Friday, July 1, 2022

Break Bulk and Bulk

 In yesterday's post I mentioned the grain loadout gallery at pier 28, and today the facility was in use loading the bulk carrier Tomini Ghibli.

A series of conveyors from the grain elevator silos transfers cargo to the ship loading gallery where a series of spouts direct the cargo into the ship's holds. The facility replaced older structures at Pier 23, which could not load large ships, and Pier 26. 

Today's visitor, the Tomini Ghibli, is a typical bulk carrier, built in 2016 by AVIC Weihai, Weihai, China. Measuring 23,741 gt, 37,896 dwt, it carries four 35 tonne capacity cranes.

Built as Sea Angel it was renamed as recently as June 1 by Tomini Shipping. The Tomini family, founded the company in their native Pakistan, but later moved to London, then to their current headquarters in Dubai. They named this ship after a "hot, sand bearing wind of North Africa". Its last port was Grande Anse, QC and Trois-Rivières QC where it offloaded bauxite. 

The old loading facility at Pier 23 had only 3 or 4 spouts, and could not accommodate large ships. It was little used by 1970 when I took this photo:

The USSR water tanker Alitus was in port to load fresh water for the fishing fleet. They used Halifax tap water to freeze the fish at sea. (The Halifax skyline has only one high-rise - the Park Victoria apartments, where I lived.)

The ill-fated Eastcliffe Hall (it sank July 14, 1970 with loss of nine lives only a few days after I took these photos) was at Pier 25-26. The conveyor system extended out to the end of Pier 26 and had loading spouts the full length. In the centre was the grain leg, which was used to offload ships that did not have their own unloading equipment. There were two conveyor sytems - one in each direction, to and from the grain elevators.

 Now the conveyor gallery ends at Pier 25, and is no longer used to load ships. The grain leg has also not been used for many years, since all incoming grain now comes on self-unloading ships, which discharge directly into a hopper and into the "inbound" conveyor. To my recollection the grain leg was last used to unload grain from a ship that arrived for repairs, and the cargo had to be removed and dried before being re-loaded after the ship was repaired.

The St.Lawrence Navigator had a cargo of grain from the Lakes in 1975, and the grain leg was was the means of unloading. The ship had to be repositioned several times as the grain was unloaded, although they did have payloaders in the hold to assist with the last dregs.(Note the Pier 26 portion was gone by 1975.)

 As the Port's plans for the area will see the camber at Pier 27-28 filled in, they will have to rebuild the grain gallery at pier 25-26 for ship loading, and perhaps extend it out to the end of the pier again to accomodate larger ships. It appears that the "two storey" structure still has room for two conveyor systems, but it is not long enough for large ships.

The Independant Pioneer at Pier 25, preparing to load grain in 1970. Note the maze of conveyor systems in the background connecting the "export" conveyors to the grain elevator.

Smaller ships like the Ernst Schröder, also in 1970, often loaded relatively small quantities of grain after discharging general cargo to the shed at Pier 26. However the pier could accommodate large ships for loading.

 Nowadays the few grain loaders we do see are seldom smaller than today's Tomini Ghibli.

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