Thursday, May 6, 2021

Margaret Brooke starts sea trials

 The second Arctic Offshore Patrol Vessel built by Halifax Shipyard began sea trials this afternoon. With the tugs Atlantic Willow and Atlantic Oak alongside the ship headed to Bedford Basin first for 3.5 hours of adjustments before putting out to sea.

AOPV2, as it is currently called, will be named HMCS Margaret Brooke when it is commissioned by the RCN later this year. It is already wearing its pennant number 431.

The first vessel of the class, HMCS Harry DeWolf AOPV 430 has recently been in southern waters, in the vicinity of Bermuda, after previously carrying out cold weather operations during the winter.

The third AOPV, to be named Max Bernays is still on the hardstand at Halifax Shipyard, minus its bow. The first two megablocks were rolled out January 22 and 23. The bow was expected to be joined in "the spring" of 2021 and a float out planned for November 2021. 

There was a general shutdown and reduced activity for several months in 2020 due to COVID, but the shipyard seems to be working full out these days, with night and weekend work. 


Tuesday, May 4, 2021

A very full day

 There was lots of harbour activity today, May 4, most of which I was able to observe first hand.

At Autoport the car carrier Goodwood arrived at an early hour from Emden, Germany.

Zodiac Maritime displays their "Z" trademark on the bow.

Operated by Zodiac Maritime, it is one of 14 car carriers in the fleet along with numerous ships of all types. Several of the car carriers are named for famous racetracks. Goodwood Circuit, near the south coast of England  started in 1948 on the perimeter of a wartime airfield.

The ship Goodwood has called here numerous times since built in 2014 by Imabari Zosen, Marugame, Japan It is 59,526 gt, 18,770 dwt Pure Car and Truck Carrier with a capacity of 6203 autos.

Also displaying a letter "Z" but his time on the funnel is the tanker Kibaz arriving from Saint John, NB and docking at Irving Oil, Woodside. Sources indicate that the ship is owned by Zenith Shipping through a single ship entity called Kibaz Shipping LP.

The ship apparently discharged most of its cargo of refined petroleum products in Saint John. Built in 2004 by Onomichi Zosen, in Japan, it is a 28,517 gt, 47,094 dwt vessel. It carried the name Baizo from 2004 to 2016.

Imperial Oil also received a ship today, but unlike recent fuel deliveries, this time it was domestic product. Algoscotia arrived from Imperial's refinery in Nanticoke, ON.

Algoscotia was also built in 2004, but by the Jiangnan Shipyard Group, Qiuxin Shipbuilding in Shanghai, China. It is a 13,352 gt, 18,601 dwt ship owned at operated by Algoma Tankers, mostly for Imperial Oil. The ship was laid up in Montreal from January 2 to April 25 when it sailed to Nanticoke, loading there April 27.

Heading for the St.Lawrence Seaway en route to Toronto, the tug Lois M sailed from the Cherubini dock in Eisner's Cove towing the barge Glovertown Spirit. On board the barge is one of five bridge sections for a new waterfront development in Toronto's docklands. The first bridge section was shipped on the same tug and barge last October.

The remaining bridge sections in the $100 million contract will also be shipped from Cherubini's own dock over the coming months.

Yesterday's arrival August Sun completed unloading its cargo of nickel sulfide from Cuba at Pier 31 and is expected to sail late in the day. The Pier 30-31 berth is virtually "unphotographable" from the shore side in Halifax, but given the right conditions it can be seen from the Dartmouth side of the harbour, and can be captured with a long lens.

 Augusta Sun 12,993 gt, 17,531 dwt, with a capacity of 1118 TEU and two 60 tonne cranes, has been a regular for Nirint Lines since 2017 under two different names. (It has had six). See several previous references, including: June 8, 2020


Monday, May 3, 2021

Fairviewmax and bridge ready


With the proliferation of "max" ships, such as Panamax, post Panamax, Suezmax, Kamsarmax and others, I imagine today's visit of Dalian Express at Cerescorp's Fairview Cove container terminal  may represent the largest type of ship that can reach the facility in Bedford Basin. Air draft would seem to be the controlling factor as opposed to length, breadth or even draft, since ships must pass beneath two bridges, the A. Murray MacKay being the lower of the two. So would this be a Fairviewmax?

