Thursday, January 27, 2022

Oil Heat

 The Nova Scotia Power Corp is taking a cargo of oil at its Tuft's Cove generating plant in Halifax today January 27. Delivering the load of heavy oil is the Bahamas flag crude oil tanker Larvik coming from Freeport, Bahamas (January 20-21) and Saint Rose, Louisiana (January 14-16).

 The current very cold weather places extra demand on power generation, and Tuft's Cove appeared to be going full tilt today with billows of steam emitted from its burners.

The Tuft's Cove facility, located on the Narrows, usually burns natural gas, but has the capability to store and burn heavy oil. Built originally to burn oil or coal, it was modified to use gas when Nova Scotia's offshore gas fields came on line. Once those fields were exhausted, Nova Scotia Power continued to access gas from their partly owned Maritimes and Northeast pipeline, which is connected to the North American network in Massachusetts. 

Since a major oil spill at Tuft's Cove in 2018, the NSPC has upgraded some of the oil storage and pipeline at the site, but has not notably used much if any heavy oil.

By coincidence NSP has acknowledged the delayed retirement of its coal fired generating stations in Trenton, NS and Point Aconi, Cape Breton because the new hydroelectric power transmission line from Newfoundland has not proven reliable. The Muskrat Falls hydro electric project in Labrador sends some of its power by undersea cable across the Strait of Belle Isle and the Cabot Strait to Nova Scotia, but this has not yet lived up to expectations.

The tanker Larvik, despite its Norwegian sounding name, is owned by Polys Haji-Ioannu family of Greece. Technical management is entrusted to their Singapore based World Tankers Management, and commercial management is done by Polyar Tankers of Oslo. The ship is apparently time chartered to the Heidemar pool.

Built by Sumitomo, Yokosuka, Japan in 2006, the Larvik measures 35,711 gt and 61,213 dwt which is very small for a crude tanker, but more common for the DPP "dirty petroleum products" or black oil trade. It is an (old) Panamax size.

Emissions from Tuft's Cove are fairly clean when it is burning gas, but is not quite so white when burning oil. It appeared to be running only two of three generators today.


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