Saturday, April 2, 2022

The usual suspects

There were several arrivals, departures and moves today, April 2. All but one of which were familiar ships going about their usual business.

The only unusual move was Irving Oil's tanker Acadian moving from Irving's Woodside terminal to Esso dock 3. Imperial Oil (Esso) has recently shifted supply from their usual European source in Antwerp and has been acquiring stock from competitor Valero in Quebec (see previous post and tanker Algoterra.) They are also "importing" by rail from their own refinery in central Canada.

Irving Oil's refinery in Saint John, NB is the largest in Canada (350,000 bbls per day or more), so apparently it can produce enough fuel to supply its own needs and those of others. Although not unheard of in recent years, Irving and Esso only rarely swap product.

The relatively rare sight of an Irving tanker at Imperial Oil.

The usual Saturday arrival of a ship on the Maersk / CMA CGM transatlantic service to Montreal and Halifax was Maersk Penang.

Due to winter conditions, some Halifax calls on this service have been bypassed in recent months, with ships returning from Montreal directly to Bremerhaven. Now that conditions are better and ice is retreating in the Gulf, the ships should be able to keep their regular weekly schedule.
Trade to Cuba has dimished in the past few years as the country has retreated into greater poverty. One of the two shipping lines running between Europe and Cuba is Melfi Marine Corp. The company reduced its sailings through Halifax from every 12 days to once a month in May 2021, using only one ship.  That ship is X-press Irazu which arrived today and anchored. (Melfi ships often arrive on the wekend and wait until Monday to load/unload.)

The ship dates from 2007 when it was built by Guangzhou Wenchang Shipyard Co Ltd. At 18,480 gt, 23,716 dwt, it has a capacity of 1732 TEU including 379 reefers. It also carries a pair of 45 tonne capacity cranes.

The Melfi route, called MEDCAN, is westbound from Livorno, Genoa, Barcelona, Valencia, Setubal (for Lisbon), Halifax, Mariel.The ship looked very lightly loaded today.

The other typical arrival was Eimskip's Lagarfoss, which is one of three ships providing a service to the much more affluent island nation of Iceland.

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 ship is on the east bound leg of its journey and is expected to sail this evening for Argentia, NL.
Among today's departures was the container carrier Hyundai Force. The ship has been the subject of a couple of previous posts.

With a stiff breeze blowing in from the north off Bedford Basin, the ship used three tugs to get away from the berth at Fairview Cove. Once clear the tugs took up positions to starboard, Atlantic Fir; port, Atlantic Oak; and Atlantic Beaver as stern tethered escort.

Once across Bedford Basin, they lined up for a quick passage through the Narrows, with a tail wind.

Those bow lines in the foreground belong to the familiar cable ship IT Intrepid which arrived this morning from Sines, Portugal, and tied up at IT International Telecom's Marine Base at Pier 9B.

The Barbados flag ship is nominally based in Halifax but works world wide. The owners have been granted a temporary Admission to the Coasting Trade of Canada to install a 130 km subsea fibre cable called Sunoque II from Sept-Iles, QC to Ste-Anne des Monts, QC. The work is to take place between April 15 and 30. It will involve trenching and burying the cable with a Subsea Cable Plough. They will also use a remotely operated tracked vehicle (ROV).

 The owners have a second coasting trade license application pending for the ship to recover and reinstall 35 km of undersea cable in the La Perouse Bank area of British Columbia. The work will include burying the cable using a submarine trenching plow and underwater splicing using an ROV. The plan is to carry out the work from May 13 to 20, subject to approval of the application. (A permit may be granted by the Minister of Public Safety if no suitable Canadian vessel is available.)

IT Telcom's IT Integrity is also at the IT base. It is a Canadian flagged vessel and recently returned from work in the Rose Blanche area of Newfoundland, which is a major cable landing station.

There is a third cable ship in port. That is the Durable which arrived at Pier 27 on March 30.


The ship is owned by Transoceanic Cable Ship Inc and was built by Keppel Hitachi in Singapore in 2002 as the Tyco Durable. When Tyco became over extended and failed, the ship was sold and renamed in 2010. Transoceanic has a huge contract with the US Navy, signed in 2018 and extending to 2023. Presumably it involves maintaining seabed communication and monitoring systems.



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