Monday, August 31, 2020

Second Ultra

 The second Ultra class container ship in two days arrived this morning at PSA Halifax. CMA CGM's CMA CGM Corte Real was in Friday / Saturday - the usual timing for ships of the Columbus Loop service - but a week late.

APL Sentosa apparently held off until today.

A 151,015 GT, 150,166 dwt ship it has a capacity of 13,892 TEU and was built by Hyundai, Samho in 2014. When the pier extension to the south end container terminal is completed the facility will be able to handle two ships of this size at the same time.


Just Passing Through

 The inner anchorages were busy this morning as was the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, with two ships in port for Asian Gypsy Moth inspection.

First in was the tanker Leopard from the Baltic destined for Come-by-Chance, NL. Another member of the 110 ship strong Norient pool, it was built in 2010 by Iwagi Zosen, Kamijima, Japan, measuring 28,798 gt, 47,991 dwt.

Irving Oil is now the owner of the 135,000 bbl / day Come-by-Chance refinery after buying North Atlantic Refining Corp. The purchase includes 100 gas stations and two harbour tugs. Irving Oil also owns a 71,000 bpd refinery in Ireland in addition to its giant 320,000 bpd facility in Saint John, NB. Come-by-Chance exports a significant portion of its output to the US and will likely continue to do so. The refinery was shut down in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Irving has plans to keep it in "care and maintenance" status so it is likely that this ship is bringing product in for local Newfoundland consumption.

Number One anchorage was monopolized by the big bulker Berge Sarstein, a 93,967 gt, 182,913 dwt ship built by Imabari Zosen, Mihari, Japan in 2017.

It is interesting that despite the prominence of South Korea and China in shipbuilding, both these ships were built in Japan. Once the world's largest shipbuilder, it is still noted for its quality of construction.

Ships of this size usually load iron  ore in Canada, but its name does not show up on the Sept-Iles, QC schedule, so it may be headed for Port-Cartier, QC. Both ports are well within the area of concern for Asian Gypsy Moth.


Sunday, August 30, 2020

Strike Fallout

 The effects of the Montreal longshore strike are likely to be felt in Halifax for weeks to come, even though the two week work stoppage has been over for a week. Today's arrival of Maersk Palermo is just one example of how schedules have been thrown for a loop.

The ship would normally be arriving in Montreal yesterday or today from Antwerp, and would then call in Halifax on its eastbound leg next weekend. 

It seems that to avoid the Montreal backlog the ship has been sent here directly instead. PSA Halifax will now have to accommodate all of the ship's cargo and dispatch it westbound. 

Maersk and CMA CGM operate the weekly transatlantic service jointly.


Saturday, August 29, 2020

Tanker Parade

 It was almost a parade of tankers today with three arrivals. First in was Gold Point for Irving Oil. It berthed at the Woodside terminal shortly after 0630 hrs but sailed again at 1100, giving Point Tupper as its destination.

The ship dates from 2011 when it was built by STX Shipbuilding Co in Jinhae, South Korea. It measures 29,717 gt, 51,063 dwt. The ship appears to be in ballast so today's visit may have been to take on fuel for its own use.

Around 1000 hrs Nord Swift arrived at Imperial Oil from Antwerp, Belgium. It is a product of the same STX Jinhae shipyard but in 2015. It measures 30,179 gt, 49,579 dwt. Due to its location it isn't easily photograph-able from the Halifax side of the harbour.

Finally at about 1100 hrs the Cape Gavi sailed through the harbour to anchor in Bedford Basin.

The ship is easily the most familiar foreign flag tanker calling in Halifax, as it has done so under three names, and was here before as recently as June:

The ship apparently finds most of its work from Irving Oil. It arrived this time from Saint John, but will be anchored in Bedford Basin for a time before unloading.


Friday, August 28, 2020

CMA CGM Corte Real - first of two Ultras -CORRECTED

 PSA Halifax, the southend container terminal operator, will be  hosting two Ultra class container ships at the same time this weekend. First in was CMA CGM Corte Real [ see footnote] arriving early this evening.