Yes, Dalian Express managed to squeeze beneath the MacKay bridge as it sailed from Fairview Cove on THE Alliance's EC5 service today.

Built in 2001 as Hamburg Express the 88,493 gt, 100,006 dwt ship has a container capacity of 7506 TEU, including 700 reefers. It has carried its current name since 2011 and has been a regular caller in Halifax for several years.

Bridge ready

The latest bridge for a large Toronto Island project is now loaded onto a barge and ready to leave Halifax. The second of four bridges in a $100 million project, it was built by Cherubini Metal Workers of Dartmouth at their waterfront plant. Yesterday it was rolled out onto the barge Glovertown Spirit.

Late today workers were doing final securements and the tug Lois M had refueled and repositioned the barge at Cherubini's dock, ready to sail. There is a tentative pilot order for 2200 hrs tonight, unlike the last bridge that sailed last October in daylight.


Sunday, May 2, 2021

Maersk Penang - retracing its course

 As recounted yesterday the Maersk Penang was re-routed from Montreal to Saint John, NB last week due to the longshore strike. After  unloading in Saint John, it came to Halifax, which would have been its normal stop en route back to Europe.

When it sailed this evening I was startled to see how light it was in draft, meaning that it hardly took any cargo in Halifax. I was  equally surprised to see the ship giving its destination as Saint John. It must be going there to pick up export cargo that was redirected during the strike.

Along with most other lines sailing to the St.Lawrence, its schedule and vessel rotation are now in disarray. With longshore workers legislated back to work, it will be a major task to clear backlogs and service incoming ships.


Toronto Bridges - Part 2

The Halifax company, Cherubini Metal Workers, has been contracted to build four bridges for a new waterfront development in Toronto. The company is uniquely placed to build bridge structures with one of its plants on the Halifax waterfront, incorporating its own dock. The company has built bridges for locations all over North America, including deck replacement sections for the Angus L. Macdonald bridge in Halifax, several of which have been delivered by barge.

The first Toronto bridge, for Cherry Street North was shipped by barge last fall. See posts of October 24 and October 29. That structure, weighing 375 tonnes was built to carry LRT and pedestrians 57 meters to a new island to be named Villiers Island.

Today the second bridge was loaded aboard the same barge, Glovertown Spirit at Cherubini's dock in Eisner's Cove, between South Woodside and Shearwater.

With the tug Lois M holding the barge in line with the dock, the bridge is wheeled aboard using self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs).

The bridge contract, estimated to be worth $100 million, consists of two 57 meter spans for Cherry Street North (the second of which will be for road traffic), one for Cherry Street South, 109 meters long, and one for Commissioners Street, 152 meters long (to be built in two sections). It is likely that two more of the bridges may be delivered this year. One unpainted unit is visible in the fabrication yard.

The arrows point at a portion of another bridge, still unpainted, just visible between some of Cherubini's buildings. (If you are sharp eyed you may see another ship spotter in the photo.)

All the bridges will be delivered in the same way, by tug and barge, using the St.Lawrence Seaway system to deliver the units to their precise destination.



Saturday, May 1, 2021

Predominantly Blue

 Blue was the colour of choice in Halifax today, Saturday, May 1, and thereby hangs a tail or two.

The Maersk Penang arrived at PSA Halifax this morning after sitting at anchor outside the harbour since Thursday, April 29.

Due to labour disruptions in Montreal, the ship's normal westbound transatlantic route was changed when it went instead to Saint John, NB. However with export cargo waiting for it in Halifax, the ship then came here and anchored until picking up the normal scheduled sailing day - today.

In March, Maersk announced that the ship would make a trial call in Saint John, March 23, then Halifax March 26 (it did not) and Montreal March 29. If Maersk has been tempted away from Montreal by the Port of Saint John and CP Rail, then one wonders how long they will continue to call in Halifax.

Now that longshore workers have been legislated back to work in Montreal it may be a while before we see the resolution of this story. So far the next scheduled ship on the Maersk CAE service, Maersk Palermo, is south of Newfoundland en route to Montreal, more or less as per normal except about one day later than usual.

