Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Recaps and Updates

This is an update to several items from blog posts over the past few days.

PSA Crane

The new Super Post Panamax crane that arrived yesterday on the Zhen Hua 29 [qv] is still aboard the ship, but the installation crew will be at work arranging for the offloading.

The new PSA crane appears considerably higher than those on shore.

The new crane will be moved off the ship's deck using a system of temporary rails that run onshore, taking into  account the state of the tide and with careful ballasting of the ship. The crane will then be resting on crib work on the dock. It can then be lowered onto its own dollies and permanent rails set into the dock surface.
There are several weeks of work required to load test and certify the crane for use. Unfortunately most of that activity will be invisible from shore.

Seaways Hatteras

Dominion Diving's Halmar stands by the stern of the ship.

Underwater work is still underway on the Seaways Hatteras [see yesterday's post]. I do not know the nature of the work, but divers can perform many different tasks these days that once required drydocking. Propeller repairs, hull cleaning and cathodic anode replacement are all now routinely performed while ships are still afloat.

AS Federica

AS Federica sailed this evening for Saint John, NB to take up new duties for a CMA CGM Caribbean service.
Since coming off a ZIM charter in April, the ship had been idle in Halifax, then at anchor "Outside Port Limits" after proceeding (briefly) to international waters. It is my opinion that this maneuver was to allow the ship to use bonded stores that would have been sealed by Customs while in port.

On June 27 [qv] the ship moved into port, anchoring in Bedford Basin. Again this may have been to allow for inspection, survey or Customs clearance. Ships at anchor are charged a tariff if awaiting orders, awaiting sailing time, or at anchor for repairs or maintenance. There are also other fees and pilotage charges that apply to ships arriving and leaving port. However anchoring Outside Port Limits is free of charge.

Vole au Vent
The offshore wind turbine installation vessel Vole au Vent arrived early this morning and docked at the Woodside berth. It may have some equipment to pick up or drop off after completing operations off Virgina.

Late this morning the ship moved to the nearby Irving Oil dock in Woodside to take fuel. This move followed the unusual move of Irving Oil's tanker Acadian from the oil terminal to Imperial Oil #3 dock.

Due to fog and a dirty 11th floor window, and despite some photo editing, this is the best I could do to capture this event.


Haven't the foggiest: crane news on CBC and CTV

In case you missed yesterday's Mainstreet on CBC Radio Halifax, here is the link to my interview with Jeff Douglas.


I was also interviewed on CTV television.

We were lucky to see yesterday's arrival - the fog just lifted enough. I think there was still a little fog in the CBC studio however.


Monday, June 29, 2020

Odd Callers

Odd Caller 1
We rarely see crude oil tankers in Halifax anymore since there are no refineries here. A crude tanker, even in ballast is therefore an odd sight these days. Seaways Hatteras arrived in ballast this morning from Canaport, off Saint John and went to anchor.

The ship dates from 2017 when it was built by Hyundai, Samho. Measuring 81,433 gt and 158,432 dwt and is classed as a Suezmax . It is managed by International Seaways Corp of the USA, along with forty or so tankers of various sizes. The company is a free-standing spin-off of OSG (Overseas Shipholding Group) independently listed on the NYSE as of December 2016.

Odd Caller 2
With only decommissioning work underway offshore these days, it is unusual to see specialist marine construction ships. Adhémar de Saint-Venant  sailed from pier 27 today after a brief port stay.

Built in 2017 by AVIC Weihai Shipyard Co, it is a 7531 gt, 6424 dwt ship used to bury offshore pipelines. It carries the rock aggregate in its hold and deposits the material by means of a "fall pipe" - a large diameter black tube. It works to precise location using a sophisticated Level 2 Dynamic Positioning system. 

Owned by the Belgian marine construction company Jan de Nul, it is registered in Luxembourg and named for Adhémar Jean Claude Barré de Saint-Venant (1797-1896) a French mathematician who pioneered hydraulic engineering. A sister ship is named for the better known Daniel Bernoulli.

The ship has apparently completed whatever work it was doing and is headed for Zeebrugge.

