Thursday, October 13, 2022

Esso Stocks Up - Part 2 - REVISED

 See IMPORTANT Revision in bold itlalics

 As per yesterday's post, the tanker Algonova arrived at Imperial Oil today (October 13) from the Esso refinery in Nanticoke, ON.

 The ship was built by Med Marine in Eregli,Turkey in 2008 and originally operated mainly from Imperial's Dartmouth (Halifax harbour) refinery. When the refinery was closed in 2013 the ship moved to serve the Great Lakes / St.Lawrence area with only occasional visits to Halifax..

When built it was listed at 7773 gt,  but that has since been revised to 8009 gt. Gross tonnage is now a calculation made on a formula that accounts for hull shape and other factors. It was once a measurement made by counting every 100 cubic feet of enclosed space as 1 ton. Deadweight tonnage remains at 11,240 tonnes, and is a measurement of weight rather than volume. 

This is the second Algonova in the Algoma Tankers Ltd fleet. (Nova is for Nova Scotia.) When Algoma took over the Imperial Oil fleet in 1998 it inherited a mixed bag of ships, one of which was built in 1969 in Collingwood, ON as Texaco Brave and although owned by Imperial Oil, never carried an Imperial name. Not only that, it did not start out to be a tanker at all.
Originally designed to be a small general cargo ship to carry steel products around the Great Lakes, and with winter navigation in mind, the order was never actually placed with the shipyard. However Collingwood Shipbuilding had reserved a spot for it and had materials on hand, and so by the time the keel was laid July 23, 1968 they had reached a deal with Texaco Canada Ltd to build it as a tanker. Named Texaco Chief it traded on the Great Lakes, St.Lawrence and Atlantic coast. It measured 5038 grt, 6885 dwt and had a capacity of 54,241 bbl. In 1986 it was renamed A.G.Farquharson after Andrew Gray Farquharson, the retired boss of Texaco.

Revision: The portion of the above paragraph which has been lined over was taken from a previously published account. I have now received word that the story is untrue, and I regret that I have inadvertantly perpetuated the myth. There was apparently no connection between construction of the Texaco Chief and the cargo ship (which turned out to be the Yankcanuck). As always I am pleased to receive corrections to any of my posts.  

In 1986 Imperial Oil took over Texaco Canada, including the Texaco Chief, which it chartered out for a time to Socanav and then to Desgagnés. When Algoma acquired the Imperial fleet in 1998 they renamed the ship Algonova. The renaming, appropriately enough, took place at Pier 23 in Halifax.

The paint was still fresh when I took this picture of the newly renamed Algonova (i).

Algoma Tankers hung onto the ship, more or less as a spare, and its last single hull tanker, as it gradually rebuilt the fleet with newer tonnage, but finally sold it in 2007 when it sailed (again from Halifax) as Pacifico Trader. It served as a bunkering tanker in the Panama Canal anchorages and was renamed Great Portobello in 2012. It was scrapped in August 2019 after several years of cold layup at anchor off Cristobal, Panama.

For more on Imperial Oil tankers see Shipfax May 23, 2015.

The new Algonova had mechanical problems early in its career, then suffered an engine room fire off the Gaspé coast on January 14, 2014. The ship has been operating without incident since it was repaired in Halifax.

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