Cerescorp, Fairview Cove had its own blue ship today too. MOL Glide is here once again on THE Alliance's AL1 service. The AL1 service is due to end in 2Q 2021, but Halifax has been added to the AL5 service which has already started to call here, serviced by NYK ships.

Still wearing the MOL colours MOL Glide it has not yet been repainted in Ocean Network Express (ONE) magenta as MOL's "M" class ships have. 

No blue ships at Autoport today, but instead it was the green over grey Wallenius Wilhelmsen hull colour scheme of their merged fleets. Manon is one of the veterans of the fleet, built in 1999. It ranks as a regular caller, and was last here March 27, 2021.

There was very bright blue at HMC Dockyard as HMCS Toronto shows off its new 'boot topping". The term is an ancient nautical one denoting the paint on the portion of a ship's hull that is usually under water. The paint is also specially formulated to discourage marine growth and is described as "anti-fouling." The bright blue paint has recently been applied while the ship has been out of the water on the Syncrolift.

The Syncrolift [a registered trade mark] is an elevator platform that lifts ships out of the water by means of a couple of dozen synchronized electric winches (under the light blue hoods in the photo). The RCN's own ship repair unit, called Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Scott (FMFCS), can perform a multitude of repair and maintenance chores once the ships are "in the dry". 

The FMFCS facility recently celebrated its 25th anniversary as commemorated in the forces newspaper Trident

Of note is a current tender to remove .5 meter of toxic sludge that has built up on the harbour bottom under the platform. The project, which is expected to cost in excess of $3 million, will allow the platform to be lowered to its design depth.

The last caller was another exception, because I couldn't see a spec of blue anywhere on Alpine Madeleine arriving from Antwerp for Imperial Oil.

A typical MR tanker of 29,266 gt, 49,999 dwt, like scores of others, it was built by Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan in 2008. The ship is operated by Diamond S Management LLC (hence the funnel mark), a large publicly listed tanker operator with a fleet of 64 ships, 50 of which are MR tankers like this one. Diamond S recently announced a merger with International Seaways, another NYSE listed company, with mostly crude tankers, which will make a combined fleet of 100 ships. Both companies are US based.


Wednesday, April 28, 2021

CMA Corte Real for PSA Halifax

 The "Ultra" class container ship CMA CGM Corte Real arrived at PSA Halifax at noon time today April 28 on the Columbus JAX service. Columbus JAX ships usually call on the weekends, so a Wednesday arrival is somewhat unusual. It sailed from Colombo, Sri Lanka April 10 and passed through the Suez Canal April 17-18, so does not appear to have been delayed by the aftermath of the Ever Given blockage.

The ship's measurements of 151,446 gt and 165,182 dwt give it a capacity of 13,830 TEU (including 800 reefers). It was built in 2010 by Daewoo Shipbuilding + Marine Engineering , Okpo, South Korea. Those tonnages are greater than CMA CGM's Argentina class ships that claim a container capacity of more than 15,000 TEU. The ships have nearly identical measurements of 365 meters long x 51 meters width.

CMA CGM Corte Real appears to have taken its pilot at the outer pilot station, and was joined by a tethered escort tug (Atlantic Oak) at the regular pilot station. Two more tugs, Atlantic Fir at the bow and Atlantic Beaver toward the stern met the ship in the Middle Ground area to assist in turning and berthing at Pier 42.

Size records are expected to be set again next month when the 16,000 TEU class ship CMA CGM Marco Polo is due to arrive at PSA Halifax. Its dimensions of 396 meters long x 53.6 meters wide are commensurate with tonnages of 175,343 gt, 197,626 dwt.


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

New to Halifax, and Montreal strike update

 A new to Halifax ship arrived at Autoport this morning April 27. RCC Prestige offloaded some new cars and sailed before noon. The ship is an unusual one, mainly due to its size. Although it looks like most of the auto carriers we see, it is a sort of miniature version.

