The bunkering tanker Algoma Dartmouth has been sold and has taken up its new career as a pollution cleanup vessel in Piraueus, Greece. Its Canadian registration was closed on September 14 and it was re-registered in Greece as Aktea II OSRV.
The small tanker was initially ordered by the Clipper Wonsild Group from the Tukter Shipyard in Tuzla, Turkey. Construction began in 2005, but the ship was not delivered until 2007 after Yardimci Shipyard took over the build and completed the ship as Clipper Bardolino. Classed as a chemical and product tanker it measured 2999 gt, 3569 dwt.
In 2008 it was sold and renamed Samistal Due (possibly repossessed) and under Turkish flag, carried that name only briefly until acquired by Algoma Tankers. The ship was stationed in Halifax harbour for bunkering work and renamed Algoma Dartmouth.
The ship arrived in Halifax as Samistal Due.
Imperial Oil provided the bunkering service with fuel from their Dartmouth refinery, and had previously operated their own tanker Imperial Dartmouth. When Imperial Oil sold their tanker fleet to Algoma Tankers, they kept the bunkering service and the Imperial Dartmouth for a time, but sold it in 2006. It still operated in Halifax, but was owned by Northern Transportation, renamed NT Dartmouth under charter to Imperial Oil. However that contract ended in 2009. The ship was eventaully sold south.
In 2009, when Algoma Tankers brought the Algoma Dartmouth into service it was also on charter to Imperial Oil, but in 2013 Imperial closed the Dartmouth refinery, thus reducing the ready availability of heavy fuel and marine diesel oil. In 2014 Sterling Fuels, a subsidiary of the Miller/ McAsphalt companies took over as charterer. Sterling operates bunkering services on the Great Lakes from its base in Windsor, ON. However it is a long supply line to Halifax harbour, so they accessed fuel from a variety of sources in Canada and the US.
At the end of the cruise season in November 2018, Algoma Dartmouth was transferred to Saint John, NB, with the charter being transferred to Irving Oil. Cruise ships were a major source of business for bunkers, and most of the ships that called in Halifax also called in Saint John. With a refinery at hand there was also a ready supply of fuels. However the off season (that is between November and May) saw very little business, and the operation was marginal. However when COVID 19 struck the cruise business dried up completely and the Algoma Dartmouth was moved Sydport in Sydney, NS and laid up.
As with most ship sales there was little publicity, and so the newly renamed Aktea II OSRV quietly slipped port on October 1, 2021 - escaping my notice altogether. Thanks are due to an alert reader of these posts who detected the sale from reading a financial report from Algoma Central. The ship arrived in Ceuta, Spain October 16 (likely for bunkers) and Piraeus October 22, where it remains today.
The new owners, called Polrom Oil Maritime Co, also operate a smaller and older tanker called Aktea OSRV which is an Oil Spill Recovery Vessel. So we know what OSRV stands for. Aktea is the name of a goddess from Greek mythology, and associated with the shoreline.
The ship will apparenrtly be used to vacuum up spilled oil in and around Piraeus, but may travel farther afield if needed.
Left without a bunkering tanker, Halifax nevertheless offers bunkering by trucks from Irving Oil. Ships must now tie up at a berth instead of taking their fuel while at anchor. This seems to have reduced the number of bunker calls considerably.