Saturday, January 22, 2022

Back Again -Times Two

 Two returnees are in port today, and one may be somewhat less welcome than the other.

Number One

Returning last evening (January 21) to Pier 9C was the tanker Aurviken. It was last here January 12 and January 13 en route from Libya to Point Tupper. At the time I was informed by the ship's agents that the ship was here to take on fuel for its cargo heating boilers. That fuel turned out to be heavy Bunker C, and was transferred via open pipe and/or with atmospheric venting, from trucks to the ship. The escaping vapours "stunk up" the neighbourhood, alarming nearby residents, including Halifax Shipyards, and causing unecessary panic that a major crude oil spill was underway.


It came as a surprise today to see the ship taking on heavy fuel again with the same sickening aroma permeating the neighbourhood. It is surprising that after the last incident such a transfer was permitted. Open pipe transfers and atmospheric venting are usually conducted farther away from residential areas, such as at Pier 27-28.

The Norwegain owned Aurviken is a 62,372 gt, 112,802 dwt ship, and appears to be still carrying a significant quantity of crude oil cargo. Perhaps it used up all its boiler fuel before completing its unloading at Point Tupper. Due to the current frigid conditions, that cargo must be near solid by now, so maybe we can expect the ship to come back for a third time? 

In the past when incidents of solidified cargo have occurred another tanker was brought alongside to provide steam, but that is a costly process.

Number Two

This morning's arrival (January 22) was the container ship MSC Valencia on MSC's Indus 2 service from India via the Mediterranean. This is the ship's second call on that service. It was first here October 31, 2021 and was the fourth ship to call after the Indus 2 service started calling in Halifax.


The ship was built by Hyundai, Ulsan in 2006 and was initially named Hammonia Jork after a small village near Hamburg, Germany. Later in 2006 Hammonia chartered the ship as MSC Valencia. They renamed it CSAV Valencia * for a short time in 2012 but it reverted to MSC Valencia the same year. Hammonia Schiffarts is a Hamburg based shipowning and ship management company with somewhat more than thirty ships on charter to various operators.

The 89,941 gt, 102,756 dwt ship has a capacity of 8204 TEU including 700 reefers.

* CSAV, Compagnia Sud Americana de Vapores, is a large Chilean ship owner. In 2014 it merged its container shipping operations with Hapag-Lloyd, giving it a major stake in H-L ownership. Since then UASC, the United Arab Shipping Company merged into H-L in 2017 as its largest shareholder.


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