Built in 2011 by Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan as Glovis Prestige its size of 36,834 gt and 11,196 dwt gives it a capacity of only 3600 cars (4,000 cars nominally). That is about half or less than the capacity of the most recent callers at Autoport. The ship is operated by Ray Car Carriers and was given its present name in 2018.

The ship was obviously built to serve a certain market where large numbers of cars were not needed or the port facilities were small. Therefore it is unusual to see it on North Atlantic service where bigger is usually better. Also unusual was the ship's destination of Houston. Skipping New York or Davisville, RI - the usual next ports for auto ships - suggest a special cargo.  The ship's last ports were Emden, Germany and Eleusis, Greece.

Strike Update

There has been no resolution of the longshore labour strike in Montreal, nor has  but legislation been introduced to bring it to an end. Container ships have departed Montreal en masse. Since the strike began Monday, some have been sent to anchorages on the Lower St.Lawrence and others returned to sea. Among those is MSC Eleni which was last in Halifax April 14. It returned again today April 27.

Atlantic Oak comes alongside a lightly loaded MSC Eleni on arrival in Halifax.

From the look of the ship it did not pick up much revenue cargo on its recent call in Montreal. The relatively low deck load is certainly one indicator. I do like the one lone box out on the stern, an area usually reserved for empties.

The ship will top up cargo during its call in Halifax, with the intention of loading to a more efficient salt water draft.


Monday, April 26, 2021

Return of the Regulars, Updates and Miscellany

 It was a day for the return of two regular callers, and while this would not normally be worthy of extra notice, there was a difference.

First in this morning was the ONE Motivator renamed as recently as March from its original name MOL Motivator. That is the name it carried on its last visit to Halifax. The 78,316 gt, 79,278 dwt ship has a capacity of 6724 TEU including 500 reefers. A 2011 product of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Nagasaki, it is still operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, but works under the banner of Ocean Network Express (ONE), the combined container shipping segments of MOL, K-Line and NYK. 

On departure late this afternoon the ship showed off its still fresh magenta hull paint, the unique trademark of ONE. That coating was likely applied when the ship underwent its most recent surveys last month, probably in Singapore. The ship sailed from Colombo, Ceylon on April 5, so was not held up while transiting the Suez Canal April 14-15. The ship Ever Given had been refloated and the backlog of delayed ships had been cleared by then.

To see what the ship looked like in MOL colours just over a year ago see: March 2020.

The return of another regular was not greeted with much fanfare, but it was a welcome sight. The Eimskip container/cargo ship Lagarfoss ran into trouble 230 miles east of Iceland on December 27, 2020 and had to be towed back to Reykjavik due to engine breakdown. Dramatic photos taken at the time showed the ship labouring in heavy seas, see: Lagarfoss .

The ship was not labouring today, but it was certainly rolling even in the relative calm inside Maugher's Beach in the Middle Ground area. (You can see the top of the containers).

The Lagarfoss was built in 2014 by Shenfei Shipbuilding Co in Rongcheng, China. With a gt of 10,119 and dwt of 11,811 it has a container capacity of 880 TEU and carries a pair of cranes. The nearly six day run from Iceland must have been a rough one as weather between here and Newfoundland has been particularity windy with resulting high seas. 

That weather was no doubt the cause of the bulker Thunder Bay moving from Gold Bond Gypsum to anchorage after completion of loading last night. It is the ship's first visit this year after a winter layup from January to March in Montreal.

A Trillium class self-unloader, the 24,430 gt, 34,433 dwt ship was built by Chenfxi Shipyard in Yangyin, Jiangsu, China and entered service in 2013. Originally intended for Great Lakes / Seaway trade it has been strengthened, allowing it to travel to the Atlantic coast. However there may be restrictions (or prudence) that keeps the ship in port during bad weather.

The ship arrived in ballast from Sept-Iles, QC, where it had planned to load iron ore pellets. However a fire in one of the reclaimers at Rio Tinto -IOC on March 31 has shut down ore shipments for some time, and the cargo of gypsum may be a scratch backhaul to get the ship back to the lakes. It is expected to sail tomorrow when sea conditions improve.