The Jan de Nul company has been working on the offshore wind project off Virginia Beach and its installation ship Vole au Vent is due back tomorrow.


New Cranes

The slow boat from China arrived this morning bearing PSA Halifax's new container crane. Ordered before PSA acquired the Southend terminal from Macquarie, it is part of a major expansion project.

With a reach of 24 containers (ship width) x 11 high the crane supplements two cranes of 22 wide x 10 high capability and two 22 wide x 8 high and one 13 wide x 5 high already in service at the terminal.  Coupled with construction of the third berth and option of another similar crane, PSA will soon be able to handle two Ultra class (more than 10,000 TEU) ships at the same time.

The ship, owned by the crane manufacturer Zhen Hua Port Machinery Corp (ZPMC), left Shanghai April 24, and sailed via the Cape of Good Hope. It is also carrying cranes for France and Algeria.

Built by Hashihama Zosen in 1987 as the 51,156 gt, 89,999 dwt tanker Blue Sky River, the ship was renamed Cook Spirit in 1999 and Merbabo in 2003. ZPMC acquired the ship in 2009 and rebuilt it as a specialized heavy load vessel with a sophisticated ballasting system. Renamed Zhen Hua 29 in 2010, it delivers the corporation's cranes and straddle carriers world wide.

Building the cranes in China and delivering them to site was unheard of when the Southend Terminal was built. In 1970 the original cranes (long since replaced) were erected on site over many months from components made by Canron Corp.

Fifty years ago, the terminal was still under construction and passenger ships were still calling in Halifax.

The original cranes were built to serve ships such as Dart Europe. It was 31 meters breadth whereas the Ultra class ships exceed 45 meters.


Saturday, June 27, 2020

Tortugas - still orange

The Wallenius Wilhelmsen auto carrier Tortugas arrived at Pier 31 yesterday to unload machinery. It spent the night there and completed cargo work this morning.

Seen through a space between containers at Pier 31, Tortugas is painted in a similar orange colour to the old Halterm yard tractors and skeleton trailers, now operated by PSA Halifax.

One of more than 50 PCTCs and RoRos in the Wilhelmsen fleet, Tortugas was built in 2006 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Nagasaki. It is a 61,321 gt, 19,628 dwt* ship with a capacity of 6354 RT43 autos. [*DNV records 14,512 dwt]

Founded in 1861 in Tonsberg, Norway, in sailing ship days, the Wilhelm Wilhelmsen Group's first steamship, bought in 1887 was the Talabot. Company lore has it that this ship was the first to make a profit, and therefore all subsequent ships have been given names starting with the letter "T". Still family owned, the company also operates American RoRo Carriers (ARCO), United European Car Carriers and EUKOR (majority owned by Wilhlemsem, Wallenius, with minority holders Hyundai and Kia).

Tortugas with tug assistance, makes its way cross harbour from Pier 31 to Autoport. Many of its fleet mates have been repainted in new colours.

In 2017 the Swedish Wallenius Lines agreed with Wilhelmsen to merge their vehicle operations to form Wallenius Wilhemsen ASA. As ships cycle through their regular drydockings they are being repainted in new colours, and the traditional Wallenius white over green and Wilhelmsen white over orange are gradually disappearing. Since major drydockings take place on a five year basis, it will may be a few years yet before all ships are repainted.

Tortugas is shown remaining at Autoport until late Monday afternoon.


AS Federica moves in

The idled container ship AS Federica moved back into port this morning after languishing at anchor since May.
The ship is scheduled to take up a slot on a Caribbean service through a CMA CGM subsidiary called ANL. The ship is scheduled to sail from Saint John July 2 for New York, Savannah, Miami, Kingston, Rio Haina, Philipsburg and back to Saint John July 23. (It may be taking over from fleet mate AS Floretta).

 ANL (Pte) Ltd, is the former Australian National Line, acquired (in name) by CMA CGM in 1998. It has previously concentrated on Oceania, working from Melbourne, but has now apparently expanded into a global logistics provider, using the name "Cagema Main Liner" - another acronym.

