Tuesday, December 8, 2020

CMA CGM Chile arrives

 The third 15,000 plus TEU ship to call at PSA Halifax made its arrival at midday today. CMA CGM Chile follows two ships of the same class that called in September: CMA CGM Brazil on September 10 and CMA CGM Panama on September 21.

It was a gloomy arrival for the ship, which appears to be loaded to near capacity in terms of number of boxes. There is currently a dire shortage of containers in Asia, so ships are trying to pick up as many boxes as they can at way points, however this ship is westbound and has made no port calls since Sri Lanka. Container traffic is apparently booming right now, so perhaps it is mostly payload.

As expected the three ships of this Argentina class are all showing the same or similar numbers: 149,314 gt, 157,076 dwt, and 15,072 TEU. Built by Hyundai Samho, CMA CGM Chile entered service in December 2019, so is barely a year old. There are eleven ships in the class, with the first five already delivered ( CMA Argentina and CMA CGM Mexico have not called in Halifax yet). Six more ships, of which one has been delivered are revolutionary dual fuel vessels with the capability of using LNG - if and where available. It is expected that they will use the conventional fuel and exhaust gas scrubbers much of the time.

The Port of Halifax is noting that these ships are the largest container ships to call at any Canadian port, and that Halifax has the infrastructure to handle them, particularly with the newly extended berth at PSA Halifax, and its long reach, super post panamax cranes.

I have often noted that the size of ships is deceptive, particularly with these Ultra class vessels. Yes they are big a 360m long and 51m wide, but they are still smaller than the largest ship to dock at any Canadian terminal. As far as I know, that record is still held by Point Tupper, NS on the Strait of Canso. 

On August 9, 1998 the Ultra Large Crude Carrier (ULCC*) Hellespont Capitol docked at the Nustar Energy terminal there. A tanker of 173,086 gt, 388,118 dwt, it measured 373.5m long overall, by 64 meters breadth with a draft of 22.92m, it was built in 1976 and scrapped in 2002. Originally the Esso Madrid it was built by Nippon Kokan, Tsu, Japan, in response the "energy crisis" of the early 70s. In 1986 it was renamed Capitol and in 1990 Hellespont Capitol when it was acquired by the Greek / Canadian Papachristidis company Hellespont Steamships.

Ships of its colossal size could only be handled at Point Tupper which has the deepest, ice free terminal in North America.

 * The ULCC is the largest class of tanker, starting at 320,000 dwt and ranging up to 549,999 dwt. The next smaller class, the Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC),  is sized is from 160,000 to 319,999 dwt. 


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