Yesterday's post on MSC Veronique had the ship sailing for Montreal as the next port, however the ship went to anchor outside Halifax instead.  The scheduled longshore labour strike began this morning in Montreal and operations there have ground to a halt. The federal government threatened to legislate an end to the strike, but as a minority government it will need the support of the opposition parties to pass the legislation, and the cooperation of the Senate, which could take a week or more.

Early this afternoon (April 26)  MSC Veronique was seen to get underway and headed northeast at 13 knots. Whether this was to get out of an anchorage with poor holding capability, or due to an optimistic outcome for the strike remains to be seen.


While commercial shipping was not enjoying the conditions outside, the Royal Canadian Navy appeared to be taking advantage of an opportunity for rough water boat handling. HMCS Goose Bay has been anchored outside Maugher's Beach for a couple of days now, and several small craft were noted nearby today.

Several of the Kingston class Coastal Defence Vessels have been active in recent days, as they usually are at this time of year. The vessels are used for Reserve training which ramps up at the end of university academic year.


Sunday, April 25, 2021

Montreal strike - here we go again

 With another longshore labour action planned for Monday in Montreal, we will again be watching for ships diverting to Halifax. After on again off again negotiations resulted in no new contract, the union announced last week that they would be declining overtime and weekend work. Then at the end of the week they announced a general strike to start Monday April 26. Several ships sailed from Montreal Friday in ballast, heading for New York - the closest port for truck connections to Montreal (and fewer COVID restrictions). 

So far no diverted ships have arrived in Halifax, but oddly one ship sailed for Montreal this afternoon April 25. MSC Veronique has been calling here to offload some cargo to reduce draft for the St.Lawrence River, and apparently did so this time. Perhaps MSC is hoping for a labour resolution before the ship reaches Montreal. Either that or timely delivery of cargo is not a major concern.

MSC Veronique with the pilot boat Scotia Pilot outbound for Montreal this afternoon in the Eastern Channel. The new HK17 Ferguson's Cove buoy in the foreground marks the deep water, Western Channel which will be used by larger ships that are too deep for the Eastern Channel.

A prolonged strike in Montreal could have serious economic impacts. Most import container cargo would be diverted to Halifax, Saint John or New York, causing delivery delays. Export cargo could clog the rail systems even though the ports have surplus capacity. 

One particular concern is the import of fertilizer for spring planting. Other ports are not equipped to handle this product and so the impact could be quite serious. Grain exports are not effected by the strike as grain cargo has long been designated as an essential commodity and is exempt from strike action.

Diverted containers due to labour problems in Montreal have played a part in increased cargo numbers in the Port of Halifax. The first quarter of 2021 showed a 25% increase over last year from 110,084 TEU to 137,2181 TEU. There were other factors at work including a major drop in container activity in 2020 over 2019 (507,185 TEU in 2020 versus 546,691 in 2019. ) Container throughput has been on a downward slide since the record year of 2017 with 559,242 TEU.

Some cargo has already been redirected to Halifax by shippers chosing different shipping lines that already call in Halifax. In those cases we don't see different ships. Increased rail traffic in recent weeks including extra trains, certainly confirms the fact that the port is busier. A lengthy strike will certainly cause ships to divert to Halifax, and that will be more noticeable.


Saturday, April 24, 2021

Nolhan Ava - back to work

 The little container / RoRo feeder ship Nolhan Ava returned to Halifax this morning April 24 after a drydocking session in St.John's, NL.  Its last call in Halifax was on April 1.

The ship will now be resuming its weekly run between Halifax and the French islands of St-Pierre et Miquelon, off the south coast of Newfoundland. Since 2019 it has also been calling in Argentia, NL. It was reflagged to Canada to allow it to carry cargo between Canadian ports.

Aside from local mainland Canada cargo, the ship coordinates with cargo to and from France on Atlantic Container Line ships that stop in several European ports, including Le Havre. The transfers are done in bond within the Cerescorp Fairview Cove terminal.

The ship's operators TMSI (Transport Maritime St-Pierre International) are among the very few container lines in the world using 53 foot long containers. One other exception is Oceanex. Most container ships are limited to 45ft or 48 ft long units, but are more comfortable with the traditional 20ft and 40ft boxes.