The ship arrived in Halifax initially on April 17 fresh off a ZIM feeder service charter. It moved out to anchor  OPL (Outside Port Limits) May 26,  http://shipfax.blogspot.com/2020/05/as-federica-sails.html and has remained there ever since. It may have moved back in to port to take stores or perhaps for a crew change, although no activity was spotted today.


Friday, June 26, 2020

SIEM Confucius - revolutionary car carrier

LNG as a fuel for ships is gradually making its way into the mainstream so to speak. Starting with small ships like ferries, it was then adopted by short sea ships such as coastal tankers. Today's arrival of the brand new SIEM Confucius on its maiden voyage, marks the world's first commercial voyage by a deep sea LNG powered car carrier.

Delivered in March by Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry Co, it is a 72,900 gt, 19,1521 dwt  PCTC (Pure Truck and Car Carrier) with a 7500 CEU (Car Equivalent Units) capacity over 13 decks. It sailed from the shipyard March 14 and arrived in Emden to load. SIEM, the Norwegian owners, contracted with Volkswagen to carry their cars and trucks, usually amounting to about 4800 actual vehicles. To comply with VW's long term emission reduction targets, SIEM opted to use a 12,600kW dual fuel M.A.N. main engine.  [M.A.N. is part of VW]. It is the largest ship of the "Super-Eco" class, the other members being in short sea use.  A sister ship SIEM Aristotle will be delivered later this year.

SIEM Confucius sailed from Emden June 16 and arrived off Halifax yesterday and lingered well offshore until this morning when it tied up at Autoport. It is to sail later on the day for Davisville, RI and Ceracruz, MX.

Of Neo-Panamax size the ship is also shallow draft at 10m, allowing it to enter a variety of ports.


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Sackville moving day

Every year Canada's naval memorial the former HMCS Sackville moves from its winter quarters at HMC Dockyard to Sackville Landing, next to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. The move usually happens around the Victoria Day weekend so that the ship is in position for the tourist season. This year, the ship will not be open to the public, so there was no particular rush to make the move, which happened today.

Sackville made a ghostly  appearance through thick fog as it move along the Dartmouth shore.

With the dockyard tugs CNAV Glenbrook providing the power and CNAV Granville as escort the ship made its way along the Dartmouth shore to Point Pleasant for ceremonial duties. It then back along the Halifax shore to its berth.

Emerging from the lower harbour fog, Sackville moves past George's Island, dressed all over for the occasion.

Although it will not be open to the public this year, it will still be approachable and visible for the summer months - one of the highlights of the Halifax waterfront, and the last surviving corvette from World War II.

Despite reports that the ship's hull is paper thin, it still looks wonderful from the outside, and benefits from winter shipkeeping at HMC Dockyard where it is connected to steam heat.

As with all Canadian Flower class corvettes, Sackville was named after a city or town - in this case Sackville, NB. George Sackville, a Godson of King George I of England was British Secretary of State for America during the American War of Independence. He was known as Lord George Sackville from 1720 to 1770, then Lord George Germain until 1782 and finally Viscount Sackville until his death in 1785. Despite a very questionable reputation as a soldier (he was court marshaled out of the British army as a battle losing General) and as politician (for losing the War of Independence) New England settlers (called planters) named the town after him in 1760. The original Acadian settlers, who had cleared and dyked the Tantramar marsh land, had been deported in 1755, and the newcomers from Rhode Island claimed some of the most fertile land in the Maritime provinces as ready made farms.

Sackville's name is also found on maps of Nova Scotia with the communities of Lower, Middle and Upper Sackville strung out along the Sackville River upstream of Bedford, where it discharges into Bedford Basin. There is also a Sackville Street in downtown Halifax. Sackville Landing is at the foot of that street. The name was chosen as one of the original street names when the city was laid out before settlement in 1749. An intersecting street in the same plan is Granville named for John Carteret, Second Earl Granville, a British politician of the 1740s and 1750s.

HMCS Sackville was built in Saint John, NB where Germain Street is named after the same character.