The ship has a capacity of 13,880 TEU including 800 reefers. Daewoo Okpo built the ship in 2010 and it measures 151,446 gt, 165,182 dwt.

The almost identically sized APL Sentosa is due tomorrow, and both ships are shown berthed at the same time. Work on the Pier C southward extension has not been completed, but it may be sufficiently advanced that both ships can be secured. To be continued...


Both ships did not dock at the same time, but in fact took turns, with APL Sentosa arriving after CMA CGM Corte Real sailed.

Footnote: The Corte-Real family were early Portuguese explorers of the New World, including Newfoundland. In about 1500 Gaspar Corte-Real kidnapped 57 indigenous people in Labrador and sold them into slavery to finance his voyage. Although lionized by Portuguese propagandists, he has been thoroughly discredited in Newfoundland and Labrador. Nevertheless a memorial statue is still standing in St.John's. 


Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Bedford Basin Barge Back

 After an absence of more than a year a familiar vessel has returned to its anchorage position off Birch Cove in Bedford Basin. While the barge underwent a refit at HMC Dockyard since March 2019, its place was taken by the flat deck scow YC600 that was moored in the same location.

A veritable flotilla of small craft attended today's repositioning. Among them was the ex Provincial cable ferry LaHave2 (red hull at left) with the tug Belle-D, Connor's Diving's Northcom (blue hull at right), the navy tugs Merrickville (pictured above) and Granville and Glenevis (below) and several small scows. [That is CSL Tacoma loading at National Gypsum in the background.]

The barge is used for acoustic calibration work through the Defence Research and Development Corp, and is thus referred to as the DRED barge. (It was previously the DREA barge when it was the Defense Research Establishment Atlantic.)

My own research has determined that the barge itself is YLP451 built in 1959 by Halifax Shipyard. Every five years or so it undergoes a major refit which explains its relative longevity. The 36m x 17m barge carries a large deckhouse that covers a moon pool with an internal gantry to lower devices into the water. It also has shop and lab space on board.

The anchorage position is in 42m of water approximately one km from shore. The barge is secured with several anchors (which mat have been overhauled or replaced too) and is also powered from shore, perhaps explaining why it seemed such a  complex operation to reposition it.


Container Catch Up

 The longshore strike in Montreal is over but the "hangover" persist in Halifax where hundreds of containers bound for or from Montreal are piled up in both terminals, and hundreds more outside the terminals in a variety of parking areas.

Empty containers have been moved out of the PSA terminal to make room for Montreal traffic within the secure customs zone. Normally staff parking, the storage area is along a popular jogging route to Point Pleasant Park.

Ships that normally call in Montreal are still calling in Halifax too, some to land delayed cargo. Today two of those ships arrived.

MSC Brianna made its way through misty rain to PSA Halifax. It is a 4168 TEU vessel of 51,931 gt and 51,931 dwt. Built in 1996 by Daewoo, Okpo it has carried six previous names since delivered as OOCL Germany. The sequence of subsequent names is 98: APL Germany, 02: Germany, 02: Nedlloyd Caribbean, 03: Maersk Doha, 07: MSC Columbia, 13: MSC Brianna.

Cerescorp also had an arrival:

Quebec Express is a 42,382 gt, 51,000 dwt ship with a 4043 TEU capacity. It was built in 2006 by the China Shipbuilding Corp in Kaohsiung, Taiwan and has been anchored off Halifax for a week.

These ships appear to be fully load with cargo destined for Montreal. After discharging, they will also pick up cargo from Montreal that has arrived or is still in transit by truck and by rail.


Saturday, August 22, 2020

Montreal Reopens

 It was announced on Friday that the longshore unions and management have reached a truce in Montreal allowing the port to re-open for business. Reports indicate that it may take as long as a month for that port to return to normal. It will certainly also take time for Halifax to clear all the accumulated import and export containers, including some that are likely in transit by truck or train.

The immediate effect was that one of the ships anchored off Halifax weighed anchor and headed for Montreal.

MSC Ela on her normal route- the St.Lawrence River, last summer.

MSC Ela arrived off Halifax about August 16 from Sines, Portugal, and sailed last evening. Another MSC ship, MSC Weser sailed from anchorage off Saint John. Both gave Montreal as their new destinations.