A TMSI 53 foot reefer.

and a 53 ft dry cargo  box.

Nolhan Ava has been operating the TMSI service since 2015, except for some time off in 2016 for the installation of a ceramic membrane exhaust gas scrubber system in China. The ship was built in 2000 specifically for the St-Pierre et Miquelon route as Shamrock. However it was reassigned in 2004 due to financial issues with the owner.It then worked in the Caribbean until its return to Halifax in 2015.

See April 22, 2015 for more on the ship and its story.


Friday, April 23, 2021

ZIM Makes Its Mark

Coinciding with the end of the company's 75th anniversary year in 2020 and its successful New York Stock Exchange IPO in January 2021, the now publicly traded ZIM Integrated Shipping Services has rolled out a new corporate slogan and trademark on its containers.

Most shipping lines emblazon their boxes with corporate colours and name in large letters, but rarely use any slogans or other wording. ZIM has been an exception since the introduction a few years ago of the ZIMonitor wording on its reefer containers. The unique service allows customers to track, monitor and control temperature regulated containers remotely. It also provides a rapid intervention service to call in technicians if a problem is detected. Using GPS satellite communication technology the service sends text messages (SMS) or e-mails showing temperature, humidity, or alerts such as door opening or route deviation. 

Now ZIM has added a new slogan to its dry containers, highlighting "the Z Factor", highlighting ZIM's commitment to personalized service. The newly marked containers have been showing up on ships and trains in and out of Halifax. I spotted one of the new boxes on board the feeder ship Ilios as it arrived today. (Amidships at deck level.)

There was also a Z Factor box on the ship when it arrived for the first time on April 11 but I did not point it out.

ZIM has not given up its widely recognized and traditional "seven star" trademark, which is still applied to containers. A different 'LOGO" that appeared on some ships sides for many years seems to have disappeared during 2020.


As recently as February 2020 Zim Monaco displayed the old [Z] symbol, which has now been painted over on other ZIM ships.
 ZIM ships carried that symbol for many - certainly as far back as 1975 when the ZIM New York was one of their early container ships:
Built 1972 by Italcantieri, Genoa-Sestri, 25,831 gt, 24,815 dwt. Broken up Kaohisung 1991-02-22.


Thursday, April 22, 2021

Splish Splash

 High winds in advance of a cold front kicked up white caps in the inner harbour and some waves in the approaches. Ships needed some extra trug assistance but there did not seem to be any real delays.

 The Maritime Coastal Defence Vessel HMCS Goose Bay was one of at least four vessels of its class that have been exercising in local waters for the past few days. Kingston, Moncton and Summerside have all been in and out of port.

The tug Atlantic Oak works on the bow of the tanker East Coast as it gets underway from Woodside. Irving Oil's Canadian flag tankers usually trade within Canada, but this trip they are giving Boston as the destination. (Irving Oil has the ship on long term charter from the Dutch company Vroon, hence the the V symbol on the bow.)

The pilot boat Captain E.T. Rogers was making a bit of spray as it headed out to disembark the pilot from the bulk carrier Rosalia (see April 17 post).

Now fully loaded with wood pellets, the ship is giving a destination of the River Tyne in England.


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Cranes and Flags - no coincidence

 The first Arctic Offshore Patrol Vessel AOPV 430, the future HMCS Harry DeWolf was tied up this evening at is berth at HMCS Dockyard, with a backdrop of construction cranes on the Halifax skyline.

Construction cranes are one sign of the fast growing Halifax economy, due for the most part to the Halifax Shipyard contract to build the six plus two AOP ships. Thousands of well paid shipyard jobs and countless spin offs - such as construction of the very pier where the ship is tied up, have fueled a massive uptick in activity of all sorts. 

The future frigate program added on top makes for a thirty year or more steady infusion of money into the city and region. Coupled with a COVID induced real estate boom (houses selling sight unseen for premiums over asking price in bidding wars) Halifax looks to be a boom town for some time to come.

Harry DeWolf was delivered to the RCN in July 2020 and has undergone all sorts of post acceptance trials including cold weather and refueling at sea. It refueled at Irving Oil yesterday, so some more sea time is in the works. The display of flags this evening must mean commissioning is also on the horizon.