After a post war career as a survey ship AGOR 113  Sackville was restored to its war time appearance. I have very few photos of the ship in its "interim" days:

 Inbound off Pier 20 on a misty day.

On the synchrolift at HMC Dockyard - the old "O" class sub shed at right.

Conversion starting at Pier 2, recently taken over by the RCN.
(Always good to know that the bin is big, but is it big enough ? and how big must the litter be ?)


Sunday, June 21, 2020

Algoma Integrity

Back to carrying the commodity it was built for Algoma Integrity took on a load of gypsum in Halifax and sailed for Baltimore this afternoon.

Built in 2009 by Ilha, Rio de Janeiro, the 33.047 gt, 47,761 dwt self-unloader was originally named Gypsum Integrity and designed to work for Gypsum Transportation Ltd out of Hantsport, NS. That work lasted only until 2011 when Fundy Gypsum closed its mine and loading facility.

The ship was redeployed to carry iron ore, coal and other commodities until 2015 when Algoma Central acquired the ship for the CSL Americas pool. The ship still carried a rust red hull colour for Algoma for some time, and I had not seen the ship since it finally received Algoma's deep blue paint.

The above photo in the Narrows did not capture the blue adequately, but another try in the lower harbour was a bit more successful.

There have been many previous references to this ship in this blog. See: http://shipfax.blogspot.com/search?q=algoma+integrity

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Just another ship - Yantian Express

The headline grabbing ship Yantian Express was all over the news when containers caught fire en route to Halifax January 3, 2019. After a nineteen day operation the fire was put out and the ship was sailed to Freeport, Bahamas where damaged containers were removed and it was cleaned up enough to get underway again. It arrived in Halifax in May 20, 2019 to unload containers. It then headed off to a Chinese shipyard for repairs, carrying about 1,000 empties for stability.

The ship  was no stranger to headlines as it was the largest ship ever to call at Cerescorp's Fairview Cove terminal May 20, 2013. It exceeded in size the usual post Panamax types by about 15,000 tons.
The 88,493 GT, 100,003 dwt ship with a 7506 TEU capacity, including 700 reefers, was built in 2002 by Hyundai, Ulsan.

Following repairs to fire damage, the ship resumed trading in August 2019, returning to Halifax in January 2020. It arrived again today - just another ship perhaps. But taking a closer look reveals freshly repainted hatches, but no repainting to the hull. It is still streaked from fire fighting efforts.


Long Day

Nearing the longest day of the year, there was still lots of light well into Friday evening, so it was possible to take in much more shipping activity. 

The auto carrier Toscana moved from Autoport to Pier 31 to unload some machinery. Built by Mitsubishi, Nagasaki in 2009 the 61,328 gt, 22,250 dwt ship has a capacity of 6,354 cars. It has been repainted in the new Wilhelmsen colour scheme, replacing the traditional orange.

The Halifax Port Authority (HPA) has re-opened a section of the Pier 20 Seawall at the Seaport Market to pedestrians. This section has been closed as part of enhanced security for cruise ships after 9/11. With the cancellation of all cruise ship visits until October 31 (effectively wiping out the entire cruise ship season this year) the HPA is hoping to attract more visitors to their section of the waterfront.

With chairs and benches, it is a pleasant and shady sport to spend some time, with a fine view of the harbour. The Seaport Market is also coming back to  life, with more vendors opening to supplement the order in and pickup scheme that has been in place during the lockdown.

A gap in the fence allowed a shot of Oceanex Sanderling sailing for St.John's on its weekly service.

A section of the pier 20 shed was removed when the Seaport Market was built, so there is a gap in the buildings that used to line the entire length of the pier from Pier 20 to Pier 22. It was built to accommodate the largest passengers ships in the world at the time, and hosted the Cunard Queens and many others over the years.

Among the last true passenger liners to dock at pier 21 was Cristoforo Columbo seen here in an undated 1969 photo taken from the extreme north end of pier 20. As you can see the pier was wide open, and immigrating passengers disembarked to the second level of the transit sheds, but there was a gangway at dock level too. The ship also carried cargo which was unloaded to dock level into the sheds.
(Today's photo was taken from a point just beyond the end of the overhanging balcony.)