MSC Ela dates from 2004 when it was built by Hanjin Heavy Industry+Construction, Busan. The 54,304 gt, 68,307 dwt ship has a capacity of 5059 TEU, but in normal St.Lawrence River configuration carries many fewer to maintain draft.

The Quebec Express remains at anchor off Halifax at least for the time being, and EM Kea is due this morning.


Friday, August 21, 2020

Ortolan Gamma subs for Atlantic Star

The Ortolan Gamma arrived this evening for ACL as a substitute for Atlantic Star which is currently showing at Gdansk, Poland. 

Ortolan Gamma makes its way up the Narrows en route to Bedford Basin.

ACL's five G4 ships must have maintenance periods and when they do there are no comparable ConRo (container, ro/ro) ships available, so conventional cellular container ships are pressed into service. Since ACL's owners, Grimaldi, own no container ships, they must charter in from the spot market.

Ortolan Gamma, built in 2007 by Hanjin, Busam is a 35,573 gt, 44,239 dwt ship with a capacity of 3398 TEU, including 300 reefers. It was first named Rexton, but was renamed 2007: Seattle, 2007: APL Seattle, 2015: Nelson and was renamed earlier this year. 


Thursday, August 20, 2020

Comings and Goings

 It was a busy day in Halifax with several comings and goings.

The tanker Baltic Mariner I  arrived at Irving Oil's Woodside terminal. The ship has refined product from Antwerp,[Amsterdam!] but called in Saint John first to discharge some of the cargo. This is the reverse of the usual order where the ships call here first before heading to Saint John.

The ship operates in the Norient pool for managers Interorient Marine. It was built in 2006 by Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan and is on the small size for MidRange tankers at 23,420 gt, 37,304 dwt. Most MRs are around 50,000 dwt. 

Whatever product it was carrying it was needed at Woodside more urgently than what company tanker  East Coast is carrying. That ship arrived Monday and is anchored waiting its turn to unload.

(Photo taken last evening)

An unusual stopover took place this afternoon as NACC Newyorker put in for a short time to change some crew members. Dominion Diving's launch Halmar carried out the transfer.

The ship operates for Nova Algoma Cement Carriers under a charter to McInnis Cement running between the cement plant in Port Daniel, QC and US ports. Built in 2009 as the bulker Endeavour by Nanindah Mutiara, Batam, Indonesia, it was renamed NACC Napoli in 2017 when it was converted to a self-loader/ self-unloader. 

Another brief stopover was the bulker Nordloire which arrived yesterday at pier 28. It had loaded soya cargo in Quebec City and came to Halifax to top off. This is an unusual cargo since Halifax is not a large shipper of local agricultural product.

The ship was built in 2013 by Zhejiang Ouhua Shipbuilding Co and measures 24,195gt, 37,212 dwt and carries four 30 tonne cranes. (I see the crew is in the midst of repainting the cranes.) Its original name was Nloire until 2017, and operates for Nord GmbH Reederei of Germany.

Container Activity

There was also lots of container activity today, thanks to the Montreal longshore strike and normal callers.

(Photo taken last evening)

Late this afternoon MSC Rochelle moved from anchorage back alongside PSA Halifax, They ship had unloaded earlier in the week and moved out to anchor awaiting its outbound cargo to arrive by rail and truck. Judging by the huge number of trucks from Ontario and Quebec at Halterm today, there will be lots of boxes going aboard.

There are five container ships anchored off the port awaiting their turns or outbound cargo. Ortolan Gamma, MSC ElaQuebec Express and EM Kea are diversions. Atlantic Sail is a regular, waiting a berth.


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

IT Integrity - back in port

 IT International Telecom's IT Integrity arrived back in port today from its first mission. The ship first arrived in Halifax May 17 shortly after its acquisition from a UK subsidiary of Tidewater. A quick refit, included installation of a 25 tonne capacity A-frame on the ship's stern, to support ROV operations. The ship then sailed for the Caribbean. Its last port is reported as Roatan, Honduras.

The vessel was completed in 2001 by Soviknes Verft in Norway on a hull built by Aker Tulcea, in Romania. Named Highland Fortress it is a UT755-L design offshore platform supplier. 

IT International Telecom will use the ship in variety of chores including cable repair and laying, route survey and ROV support functions. It has accommodation for 38 persons, and considerable below deck tank cargo capacity. The latter may be converted for cable stowage.

The ship will continue to fly the Barbados flag as with the other two members of the fleet, IT Intrepid and IT Interceptor. Although IT International Telecom is based in Halifax, the company's ships are usually on standby in Baltimore, MD to be better positioned for emergency repairs on the east coast of North America.


Monday, August 17, 2020

Bigger Yet

It is not just container ships that are getting bigger and bigger. Auto carriers have also been increasing in size too. With the enlarged Panama canal coming into operation in 2016 ship owners took advantage of the increased size allowances to build larger ships of all types, and auto carriers were no exception. Since they are frequent users of the Panama facility it made sense to increase the size of ships.

One such larger carrier called in Halifax today, August 17. Orion Highway was built in 2016, by the Japan Marine United Corp in Ariake*. Its dimensions of 199.90m long x 37.500m breadth, give 76,299 gt, 20,500 dwt. and a capacity of 7,625 cars.

 "Decorated" in K-Lines' new graphics, Orion Highway clears Eastern Passage outbound.

Most auto carriers dock at established facilities that do not have the ability to handle longer ships, however new Panamax sizes allowed for wider ships thus increasing capacity.
Old Panamax: 298.56m x 32.21m   Neopanamax: 366m x 51.25m

* Japan Marine United was formed in 2013 when several major shipbuilders merged. The Ariake yard was formerly a Hitachi Zosen facility.


Business as usual

 The two container terminals in the Port of Halifax are coping with the extra demands of diverted ships from Montreal due to the longshore strike while still handling the regular Halifax traffic.

PSA Halifax, operators of the southend container terminal are finding creative ways to store containers both on their property and off. One means of expanding their "on property" capacity has been to use the space occupied by the loop track that surrounds the property just inside the perimeter fence. That track has been used by VIA Rail to turn the passenger trains that dead end in Halifax. 

As a convenient way to turn an entire train around, the loop track has also been a bit of a nuisance for the terminal operator. Having a train run through a busy port facility posed a safety risk, and required good clearance from stacked containers and equipment.

Current operators, PSA Halifax, announced that they would be removing the loop track in the late fall of 2020 when the pier 42 extension was complete, but the closure has come several months early. VIA Rail suspended its passenger service due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are not using the track. VIA Rail has stated that when service resumes they will be using a different type of equipment that will not need to be turned.

PSA Halifax sped up the track closure and last week completed reinforcement paving along the track. Although the rail has been left in place, PSA has gained a lot of additional container stacking space. That space was needed more urgently than planned, so rail removal will wait.

Containers stacked up to five high cover the rails of the loop track.

At the northend container terminal, Fairview Cove, operators Cerescorp, are also handling diverted ships and regular callers. Today one of those regular  lines, THE Alliance, welcomed a new ship to the route, Kyoto Express. Built by Hyundai, Ulsan in 2005, it is a 93,750 gt, 103,890 dwt vessel, making it just about the largest that can transit the Narrows and clear the bridges.

Kyoto Express under the big cranes at the Fairview Cove west berth.

The 8749 TEU (including 730 reefers) capacity ship towers over the diverted Genoa Express, which is awaiting export cargo at the east berth. It is typical of the size of ship that calls in Montreal. The contrast explains the pressures on the Port of Montreal. It has expansion plans for a site downstream of the main port that will be able to handle larger ships, but there is also new competition looming in the Port of Quebec and Saint John, NB as well as the traditional rivals such as Halifax and US East Coast ports. The efficiency of larger ships is making the smaller ships less and less competitive, particularly on a major trade route where capacity may be more important than frequency.


Sunday, August 16, 2020

Sunday Evening

 The sun was setting but it was still bright this evening for a little while. At Fairview Cove the diverted Genoa Express was shifting from the west berth to the east berth with assistance from the tug Atlantic Fir.

Unusual for a HAPAG-Lloyd ship, this ship is not owned but chartered in from an anonymous Hong Kong company. Launched as Conceiver in 2014 by Hanjin Heavy's yard in Subic Bay, Philippines, it was renamed MOL Naja on delivery. Measuring 41,286 gt, 51,500 dwt, it has a 3800 TEU capacity and unusually for a ship its size carries four 40 tonne capacity cranes. It became Genoa Express in 2016.

The ship is diverted to Halifax due to the Montreal longshore worker's strike. It is shifting along the pier to make room for Kyoto Express, then Budapest Bridge tomorrow.

At the south end of the harbour PSA Halifax is working the diverted MSC Rochelle.

At Pier 9C USCGC Biscayne Bay put in for an overnighter.  in normal times the boat would tie up at a public pier or in HMC Dockyard, but I am guessing that due to COVD-19 it is being isolated away from other harbour activity.

Biscayne Bay WTGB-104 is an icebreaking tug and is returning to its home port of St.Ignace, MI after a year long life extension refit at the USCG shipyard in Curtis Bay, MD. Commissioned in 1979 it is the last of the Bay class to get the upgrade. 


Desert Osprey

 My prediction that the bulk carrier Desert Osprey was a lucky ship may or may not have paid off today. When it visited Halifax June 29, 2017 for bunkers a rainbow was forming above it.

Early this morning, August 16, 2020 the ship made a medical evacuation at the pilot station while en route from a Quebec port to Lagos, Nigeria. I certainly hope that the ship's luck holds and all turns out well for the patient.

Built in 2015 by Mitsui, Chiba, Japan, it is a 31,848 gt, 55,837 dwt vessel. On its last trip it was carrying bauxite for Baie Comeau, QC. 


Saturday, August 15, 2020

Four Cranes - no waiting

 There were four cranes at work on OOCL Belgium this morning as the ship makes a turn around at PSA Halifax. Thanks to the longshore strike in Montreal it is one of several ships to be diverted to Halifax, with more to come. 

Most of the diverted ships will have to wait for a time  because they need their outbound cargo and that is arriving by train and truck from points west. CN Rail has added more trains - from the usual one a day, to sometimes two a day - to keep up with demand. Halifax longshoremen have also been persuaded to work the diverted cargo despite an initial desire for solidarity with their Montreal brethren. 

However not all ships can come and go so quickly. Montreal Express is still at Fairview Cove - likely awaiting export cargo and MSC Rochelle has been anchored off Halifax since August 8.


Thursday, August 13, 2020

Harbour Idiocy

One of the great things about Halifax harbour is the great variety of shipping. Today alone there have been tankers, auto carriers, container ships and offshore tug/suppliers, plus tour boats. Mixed in with this are many pleasure craft.

While commercial shipping is operated by professionals in a safe and responsible manner. It is too bad that the same cannot be said for pleasure craft.

As Atlantic Kingfisher was sailing this evening I witnessed one of the most flagrant acts of idiocy I have seen recently. I was only able to capture part of it on film, but the above photo shows one of several personal watercraft speeding between more peaceful watercraft and endangering scores of people. I see one of these incidents almost every day - some in close proximity to ships.

There have been serious accidents in the harbour, some resulting in death, but these do not seem to deter the committed speed demons. 

There is also no obvious police presence, which would likely act as a deterrent, but why should adults need supervised play at tax payers' expense.


Lower Harbour Action

 Most of the activity in Halifax harbour today took place in the lower harbour - south of George's Island. 

The tanker Sea Vine put in this morning for Asian Gypsy moth inspection. Built in 2004 by Tsuneishi, Tadotsu, Japan as British Vine, it is 58,070 gt, 106,021 dwt vessel. It was renamed in 2016 when sold by BP Tankers to present owners Vine Marine Inc, under management of Sea World Management + Trading Inc of Greece.

Despite a bright sun, fog lingered well into the morning as Sea Vine loomed into view in number one anchorage.

Most of the fog had burned off by one o'clock, allowing for better visibility for all...

... including the inevitable person water craft.

Sea Vine arrived in ballast from Paulsboro, New Jersey (home of the PBF Refinery) and is giving Les Escoumins, the St.Lawrence River pilot station, as its destination. This is certainly a very odd place for a crude oil tanker to be going in ballast, since St.Lawrence River ports generally do not export crude oil.

There is a bit of a glut of crude oil these days, so it is possible that one of the refineries has more product than it can handle and needs to sell or store it.

With the improved visibility it became possible to see the auto carrier Toreador moving from Pier 31 to Autoport, although there was still a slight haze.

The last time I photo'd the ship it was still wearing Wilhelmsen's traditional orange livery:

Built in 2008 by Mitsubishi, Nagasaki, it is a 61,328 gt, 22,098 dwt ship with a capacity of 6,354 autos of the RT43 standard. 


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Last Look at Landmarks

Some of the last commercial wharves on the Halifax waterfront are soon to disappear. I understand McNally Construction has been awarded the contract to remove the old Svitzer wharves. The two structures were acquired by Develop Nova Scotia (the former Waterfront Development Corp) a few years ago and have since been used by the Atlantic Pilotage Authority's boats. 

The southernmost wharf ([ictureed above) carries the salvage shed, which housed a wide range of gear for marine salvage and maintenance equipment for the tugs. It has been vacant and unoccupied for a decade.

The wharves go way back, but are probably best known as home to the Foundation tugs from the 1930s  to the 1970s, and the successor companies Eastern Canada Towing Ltd (ECTUG) then Svitzer Canada Ltd.

  Foundation company tugs alongside the main dock.


The deep sea salvage tug Foundation Vigilant tied up at the salvage shed. At the right Bluenose II, tied up at Oland's wharf - now long gone.

A plaque will soon be the only evidence that the wharves were home to a busy tug fleet.

The cook house had the dispatch office on the second floor.

Eastern Canada Towing Ltd (ECTUG) operated tugs from the wharf, and were eventually taken over by Svitzer Canada Ltd.

The northern wharf carries the Svitzer Canada building. Originally the Foundation Company cook house  and dispatch office, it housed a large commercial kitchen and mess hall on the ground floor where tug crews had their meals. At one time it was staffed by a cook and and assistant. The second floor was the tug dispatch office. The building also had a laundry and other storage. 

When Revenue Canada deemed the tug crew's meals were a taxable benefit, the crews began to feed themselves, the cookhouse was closed and the the space converted for use by the harbour pilots. A refueling station was built on the end of the pier for the pilot boats.

After damage from a ship strike and hurricane Juan, the building was rebuilt. More damage from Hurricane Dorian in 2019 caused more damage to the pile structures.

The Atlantic Pilotage Authority will move to the former Fader Agency wharf in Dartmouth (just south of the Macdonald Bridge) in the next few days.

McNally Construction, the same company that built the walkway and piers just to the south (and most other important marine construciotn work in Halifax) has the $7.4 mn job to demolish the buildings and refurtbish the piers over the next seven months. 

An expanded marina will occupy the area.

Since 2010 Svitzer Canada has had no tugs operating in Halifax, but maintained their office on the second floor of the former cook house. Svitzer Canada and Atlantic Towing Ltd have a joint venture agreement wherein Atlantic operates tugs in Halifax and Svitzer operates tugs in Point Tupper.  Svitzer recently renewed its contract with NuStar, one of the main customers in Point Tupper so the Joint Venture arrangement is unlikely to change. The Atlantic Towing tugs operate from the Dartmouth side of the harbour.


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Montreal Express - strike diverison

HAPAG-Lloyd added its name to the list of lines diverting ships from Montreal to Halifax due to the longshoremen's strike in the Quebec port. The Montreal Express tied up at Cerescorp's Fairview Cove terminal this morning, and is expected to remain in port for close to 24 hours to unload.

 Looming through the fog Montreal Express has three cranes at work at Fairview Cove.

The ship was built in 2003 specifically for St.Lawrence River work as Canmar Spirit for Canada Maritime. It was relatively wide, shallow draft and ice rated. After absorbing its Belgian partner  Canada Maritime became 100% CPShips owned and the ship was renamed CP Spirit in 2005. HAPAG-Lloyd ended up as owners in 2006 when they bought up CP Ships in a hostile take over.

The 55,994 gt ship was built by Daewoo, Okpo and has a capacity of 47,840 dwt, 4402 TEU including 311 reefers.

HAPAG-Lloyd is diverting ships to both Halifax and Saint John, perhaps in hopes of preventing overloading in any one port. It is interesting to note that after many years, CP Rail has renewed its rail connection to Saint John. The connection through Maine dates back to before 1900, but the last sections were abandoned or sold by CP by 1994. In 2019 they reacquired the Montreal to Brownville Jct track and a connection to Searsport. The Saint John connection is completed over Irving owned track.

Saint John is also served by CN Rail by means of a connection to Moncton, NB.

Although the strike situation is still unfolding HAPAG-Loyd has announced that its AT1 (Atlantic Trade) Service ship OOCL Belgium will call at PSA Halifax Friday, August 15 and MCA (Mediterranean Canada) Service ship Genoa Express will call at Ceres Terminal Saturday, August 16.

MSC and Maersk/ CMA CGM have also diverted ships to Halifax in recent days, but will also be using Saint John. MSC Rochelle, en route from Liverpool, has been anchored off Halifax for several days, possibly waiting for its export cargo to arrive in Halifax by road and rail.


Monday, August 10, 2020

Triple Header at PSA and Monsoon at 9C


 For the first time in my recollection there were three ships working at Pier C today. The southend container terminal has increased its footprint considerably since it was inaugurated in 1970, but the core of the operation has been Piers 41 to 42.  The southernmost of those berths, pier 42, is now being extended and crane rails will soon reach well beyond the current end of berth 42. The enlarged pier will be able to handle two Ultra size (10,000 TEU or larger) container ships. But now, even before completion of the extension, with the newest crane in service, the terminal operators, PSA can use all five cranes on berths 41-42.

EF Ava (Eimskip) getting underway from berth 42 (left) Tropic Hope (Tropical Shipping) at centre berth and Maersk Palermo at pier 41.

There was probably some urgency in working these ships today as more diversions from Montreal are expected in the next few days.


Wilson Monsoon arrived from Aberdeen, Scotland last night and was busy today loading anchor chain and buoys at Pier 9C. The materiel had only arrived in Halifax July 4 on sister ship Wilson Mistral to be used to moor the BOA Barge 34 in Mulgrave. See:

The plan to anchor the barge in Mulgrave was cancelled when no good holding ground could be found, and instead the barge and its deck load, the Deep Panuke production centre, have been moored at the IEL dock in Dartmouth. Plans to sell the structure have apparently been unsuccessful and it will now be scrapped. The contractor for that operation is to be selected by the end of the year. 

The chain and the buoys (the yellow objects adjacent to the crane) will likely be headed back to Scotland.


Saturday, August 8, 2020

Saturday Activity

 There were several things going on in Halifax harbour today - some of them at the same time.

The most obvious activity was the arrival of the offshore drilling unit Noble Regina Allen.

The jack-up rig has now completed capping five gas wells in the Thebaud field off Salbe Island. ([See  also today's Tugfax

At PSA Halifax CCMA CGM Chennai, a 10,000 TEU vessel was taking advantage of the terminal's new crane to unload. The ship was built in 2018 and measures 112,967 gt, 119,000 dwt. It was built by Jiangsu Yangzi.

Meanwhile in mid-harbour George's Island opened to the public today. Until now there have only been rare open days, but it is now accessible regularly with the tour boat Harbour Queen I  providing ferry service.

The fortifications and lighthouse have long been of interest to those on shore, but Parks Canada deemed the wharf and ramparts on safe. Those conditions have apparently been corrected and with the addition of public sanitary facilities, it should be a popular tourist attraction.

At Imperial Oil, Irving Oil the tanker Tower Bridge was unloading the latest cargo from Antwerp Amsterdam. The ship arrived yesterday.

The tanker operates for the Russian company SCF (Sovcomflot) and was built in 2004 at the Admiralty Shipyard in St.Petersburg. It is typical MidRange size of 27,725 gt, 47,199 dwt.