, since the ship is a frequent caller in the Strait of Canso and has been well photographed there: http://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/7926162/vessel:CSL_METIS
CSL Americas, the former CSL International, also publishes a spec sheet and photo of the ship on their web site: http://www.cslships.com/en/csl-americas/fleet/vessels-and-specs/csl-metis
Canada Steamship Lines, founded through the amalagamation of a number of St.Lawrence River and Great Lakes companies, became a world leader in self-unloader technology, based on its experience building and operating such ships in its domestic fleet. Since than it has expanded to Europe and AustralAsia, as well as deep sea shippping in North America, outside of the Great Lakes.
Faced with a growing demand for self-discharging bulk carriers in 2007 the company opted to purchase a suitable ship and rebuild it to their needs. The crude oil tanker Ektora ex Ektoras -07, Sinamaica-00, Lagovan Sinamaica-93, Berge Helen -81 was selected. It was built in 1981 by Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding Co Ltd in Ichihara, Japan with a good quality engine (B+W built under license by Mitsui). As a single skin/double bottom tanker, it was rendered obsolete by new double hull regulations. Therefore it could be acquired at low cost, since it was otherwise headed to the scrap yard even though it was in good condition. As a tanker it measured 32,514 gross tons, 61,403 deadweight.
At the same time CSL ordered an entirely new forebody, complete with up to date self-unloading gear from Chengxi Shipyard in China.In a remarkably short time (after fabricating the hull modules it was assembled in only 53 days on the slipway) the forebody was launched on April 16, 2007 and soon after melded to the after section of the tanker to form CSL Metis. The completed ship sailed from the shipyard on October 29, 2007. (Chengxi has also been contracted to built several new ships for CSL, so this was a bit of a dry run for them.)
2. The new forebody was joined to the existing stern on a line just aft of the bridge wing. The new portion is also deeper than the older tanker forebody was, and so there is a "step up" forward of the superstructure.
The "new" ship measures 43,022 gross tons and 69,350 deadweight tonnes. It loaded coal in Indonesia, in November 2007, arrived in New York in mid-December and arrived at Auld's Cove, NS in January 2008 for its first load of stone.Since then the ship has been a regular in Nova Scotia waters with coal inbound and loading return cargoes of aggregate in the Strait of Canso. I have never seen it in Halifax up until now, but I understand it may have been here in the summer when I was away.
3. Once in the Narrows, the ship sails unescorted outbound (viewed from the Dartmouth side).