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

CSL double bill for Gold Bond

 CSL Americas had two ships in port today, both to load at Gold Bond (formerly National Gypsum) and both arrived from Sydney, NS where they had delivered coal cargoes.

First in was CSL Spirit which docked this morning and began to load. We have not seen this ship in Halifax for a long time. It was built in 2001 at Jiangnan Shipyard, Shanghai (although launched in 1998!)  with tonnages of 41,428 gt, 70,018 dwt. It was a frequent caller here until 2011 when it was brought into Canadian registry. 

The ship appears unchanged from this 2003 photo.

CSL used it in Sept-Iles, QC to top up large ships that could not load to full draft at the ore docks. In 2015 it reverted to Bahamas flag. It seems to have been working the Pacific coast of  South America until 2020.

Although the ship is a self-unloader, it does not have a typical unloading system. The 79m long unloading conveyor and boom is mounted amidships. Nevertheless the unloading rate of 4,000 tonnes per hour for coal or 6,000 tonnes per hour for ore is typical of CSL ships.

The second ship to arrive is CSL Tacoma a regular caller of the Trillium  class, also built in China but in 2013 and 43,691 gt, 71552 dwt - very similar in size to its fleet mate, with comparable unloading rates, but very different in every other way. It went to anchor in Bedford Basin until its fleet mate sails.

Catching two CSL ships in the same frame is a rare feat.

Monday, April 19, 2021

CMA CGM Mexico

 Another one of CMA CGM's Argentina class ships arrived today at PSA Halifax. CMA CGM Mexico with a capacity of 15,000 TEU + or - (some sources say 15,072), is one of twenty-two ships (built and on order) in the class, which are the largest container ships calling in any Canadian port.

The ship sailed from Colombo, Sri Lanka March 27 on its regular turn in the Columbus JAX service, but it stopped in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia April 5-6, which was not a regular stop. It is likely the stop was to allow traffic on the Suez Canal to clear after the blockage caused by the Ever Given grounding March 23-29. CMA CGM Mexico transited the Suez Canal April 7-8.

The ship was built in 2009 by Hyundai Samho with tonnages of 149,314 gt and 157,076 dwt, the second ship of the Argentina class. The first five ships in the class (Argentina, Mexico, Panama, Chile and Brazil) have conventional engines equipped with exhaust gas scrubbers. All but Argentina have now called in Halifax. The remaining ships to be built over the next several years, are to be LNG-dual fuel. 

The ship is owned by Eastern Pacific Shipping Pte Ltd of Singapore and on charter to CMA CGM. EPS has a fleet totaling more than 17 million tonnes deadweight, with ships of all types.

Judging from it appearance today CMA CGM Mexico appears to be close to full of its 15,000+ TEU.


Trabzon - another one for bunkers

 For the second day in a row a ship has tied up at Pier 9C for bunkers. This time it is the bulk carrier Trabzon.

The ship arrived this morning from La Baie (Port Alfred), QC where it discharged a cargo of bauxite loaded in Kamsar, Guinea. One of word's busiest ports for bauxite, Kamsar has a limit to ships of 229m maximum length (slightly larger than Panamax).

Thus a whole breed of bulkers have been built to that dimension and are are termed "Kamsarmax" , and Trabzon is one. 

A truck from RST Transport, carrying Irving Oil, begins to refuel the ship. 

The Trabzon was built in 2011 by Hyundai, Ulsan, and is a 44,635 gt, 81,660 dwt gearless bulker (in other words it has no cranes for cargo handling.) Owners Ciner, are the largest shipping company in Turkey, by tonnage, with 28 ships. 

Ciner Shipping is only one part of the Ciner Group of companies, involved in many business sectors including resources, manufacturing, media and tourism. Ships carry the Ciner Group corporate logo:


Sunday, April 18, 2021

Big Ship Day

 It was a big day for ships or put another way it was a day for big ships. 

The first arrival was Algoma Integrity to take on a load of gypsum from Gold Bond. 

Algoma Integrity loading at Wright's Cove in Bedford Basin.

