On December 22 Algoma Central Corporation of St.Catharines, ON, announced that its Algoma Tankers subsidiary had acquired two ships to replace older units in its domestic Canadian tanker fleet and third ship to join the fleet at a later date.
One ship, currently carrying the name Birgit Knutsen, was acquired in the third quarter of 2022 and is working internationally under charter. It is a sister to Algoma's Algoterra. Built in 2010 by Jiangnan, Shanghai, it is a 11,889 gt, 16,536 dwt vessel. No date has been suggested for its arrival in Canada.
The other two ships are sister ships, built in 2007 by RMK Marine in Tuzla, Turkey for Sea Tankers Shipping SASU of France. The ships named Chantaco 11,793 gt, 18,734 dwt and Chiberta 11,799 gt, 18,734 dwt will be renamed Algotitan and Algoberta upon handover to Algoma.
Hand over of the Chantaco is expected very soon as the ship arrived in Halifax today, December 30 after a trip into the Great Lakes from Milford Haven. The ship sailed from the UK port December 4 and arrived in Hamilton, ON December 20. It sailed from there December 22 and passed Montreal December 25.
On arrival today the ship backed in to Pier 25 where the handover and renaming will take place.
From an "examination" of the stern of the ship it appears that it is a twin screw ice class vessel as two ice knives can be seen under the counter in line with the rudders. The twin funnels would also suggest two engines and twin screws.
Once the Algotitan is in service it will replace the Algoma Hansa in coastal trade this winter. The latter ship was built in 1998 and is en route to Halifax for layup and sale. More on that when it arrives. The Chiberta / future Algoberta is still operating in Europe under charter to Furetank AB of Sweden and will be coming to Canada sometime in 2023. It is due to replace the Algosea.
About the Names
On a somewhat whimsical note, it is fairly obvious that Chiberta's name suggests the Province of Alberta, source of most of Canada's crude oil. Therefore the name Algoberta makes a certain amount of sense for a tanker.
I can't say as much for the name Algotitan. There does not seem to be any obvious reason for that choice (the similarity to "Titanic" is rather uncomfortable however). But I am glad that Algoma did not follow the previous example and borrow the last syllable of the Chataco for a rather unappetizing choice.