There was lots more harbour activity this evening, but it mostly involved ships covered in the earlier post, I will sign off for now.


Friday, June 19, 2020

Tanker Time

The Canadian flag tanker Algoterra arrived at Imperial Oil from Montreal on Thursday. After unloading at Imperial Dock 3, the ship moved this afternoon to Irving Oil Woodside, presumably for refueling.

On a blazing hot (for Halifax) 31 degrees C afternoon, Algoterra made its way through pleasure craft from Imperial Oil to Irving Oil.

 Algoma Tankers acquired the ship in March 2019 and it is still wearing the hull colours of its previous owners, Knutsen.  http://shipfax.blogspot.com/2019/04/algomas-latest-tanker.html

Meanwhile the Singapore flag Torm Agnes arrived at anchor this morning from Antwerp. Once the ship receives Canadian Food Inspection Agency clearance, the ship will move to Imperial Oil.

Torm Agnes at anchor with the Canadian Border Services Agency launch alongside.

Torm Agnes dates from 2011 when it was built by Guangzhou International. Tonnage figures have varied up and down over the years, but it is currently listed at 30,302 gt, 49,999 dwt. Torm A/S, based in Copenhagen, operates more than 100 tankers of all sizes, but the majority are MR (MidRange) like this one carrying clean fuels.

For the record, the Irving Oil dock was vacated late last night by Acadian, one of Irving Oil's two Canadian flag tankers, making its round of eastern Canada ports out of Saint John. (Sister ship East Coast is currently in Montreal.)

Acadian sailed Thursday evening for St.John's (it is shown arriving Wednesday).

BOA and ZIMs

The tug BOA Odin arrived this morning towing the semi-submersible BOA Barge 34 and tied up at Pier 9 C.

The name BOA is well known in Halifax as the company's semi-submersible heavy lift barges and tugs have been here several times before. In fact BOA Barge 37 has been here for for several years on long term charter to Halifax Shipyard where it is used to float out he Arctic Offshore patrol ships.

BOA Barge 37 is a 30,000 dwt capacity barge built in 2015, currently tied up at pier 9B.

BOA Offshore AS was founded in 1975 by Ole T. Bjornevik of Trondheim, Norway, and the name is an acronym of the founder's initials.

BOA Barge 34 is a 25,000 dwt capacity unit built in 2013. It has had deck extensions fitted to allow it to carry a larger cargo unit.

The barge and tug were not the only vessels arriving today with capitalized names. The container ship ZIM Shekou arrived at PSA Halifax on the ZIM Container Service Atlantic (ZCA) which runs from Mediterranean ports to Halifax and US east coast ports.

ZIM Shekou was built by Dalian New Shipbuilding in 2007. Its capacity is 4250 TEU and tonnages are currently listed as 39,906 gt, 52,629 dwt. Since 2018 the ship has been owned by Armada Shipping Corp and managed directly by ZIM.

ZIM (capitalized) was founded in 1945 as ZIM Palestine Navigation Company, becoming ZIM Israel Navigation Company in 1948. It operated as a state owned shipping line until privatization was completed in 2004, becoming ZIM Integrated Shipping Services. ZIM is a Hebrew word meaning a large number of ships.


Thursday, June 18, 2020

Trading Closer to home

ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd operates two services to Halifax. One involves biggish ships on world wide service, the other uses "feeder" size ships running weekly from New York and Kingston, Jamaica. The latter, called the CFX (Canada Florida Express) or Intra America Caribbean service uses a pair of sister ships, Taipei Trader and Tampa Trader . They have only been on the service for a short time, and today was my first chance to see the Tampa Trader since its first arrival May 21.

Tampa Trader sails this evening with several (white) reefers, and a few tank containers-maybe for Jamaican rum.