At 33,047 gt, 47,761 dwt, the self-unloader is a regular caller. The former Gypsum Integrity was acquired and renamed by Algoma in 2015 after a brief career with U.S. Gypsum's Fundy Gypsum fleet. It was built in 2009 by EISA-Ilha in Rio de Janeiro to serve Hantsport, NS and Little Narrows, NS, but was redeployed, then sold, when the parent  company shut down its Nova Scotia operations.

Next along was a most unusual caller. The Marshal Islands flag crude oil tanker Elli arrived at Pier 9C. It first went to Bedford Basin where it was turned by tugs then tied up at Pier 9C, with its bow facing seaward.

The ship was met at Pier 9C by a pair of fuel tankers, operated by the J.D.Irving trucking company RST Transport. 
( The large grey objects are fenders which are used along the pier faces for cruise ships. They are unlikely to be deployed this year.)

New Times Shipbuilding Co of Jingjiang, China, built the ship in 2010 as United Fortitude. It took its present name in 2018 when Halkidon Shipping Corp of Piraeus, Greece took over. The ship figures to be 62,775 gt, 112,719 dwt.

Elli arrived from Point Tupper, NS where it off loaded a cargo to Nu-Star's terminal.Canaport, Saint John, NB . Once it had refueled it sailed for sea for tank cleaning, then will be headed for Sorel-Tracy, QC .

In ballast Elli was an impressive sight in the Narrows.*

Sprague Energy operates the Kildair Services ULC facility in Sorel-Tracy, where they store and export diluted bitumen crude for Suncor. That crude comes from Alberta by rail. In 2013 the federal government permitted ships wider than 32 meters on that portion of the St.Lawrence River, but they still restrict draft. Tankers loading at Kildair are known to top up at other facilities once they get to deep water.

When Elli sailed, the ConRo Atlantic Sky was inbound, and a passing plan was arranged whereby Elli would pass west of George's Island and Atlantic Sky would pass to the east, leaving each vessel lots of room.

At 100,430 gt, 55,828 dwt, the ACL G4 ships are the largest by dimension to transit the Narrows on a regular basis., but not the largest in terms in terms of container capacity.

Among the other ships in Halifax today is Energy Progress arriving from Port Neches, TX (Beaumont-Port Arthur) for Imperial Oil. Most ships arriving for Imperial lately have been from Antwerp, in part because of the disruption to refining caused by severe winter weather in the southern US.

Tugs Atlantic Willow and Atlantic Fir push the ship alongside Imperial Oil #3 dock.**

A fairly typical MR tanker of 29,605 gt, 46,606 dwt, it was built in 2008 by the lesser known Sungdong Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering of Tongyeong, South Korea. Unusual also is that it is registered in Douglas, Isle of Man. 

Operators Golden Energy Management are based in Athens, Greece.

The other sizable ship to call in Halifax today was the container vessel Bilbao Bridge, which, at 46,944 gt, 59,623 dwt would be considered medium sized to small these days, with a capacity of 4526 TEU.

Such is the demand for container ships these days, there is little talk of inefficiency in sips of this size. It was built by Samsung Shipbuilding and Heavy Industry in Koje, South Korea in 2011. It is on charter to K-Line from Seaspan Corp. (K-Line's container operations are now part of Ocean Network Express ONE).

I rarely mention the fact that I like to include wild life in my photos if possible, without distracting from the main subject. Halifax harbour and its shores are home to many species of birds - some seasonal - and mammals such as seals, occasional whales and squirrels. I feel fortunate when I am able to include one of these creatures, since they are rarely willing to sit still:

Today I was able to include birds on two occasions.
* - (dead centre bottom) - a starling (year round residents)
** - (bottom left and bottom right) - common eiders (seasonal)

Sometimes of course I see an animal when there is no ship in sight and I am forced to take a solo photo. Recently I spotted two birds that are usually hard to get:  this thick billed murre, a fairly rare sight in my experience.

Red breasted mergansers usually dive out of sight before I can get a picture:

Some readers noted the squirrel in a post a while back: 2021-02-04

I have no intention of making this a nature photo blog, so will refrain from noting animal life in future unless it is particularly noteworthy.