Tampa Trader was built in 2016 by Jiangsu New Yangzi Shipbuilding, Jingjiang and measures 9932 gt, 13,061 dwt with a capacity of 1102 TEU. The ship has 220 reefer plugs and two 45 tonne cranes. Registered in Singapore to Hai Kuo Shipping 1405 Ltd, it is managed by Lomar Shipping Ltd and carries the Lomar funnel - a stylized Greek "L" (Lambda).

Sister ship Taipei Trader was the subject of my post in May: http://shipfax.blogspot.com/2020/05/a-run-on-tankers-and-zim-feeder.html


Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Three times lucky

It is not usual for ships to change names these days (it was once thought to be unlucky) as names often follow a theme set by the owner. Ships are assets much like any other and can be bought and sold. So when owners change so often do the names. Nevertheless with ships in world wide trade it is perhaps unusual to see the same ship in a short space of time with three different names.

The MidRange tanker Cape Gavi is one such ship. It arrived at Irving Oil's Woodside dock today bearing its third name since 2018.

When I last saw it in April 2019 it was carrying the name Parsifal II and was under NSB Niederelbe management. See: http://shipfax.blogspot.com/2019/04/reflag-rename-and-reload.html

Since July in 2109 it has been managed by Columbia Ship Management (hence the CSB on the funnel) with owners listed as Partankers XII AS. Built as Conti Agulhas that was the name it carried on its first visit in April 2018. The ship dates from 2008 when it was built by Hyundai, Mipo.

This time the ship arrived from Saint John, NB with a partial load, likely from Europe. It apparently unloaded part of its cargo in Saint John and will discharge the rest here.

Irving Oil recently announced that they will be acquiring the Come-by-Chance, Newfoundland refinery owned by a US merchant bank. This will expand their ability to meet market demand here and on the US east coast, but it is unclear what if any effect it will have on Halifax tanker traffic.


Destination Halifax OPL

A ship giving the destination "Halifax OPL" has mystified me and other ship watchers, although it became obvious that it means that the ship is headed for the outer anchorages off Halifax. In fact it means "Outside Port Limits", a term well defined in maritime law and used in the wording of charters.

As of today two ships occupy that destination off Halifax. Technically they are not within the Port of Halifax, and thus not required to pay wharfage or other fees. They are also outside the pilotage limits. As long as they keep to the traffic control lanes and regulations, they are free to leave for sea without a pilot.

On the right in the photo is the Bigroll Beaufort. Having completed unloading wind turbine components at the Woodside dock, the ship may be doing crew work on deck, but does not need to be paying fees in port.

On the left of centre is the AS Federica which had been laid up in port since April before moving put to "OPL" in May. The ship was on a ZIM charter which has ended and likely is awaiting another assignment. When it left Halifax it went outside Canadian territorial waters, so it is still "at sea" legally, not having cleared Customs again in bound.


Monday, June 15, 2020

All Aboard - Vole au Vent

The last components were loaded aboard the jack-up ship Vole au Vent and it is scheduled to sail for Virginia later today. The wind farm towers, blades and nacelles arrived in Halifax from Europe on the Bigroll Beaufort and were lifted aboard Vole au Vent for installation off the Virginia coast. Vole au Vent's crane has a 1500 tonne lifting capacity.

Halifax was used as a staging point for the project to work around the Jones Act, a set of US laws that restrict shipping between American ports and within American waters to America owned/ built/ registered and crewed ships.

Bigroll Beaufort was also scheduled to sail today. That has been postponed, but the ship is not expected to linger long.


Thursday, June 11, 2020

Algoma move

The laker Algoma Mariner arrived late Tuesday with a load of grain and tied up at pier 25-26.

The ship was built in two stages in 2009 to 2011 by Chengxi Shipyard, Jiangyin China. The forebody, built first, was intended to be attached to the stern of the laker Algoport. When that ship was lost in tow to China, a new stern section was built to Equinox design and attached in 2011. The ship thus measures 24,535 gt, 35,500 dwt as the second ship of that class.

After unloading the ship moved to National Gypsum, along with a thick bank of fog coming in with the tide.

(compare with yesterday's ACL photo.)


Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Grimaldi twofer

There were two Grimaldi ships in Halifax today, albeit briefly. As Atlantic Sail was inbound for Cerescorp's Fairview Cove terminal, Grande Baltimora was clearing Autoport for sea.

The tethered escort tug Atlantic Oak keeps Atlantic Sail  company as it approaches the MacKay bridge. Once the ship reaches Bedford Basin the tug will help the ship to turn to back into its berth. 1611 hrs

Atlantic Sail was arriving on the eastbound leg of its  transatlantic crossing for Atlantic Container Line (owned by the Grimaldi Group.) Built in 2016 in China it is one of five ships maintaining weekly calls eastward and westward for ACL. The ship will sail later for Liverpool, where it is registered.

Grande Baltimora is rounding Ives Knoll on its way outbound from Eastern Passage for sea. 
1636 hrs.

Built in 2017, also in China, and flying the Italian flag and with a capacity of 6700 cars, it works for Grimaldi Lines, but is owned by Grimaldi Euromed SpA a major car carrier and ferry operator in the Mediterranean. The ship is an occasional caller in Halifax. 


Monday, June 8, 2020

Hoegh Xiamen, Florida fire


Hoegh Xiamen, seen above arriving in Halifax 2015-11-02 is on fire in Jacksonville, FL.  Built in 2010 by Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry Co in Xiamen, China, it is a relatively small ship by current auto carrier standards. At 47,232 gt, 12,250 dwt it nevertheless has a capacity of 4900 CEU [car equivalent units].

On June 3, as it was preparing to get underway from the Blount Terminal in Jacksonville, there was an explosion on deck 7 and subsequently fire broke out. Fortunately the ship was in port, and a massive firefighting operation was mounted with 150 firefighters on scene. Nine firefighters were hospitalised with serious burn injuries but all 21 crew were safely evacuated.

Despite best efforts the fire spread within the ship with temperatures exceeding 500 degrees F. However the hull is being kept cool - never exceeding 175 degrees F - to prevent buckling or fracture. The firefighters are allowing the fire to burn itself out as it is too dangerous to board the ship. It is therefore likely that the ship will be a total loss as will all 2,000 cars on board.

This is the second serious incident involving a car carrier in the past year. The Hyundai Glovis ship Golden Ray capsized off Brunswick, Georgia in September 2019. With 4,000 cars on board it has been declared a total loss and is being cut up into large sections which will be moved ashore and scrapped.

Another notable incident involved the auto carrier Cougar Ace which nearly capsized in the North Pacific in 2006. It was salvaged and rebuilt and visited Halifax. See: http://shipfax.blogspot.com/search?q=cougar+ace. It has now been reported that the ship has gone for scrap. Getting the ship into port so that it could be saved to work for another 16 years was a remarkable achievement. Unfortunately there was one loss of life among the salvage crew.


Nirint Shipping B.V. maintains a regular service from Europe to Cuba, returning via Halifax. There are five ships on the run at present, but only four of then are scheduled for Halifax. Three of them are similar ships: Augusta Luna, Augusta Unity, and Augusta Sun. Mostly they arrive and sail under cover of darkness, so this mornings arrival of the latter ship for 10:00 at the pilot station allowed for a photo. They dock at pier 31 to unload nickel sulfides, making for difficult viewing.

The tug Atlantic Willow has made fast alongside to assist the ship to berth at pier 31.

The ship was built in 2003 by New Century Shipyard in Jingjiang, China as Atlantic Progress. It has since carried the names 03: BBC Russia, 08: Federal Patriot, 10: HAL Patriot, 13: Atlantic Patriot, 17: Augusta Sun. It has called in Halifax under several of those names.

The ship measures 12,993 gt, 17,531 dwt and has a nominal TEU capacity of 1118. That figure reduces to 787 TEU at 14 tonnes. The ship was built with two 60 tonne cranes, but a third crane was added flush to the deck (not on a pedestal) on the starboard side, but has been removed. 

Augusta Sun at pier 31 in January.

Nirint has an excellent web site, with pdf spec sheets for each ship: