Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Wallenius Wilhelmsen - double header

Autocarriers from Wallenius Wilhelmsen are such familiar sights in Halifax that they draw little attention. However when there are two in port at the same time, it is worthy of mention.

Don Carlos picks up its tugs inbound for Autoport.

As per a previous post the Don Carlos arrived at Autoport on Sunday January 29. After discharging a mix of European autos it sailed again at noon time on Monday. While it was at Autoport, its younger sister ship Elektra arrived at Pier 9C early Monday. It offloaded RoRo cargo consisting of the usual hoard of JCBs, several Sandvik mine trucks and a mix of shrink wrapped boats an other wheeled equipment.

Only a small portion of Elektra's cargo had been offloaded when I took this photo.

Elektra dates from 1999 (Don Carlos from 1997) when it was built by Daewoo Okpo. As with its sister, it was lengthened 28 meters in 2005 and is now 67,264 gt, 28,126 dwt with a capacity of 7,194  autos.  Its stern ramp is rated for 125 tonnes. 

The Elektra moved to Autoport this morning (January 31) to unload cars, while the berth at Pier 9C was immediately occupied by the BBC Topaz (see previous post). Autoport operations were delayed today by a 5cm snow fall, so the ship is now scheduled to sail tomorrow Febraury 1.


BBC Topaz at Pier 9C

The heavy lift ship BBC Topaz arrived at Pier 9C this morning, January 31, to load a consignment of four package boilers, which arrived in Halifax some time ago on rail cars. The boilers were built by IST (Innovative Steam Techologies) based in Cambridge, ON. The "Once Through Heat Recovery Steam Generators" employ waste heat from gas turbines and other industrial processes, to generate steam.

Large green and yellow package boilers on rail cars are positioned along the pier face ready to be lifted on the ship by its own cranes.(A fourth unit is out of sight to the right).

BBC Chartering operates the BBC Topaz which was built in 2010 by Sainty Jiangdu shipyard in China. The 12,810 gt, 14,288 dwt ship is equipped with two 400 tonne capacity and one 80 tonne capacity cranes. It also has large and unobstructed holds with two position tween decks and can be configured to carry a wide variety of heavy and oversize cargoes. With its accommodation block and wheelhouse forward, it can carry high deck loads that would otherwise obstruct visibility. 

The ship was launched as the Eris J but delivered as Industrial Fighter. In 2013 it became HHI Everest then Eris J again in 2014, Daniella in 2015, Eris J in 2015, Industrial Fighter again in 2018 and BBC Topaz in 2019. Although operating in the BBC Chartering fleet the ship is owned by Jüngerhans Heavy-Lift and is still shown as member of the fleet on the Reederei Jüngerhans website as Eris J.

Weather permitting (it is expected to snow all day) the loading should be completed by late afternoon. The boilers, built as package units, are relatively easy to stow, as they don't require special rigging to secure. The destination for the boilers is unknown to me, but the ship is giving an ETA of February 7 for the Panama Canal.


Monday, January 30, 2023

More Algo - revised

 Algoma Tankers Ltd continues to make the news, this time not with a purchase, but with a sale*. The Algonorth a frequent visitor to Halifax has been sold* to an Algoma partner company Furetank and is en route to Kalundborg, Denmark for handover. A reliable report says that it will be drydocked, then renamed.[Algoma and Furetank operate a 50/50 owned company in European trades]. 

[ Revision - there ship may not have been sold, but has been transferred the 50.50 operation]

The ship was last in Halifax earlier this month, arrriving January 11 from Lévis, QC. After unloading at Imperial Oil, it moved over to Pier 28 where it was bow to bow with one of Algoma's recent additions the Chantaco, which was subsequently renamed Algotitan. The latter is still in Halifax and is due to sail this evening, January 30, for Sydney, NS, with its first cargo.

On January 17 Algonorth moved back to Imperial Oil and loaded for Sydney, sailing January 18. Arriving there January 19 it discharged cargo and departed January 20 for Baltimore.

The purpose of its visit to Baltimore is unknown, but its sailing draft was reported to be 6.7m (nearly 22 ft), so it must have loaded some cargo there. It sailed January 25 and is now due in Kalundborg on February 8.

At 12,164 gt,16,979 dwt, 144m x 23m, the Algonorth has a slightly smaller cargo capacity than the Algotitan's 11,793 gt, 18,734 dwt, 143m x 23m. Built in 2008 it is one year newer than the Algotitan. Both were built in Turkey, but at different yeards, Algonorth at Tuzla Gemi and Algotitan at R.M.K. Tuzla. There must be some feature of the Algonorth that makes it desirable to Furetank, but as previously reported it is due for survey this year.

Algonorth's bright red hull paint and white racing stripe made it an easily identifiable (and admired) member of the Algoma Tankers fleet.


Unfortunatetly, several years of work in the Seaway locks left the ship much worse for the wear (at least in appearance).

Algoma did not own the ship long enough for a required drydocking and repainting in traditional Algoma colours, so it was a standout in the fleet even if a bit shop worn. Originally named Gan-Gesture for various Turkish owners it was renamed Ramira in 2009 by Swedish owners Alvtank Rederi AB and carried that name until 2019 when renamed by Algoma.

Algoma Tankers also operates the 2004 built Algoscotia on the east coast. It is a 13,352 gt, 18,610 dwt ship. The company also has ships that see mostly Great Lakes service and rarely travel to the Atlantic. They sold one of those ships earlier this year too. The Algoma Hansa, renamed Algo sailed from Halifax January 21 and is due in Las Palmas February 2 where  it will be drydocked before taking up a new career reported to be as a shuttle tanker, possibly in Africa.


Polar Circle - heading north

 The icebreaking tug supplier Arctic Circle made a splendid sight when it sailed this afternoon (January 30) for St.John's, NL.

Its Norwegian owners, G.C.Reiber Shipping AS, withdrew the ship from work in the Russian north late last year and it sailed via the Panama Canal arriving in Halifax October 7. Since then it has spent most of the time at anchor in Bedford Basin aside from one quick trip to Boston and back December 16 to 22. It also came alongside for provisions.

There has been much speculation on what might be in store for the ship, including work for the Canadian Coast Guard, to fill in for the CCGS Terry Fox which will be entering a life extension  refit. So far no official announcement has been made, but if a trip to St.John's includes a drydocking, then there might be some news forthcoming.


Sunday, January 29, 2023

Meet and Greet

 The navigation channels leading into Halifax from sea and within the harbour itself can be narrow in places (viz. The Narrows) and therefore large ships heading in opposite directions need to coordinate their "meets". Failure to do so can have disastrous results, and the December 6, 1917 explosion is still a reminder of what can happen. 

There were two big ship meets in Halifax Harbour today, January 29, and both were well co-ordinated by the respective harbour pilots and went off without a hitch.

The first meet was between the inbound MOL Experience heading for PSA Fairview Cove from Antwerp on THE Alliance's AL5 service and NYK Rigel outbound for Southampton on the eastward leg of the same service. The ships arranged to meet "port to port" in the broad section of the lower harbour north of George's Island, with NYK Rigel taking the channel west of George's Island and MOL Experience taking to the east.

As MOL Experience rounds George's Island inbound...

...NYK Rigel passes close to the Halifax shore outbound...

...giving lots of room...

...for the ships to pass each other safely....

.. and for MOL Experience uninterrupted passage to the Narrows and into Bedford Basin.

MOL Experience built by Hyundai, Ulsan in 2007, is a 54,098 gt, 62,953 dwt ship with a capacity of 4803 TEU including 330 reefers. It carried the name APL Experience from 2008 to 2010.

NYK Rigel built by Hyundai, Samho in 2009 is a 55,487 gt, 66,051 dwt ship with a capacity of 4922 TEU including 330 reefers.

The other meet was in mid-afternoon and conditions were not quite as placid, as the wind had picked up a bit, however visibility was unlimited and conditions were good. At PSA Halifax Hub, Southend Terminal, the MSC Aniello was getting underway. The ship arrived early this morning from Italy and Portugal to lighter off some cargo to reduce draft before proceeding to Montreal on MSC's Canada Express 1 service.

Once clear of the berth the ship met the inbound autocarrier Don Carlos in the Middle Ground, the area between the Ocean Terminals and the Mauger's Beach lighthouse. MSC Aniello favoured the western side of the channel for a "port to port" meet with Don Carlos in the eastern or main channel.


MSC Aniello continued on to the western channel as tugs met the Don Carlos and headed for Autoport.

MSC Aniello dates from 2000 when it was delivered by Hanjin Heavy Industry + Construction in Busan, and is a 40,631 gt, 56,903 dwt ship with a capacity of 4056 TEU including 150 reefers.

Don Carlos was built in 1997 by Daewoo, Okpo and lengthened 8.6 meters in 2006 by Hyundai Vinashin in Vietnam and is now 62,141 gt, 28,147 dwt with a capacity of 7194 CEU. When the ship was lengthened the large billboard lettering on the sides of the ship was not re-centered, giving a slightly unbalanced look.

Not only were these meets an example of well planned pilotage, but the ships themselves represented the major shipbuilders of South Korea.



Saturday, January 28, 2023

Ale moves

 The bulk carrier Ale shifted berths today (January 28) from Pier 9C to Pier 9B. Because the ship is not self-propelled, due to rudder, propellor and hull damage, it took three tugs to perform the "cold move". Atlantic Oak made up astern, Atlantic Willow at the bow and Atlantic Bear took up a position along the starboard side.

The ship's problems began September 14 when it grounded at Long Pond, NL while backing to its berth. The tugs Atlantic Fir from Halifax and Atlantic Larch from Saint John were dispatched to Long Pond and towed the ship to Méchins, QC where it was drydocked for damage survey and temporary repairs. The Italian tug Kamarina was then sent from Rotterdam to tow the ship to Setubal, Portugal for permanent repairs. On leaving drydock December 17 there was more trouble as the ship bumped local tugs and a tanker, and so was towed over to the shelter of Baie-Comeau where the tow was set up. Somewhere in the Gulf of St.Lawrence, while in tow of the Kamarina one of the two legs of the towing bridle (made up of the ship's anchor chain) parted, causing some further damage, and so tug and ship made for Halifax, arriving January 3.

Since then there seems to have been some activity on deck up forward on the ship where the towing rig was set up, but the ship has remained alongside at Pier 9C except for a brief time at anchor January 18 when it was moved off to anchor in Bedford Basin to free the berth for another ship. 


In Bedford Basin January 18.

The tug Kamarina has also been idled in the port, much of the time at anchor in Bedford Basin. 

There were some interesting observations from today's move. 

The emergency tow line (or insurance line), leading from the bow is rigged along the port rail. It is secured with light rope, called "yarn" which would break away if the line needed to be retrieved. At sea the end of the line is trailed astern with a float, which can be retrieved by the towing tug in case the main towing line parts completely. Tugging on the line would snap the yarn, freeing the emergency tow line.

It appears that the ship's damaged rudder was removed while in drydock as it is not visible. Some light steel framing appears below the ice knife, which may have been fitted to secure the rudder or prop in place, although the prop is not visible either, so many have been removed too.

It's not uncommon to see bulkheads and frame locations marked out on a ship's hull, along with draft marks and other information, but I don't recall seeing a ship so thoroughly labelled. Reminds me of the tatooed man in the circus.

The small amount of water being discharged near the waterline is likely cooling water from the ship's generators as the main engine is not running. It is likely that the rudder, prop and hull damage may also include distortion of frames and propellor shaft misalignment.  All of which would require extensive repair work.

The 13,579 gt, 17,074 dwt ship was built in 2012 by Taizhou Shanfu Ship Engineering Co in Taizhou, China and is certainly worth repairing. Originally named Raba it sailed for Polish Ocean "Polsteam" until acquired by its current owners and renamed in 2021. Its three cranes have a Safe Working Load of 30 tonnes (24 tonnes with grabs.)

The port of Long Pond, in Conception Bay, NL exports Pyrophyllite or aluminium silicate hydroxide, a chalky talc like substance with many industrial uses. The main deposit in nearby Manuel's, NL, owned by Trinity Resources contains 21 million tons of the stuff, and there is more nearby. It is exported to North America and Europe.


Friday, January 27, 2023

Right Time, Right Place

 Sometimes you just get lucky. Hoping for a photo of the Algotitan underway, I ventured to Dartmouth this morning (January 27). The ship had returned to anchor yesterday morning to sit out the 100 km per hour gusts and steady high winds and was moving back to Imperial Oil #3 dock for its first load as an Algoma tanker.

The angle of the ship, and the sun position co-operated (they don't always!) for a nice shot from the tug dock.

I expect the ship (the former Chantaco) will be a common sight this winter and over the next several years, but it will be hard to beat this photo.


Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Last Man Standing

 The Ocean Terminals piers recently had four ships alongside but the last one will be sailing today, January 25. The Algoma Tankers' Algotitan (ex Chantaco) moved from Pier 27 via anchorage yesterday to Imperial Oil this morning, and the former Algoma Hansa sailed from Pier 25 as Algo on January 21. The high-heat tanker Iver Ambition sailed in the very early hours of this morning from Pier 26, resuming its trip to Ghent, Belgium, although giving suburban Zelzate as its destination.

The newly renamed Algotitan posed for photos at anchor yesterday.

 That left the bulk carrier Midland Trader to finish loading wood pellets at Pier 28. By this afternoon the ship was buttoned up and ready to sail for Skagen, Denmark where the wood will be converted to "sulphur and fossil free" bio-fuel. The ship arrived here January 16 [see previous posts.]


Sunday, January 22, 2023

Iver Ambition

 The Dutch company Iver Ships BV has fleet of about 100 ships, which includes around 40 offshore service vessels. Earlier this months a group of banks took over control of the company from the Vroon family and announced that the Vroon Offshore Services (VOS) vessels would be sold off over the next eighteen months to reduce a high debt level.

The 133 year old company will retain its 60 some tankers, livestock carriers and Emergency Response and Rescue Vessels (ERRVs). Among the tankers are the six product tankers on long term charter to Irving Oil - two under Canadian flag: Acadian and East Coast ex Nor'Easter (i) and four foreign flag: Great Eastern, New England , Nor'Easter (ii) ex Iver Progress and Iver Prosperity.

Iver Ships BV also specializes in "high heat tankers" - ships especially built to carry bitumen and asphalt cargoes that must be kept heated at temperatures from 150 degrees C to 190 degrees C (302 degrees F to 374 degrees F). The cargo is carried in special tanks within the hull that are heavily insulated and physically isolated on rubber mounts so that stresses of expansion and contraction are not transmitted to the ship's hull.

Among the high heat tankers is the Iver Ambition, which arrived in Halifax January 20 and tied up at Pier 26 East.

The ship was built by Brodospas Kraljevica in Croatia in 2009. Named San Lorenzo, the 6296 gt, 8962 dwt ship was renamed in 2015 after a major refit in Singapore. It has two blocks of high heat tanks (each with six cells) - one forward of the midships pump room and one aft. It continues to fly the Italian flag and is owned by the Vroon subsidiary Petrolmar SRL.

The ship made the news in 2021 when it was quarantined in Conception Bay, Nfld from July 5 to 22 with fourteen cases of COVID-19. Last winter it arrived in Halifax February 14 from Sept-Iles, QC for some unspecified issues related to winter conditions. This year it arrived from Trois-Rivières, QC, again for unspecified reasons.

Last year, when the ship was at Pier 9C, its hull paint was in much better condition.

Among the cargoes the ship carries is coal tar pitch, an essential material used as a binder for the electrodes used in aluminum smelting. Canada's largest aluminum smelter is located in Sept-Iles, QC, and the port of Trois-Rivières serves Alcoa's Deschambault smelter. The ship often calls at those ports.

 Conditions last February 2022 look much the same as today, January 22, 2023 with lots of snow on the ground.

The ship maintains its transatlantic service running from Ghent or Antwerp, Belgium or Zelzate, Netherlands, and in addition to the ports in Quebec it also sails into the Great Lakes. It reached Hamilton, ON in April, May, July and October and finally on November 27, 2022 and sailed December 1 returning to Antwerp December 18-20, Zelzate December 20-23 and Trois-Rivières January 14-16.

A slightly smaller "high heat" fleet mate, the Netherlands flag Iver Bright usually spends the entire year on the Great Lakes operating between Sarnia, ON and US ports summer and winter. (It can remain registered foreign as long as it doesn't trade between ports of the same country).


Saturday, January 21, 2023

Algo, Algoing, Algone

 The tanker Algo sailed from Halifax this morning (January 21) to take up its new career. After serving Algoma Tankers Ltd as Algoma Hansa since 2008 it is headed for refit in one of the shipyards in Las Plamas de Canaria.

It has been reported that new owners Hero Navigation SA (incorporated in the Marshall Islands) plan to use the ship for shuttle work (likely in Africa.). Now registered in Liberia, with all certificates renewed, that leaves only its classification to be renewed within the next thirteen months. 

Typical of a ship that has worked on the Great Lakes it got underway from Pier 26 without tugs and cleared the ship ahead of it at Pier 26 with ease. [See Iver Ambition in a subsequent post].

Underway and headed for sea,in ballast, it will not be long before it reaches the warmer temperatures of the Gulf Stream, and any traces of snow on deck will be gone.



Friday, January 20, 2023

Snow Day

 The first significant snow fall of the winter today (January 20) - about 10cm and counting - resulted in some delays and re-scheduling due to conditions on shore.

The tanker Algo - the former Canadian tanker Algoma Hansa -was due to sail, but the departure was cancelled. The ship has been alongside at Pier 25 since January 7.

The ship was retired from the Algoma Tankers Ltd fleet earlier this month and has been sold, renamed and registered in Liberia. (The ship's new owners are incorporated in the Marshall Islands). Informed opinion is that it will be used in shuttle or bunkering service somewhere in the third world. According to on-line sources, all the ship's certificates were renewed this month and it has from February 2023 to March 2024 to renew its current classification. (That classification may not be renewed depending on the Owner's plans. Twenty-five year refits to maintain status are very costly and therefore rare.)

Another long-stay ship was due to sail today, and return tomorrow - possibly for sea trials - but that has been delayed. Thorco Legacy arrived on December 22, 2022  and took up an anchorage position in Bedford Basin. It then moved alongside Pier 9B on January 7 where it has been fitted up with steel racks for undersea fibreoptic cable.

 While alongside the ship may also have undergone some maintenance which requires testing before the ship can sail to its next port. Most ships fitted with cable racks go on to Portsmouth (Newington) NH where the cable is manufactured by Subcom Cable Systems LLC. Subcom also installs, manages and maintains cable networks world wide.


Thursday, January 19, 2023

No Good News for the Needler

 There is more bad news for the research trawler CCGS Alfred Needler. A report on the Vesseltracker.com web site today (January 19) states that the ship received structural damage to its starboard side potable water tank while alongside at the Bedford Institute (BIO) in Dartmouth. No date was given.

Some recent bad weather, with high winds and waves may have been the cause of the damage even though the BIO dock is well sheltered. The Needler has been alongside at the BIO since December 18 of last year after an engine air failure and a trawl winch breakdown caused the ship to return to port. See Shipfax post of December 22, 2022.

 Repairs to the previous damage were to be completed in February, and the ship was to enter an unplanned life extension according to press reports.

Extent of the latest damage is not visible from the Halifax side of the harbour,  but is assumed to be above the waterline.


Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Banner Year for the Port

 The three container ports in eastern Canada have published their statistics for the year 2022 and all are showing increases in container throughput.

The Port of Halifax exceeded 600,000 TEU for the first time.

The Port of Halifax can accommodate the largest ships now calling on the east coast of North America. This CMA CGM T. Roosevelt, with a 14,414 TEU capacity, arriving January 18, is typical of the larger ships (the largest are closer to 16,000 TEU). Investment in new cranes and other equipment in 2023 should see the Port remaining competitive.

The Port of Saint John, NB experienced a surge in traffic and exceeded 150,000 TEU - well in excess of previous years - thanks largely to a new interest in the Port by CP Rail. Terminal improvements and two more cranes (due in the next few days) may result in more growth in 2023.

The Port of Montreal has by far the largest container volume in eastern Canada with a 1,596,750 TEU throughput in 2022. A minimal increase of less than 1% over 2021, it is nevertheless an impressive number. Imports accounted for 794,444 TEU and exports for 802,305 TEU.


Ale for the Basin, Morning Celine for Pier 9C

 A resident of Pier 9C since January 3, [see January 4 post]  the bulk carrier Ale was obliged to move off the berth today January 18 to make way for another ship. The autocarrier Morning Celine will be moving this afternoon from Autoport to unload machinery at Pier 9C. 

Tugs Atlantic Fir (bow) and Atlantic Beaver (stern) tow the disabled Ale from Pier 9C to anchorage in Bedford Basin.

  The hardluck Ale damaged its hull, rudder and propellor in September when it ran aground in Long Pond, NL. It was towed to Méchins, QC for temporary repairs by the tugs Atlantic Larch and Atlantic Fir. In December it was to be taken in tow by the Italian tug Kamarina and headed for Setubal, Portugal for permanent repairs. [The nature of the damage was beyond the capability of the Verreault shipyard to repair due to other commitments for its drydock, and winter conditions.] 

However when leaving the drydock, the ship made contact with one or two of the shipyard tugs and a tanker that was lying alongside. [It did not run aground contrary to early reports]. Then while in the Gulf of St.Lawrence, one leg of the towing bridle parted and the tug and ship diverted to Halifax to re-establish the connection. 


The Ale does not have the use of its own engine or steering, so is required to have a tug alongside at all times when at anchor. The tug Kamarina moved to be alongside the ship for the day.

 The tug Kamarina moved to Bedford Basin anchorage Monday, January 16 (date of photo).

Once the Morning Celine completes its operations late this evening the Ale will be returned to Pier 9C nad Kamarina will move back to another anchorage position in Bedford Basin.

In order to unload at Pier 9C the Morning Celine has to dock "starboard side to" because its stern ramp is fixed for starboard side unloading only (like most autocarriers). Therefore it must go through the Narrows to Bedford Basin, turn, then come back under the MacKay bridge to tie up in the correct orientation at Pier 9C. This is now becoming a fairly common sight as RoRo cargo operations have moved from Pier 30-31 to Pier 9C. It is still impressive however to see autocarriers in the Narrows. (Assist tugs are not visible on the ship's port side.) 

Morning Celine has turned in Bedford Basin and is passing back under the bridge and coming alongside at Pier 9C.

Built in 2009 by Imabari Zosen, Marugame, Japan, it is a 60,931 gt, 22,415 dwt vessel with a capacity of 6458 cars. Although actual ownership is shrouded in Panamanian anonymity, it operates for Eukor / Wilhelmsen, currently on the transatlantic turn for Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean. Previous ports include Southampton December 20-21, Goteborg December 26-27, Zeebrugge January 3-8.


Algo Update

 With Algoma tankers all over Halifax harbour (four at least count if you include ex vessels) it is time for a brief update.

The former Algoma Hansa, officially removed from the Canadian register on January 13 and renamed Algo remains at Pier 25 -26. The weather has finally co-operated enough for the painters to modify the name and add Monrovia as the port of registry. 

The painters also hastily covered the Algoma crest on the funnel. Most ships sold for scrap are renamed (as economically as possible) and any traces of prior ownersdhip are obliterated before sailing.

If the ship is going to India for scrap it is usually re-registered under a marginal flag of convenience such as St.Kitts and Nevis. However registering the ship in Liberia (a higher standard flag of convenience) indicates that the ship will remain insured until it reaches its destination, likely Turkey, and will sail under its own power, rather than in tow. There is little chance that the ship will be re-sold for further trading, but that is still an outside possibility. I have heard reports that it will be used for bunkering or for shuttle service.

Once the Algoma shield was painted over on the funnel, there appeared the original Dannebrog swallow tail pennant which was not just painted on, but built on, with steel plate.

 Algoma's latest acquistion Algotitan (ex Chataco) remains at Pier 27. Algonorth is due to sail this afternoon with the newly arrived Algoscotia standing by to to take its berth.

Street views of the harbour, such as this one from Sackville Street, are sometimes rewarding. Algoscotia arriving from Sept Iles, did a "harbour tour" around George's Island while the Algonorth was getting underway for Sydney.


Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Long Trip Home

 The Canadian Coast Guard patrol vessel Private Robertson V.C. departed Patricia Bay, BC January 14 en route for its home base at the Bedford Institute in Dartmouth (Halifax Harbour).

It was the lead ship of nine in the Hero class of Damen Stanpatrol 4027 variants built by Irving Shipbuilding Inc's Halifax Shipyard. The ship was launched May 12, 2012 and was handed over to the CCG in August 2012 and assigned to Sarnia, ON where it was engaged in border policing and other CCG duties such as Search and Rescue.

In 2019 it sailed on its own hull to British Columbia to cover for other vessels as they entered refits. It also underwent its own extensive refit from March to November 2022. 

Another of the Hero class vessels, the Corporal McLaren M.M.V. remains out of service after it partially capsized due to vandalism in November 2018 at CME Shipyard in Sambro, NS. After recovery,  crews removed salvageable equipment and essentially gutted out damaged material. It was estimated that it would cost $11 million to repair. In the meantime a contract in excess of $500,000 was awarded to CME Shipyard, Pictou in July 2022 to stabilize and prepare the ship for long term storage until it can be repaired - possibly in 2023, but likely later.

The shipyard was insured to $10 million according to press reports, and the Canadian government had two years from the time of the incident to commence legal proceedings for damages.

The other Hero class boats in the Atlantic and Central regions do not usually see much if any winter service, and so are laid up or in refit until spring. Constable Carrière is in Pictou, Caporal Kaeble V.C. and Corporal Tether C.V. are in North Sydney, G. Peddle S.C. based at BIO, Dartmouth is scheduled for refit in January-February (unknown location), and A.Leblanc is in winter layup at Sorel-Tracy. The two remaining units, M.Charles M.B., and Captain Goddard M.V.M.  are west coast based.


Monday, January 16, 2023

Too Wet

 There was no work at Pier 28 today, January 16, due to rainy and windy weather. The bulk carrier Midland Trader arrived on Saturday January 14 in high winds and rain, and aside from a mix with snow pellets and freezing rain on Sunday, the wetness has persisted, with temperatures rising to an unseasonal +10 degrees C.

The ship is classed as a "Handysize" bulk carrier of 22,918 gt, 35,762 dwt and carries four 36 tonne cranes [marked as 36t on hook, 26t on grab and 45 tonnes SWL at 26m] and four 12 cubic meter grabs to serve its five holds. The ship was built in 2019 by Samjin Shipbuilding Industries Co Ltd in Weihai for Oldendorff Carriers GmbH + Co KG of Lubeck, Germany.

Sources differ on the name assigned to the ship when it was laid down. Some say Christiane Oldendorff and others Conrad Oldendorff. However it was delivered as Midland Trader for long term employment with "a major trading house", assumed to be Archers-Daniel-Midland. The giant Chicago based agri-business has large holdings in transportation and logistics, including 23,500 rail cars and its own Mississippi river barge fleet of 1700 barges and 58 towboats, not to mention 1600 truck trailers, and at least five (chartered) bulk carriers.

The ship appears ready to load when conditions suit. Unlike some ports, Halifax does not rig tarps over ship's hatches when loading sensitive products in the rain (in this case soy beans or wood pellets), so must await dry weather. 

Note the ship's "sliced off" bow, which brings it in at 179.99m (590 ft 6.3 inches) length overall. I am not sure why it has this feature, inless there is a specific place the ship must fit. Oldendorff's fleet of bulkers now numbers in the range of 750 ships of 65 million tonnes deadweight, and they come in all sizes. This ship is not restricted to carrying food products, as the stanchions indicate that it is fitted to carry deck loads of timber.

 To make room for the Midland Trader at pier 28, the tanker Algonorth [see previous post] moved out to anchor in the lower harbour. The tanker its awaiting its turn to load at Imperial Oil.

As mentioned in that last note, service in the St.Lawrence Seaway has not done the ship's paint scheme any favours. All that scraping in and out of the locks has resulted in a case of "lock rash". The black boot topping also shows normal erosion of the anti-fouling paint. The friction of the water exposes fresh layers of biocide in a controlled release of the toxic molecules, thus preventing the build up of marine organisms on the hull. Though effective, it is does not improve a ship's appearance. With drydocking due this year, there will likely be new paint above and a touch up below the waterline



Thursday, January 12, 2023

Three's a crowd

 The old phrase that "two's company, three's a crowd" might well be leveled at Algoma Tankers Ltd today (January 12) as there are ships from the fleet at Piers 26, 27 and 28.

The latest arrival is Algonorth which moved over from Imperial Oil this morning to Pier 28. It is bow to bow with Algotitan which is receiving its new name today. (It was officially registered in Halifax under the new name yesterday.) At nearby Pier 25-26 the Algoma Hansa, the third member, awaits a sale and transfer to new owners.

Algonorth built in 2008 by Tuzla Gemi, in Turkey, is a 12,164 gt, 16,979 dwt ship, originally named Gan Gesture, until 2009 and Ramira until 2018.

Algonorth is still wearing the (once) attractive red hull colour of its previous owners Alvtank Rederi AB of Sweden. Most of the ship's certificates expire 2023-10-17, so I anticipate a drydocking for renewal  this year, at which time it is likely to be repainted in Algoma's customary deep blue.

The only repainting expected on the Algotitan, is the name, which was underway earlier today. The former Chataco had its new name on the starboard bow, and there were painters working from staging on the port bow (no more bosun's chairs for this work.) 

The only ship wearing traditional Algoma colours was Algoma Hansa which, with extra lines and fire wires overside, is settling in for an indeterminate layup peroid until it is sold.

The reason for Algonorth's arrival in Halifax was to load cargo from Imperial Oil, and I am supposing that it moved over the Halifax to allow for the arrival of more product today on the Danish flag tanker Nord Superior. It is a 30,229 gt, 49,753 dwt vessel built in 2015 by STX Offshore + Shipbuilding in Jinhae. The ship features an unusually tall funnel, which carries the colours of Damps. NORDEN A/S.

The ship operates in the Norient Product Pool APS (an operation founded 50:50 by NORDEN and Interorient, but now100% owned by NORDEN). The ship has not followed the usual route of  Imperial's imported product. [See previous post.] Instead of sailing from Exxon/Mobil's refinery in Antwerp, the ship sailed from Al Fujayrah, Saudi Arabia December 9 and after transiting the Suez Canal December 17 it anchored off Barcelona December 24-30, then spent December 30-31 in the port itself. The Lipsa refinery in Barcelona is a large producer of bio-fuels.



Monday, January 9, 2023

Algoma Hansa - retires

 The Canadian flag tanker Algoma Hansa arrived in Halifax on January 7. It came from the Great Lakes with stops at Kildair Sorel-Tracy and Montreal. It arrived in ballast (and likely with tanks cleaned and gas freed) and will be laid up until it can be transferred to new owners.

The ship was built in 1998 and is nearing the end of its economic life. After twenty-five years of service ships must undergo a major refit to maintain their classification, and the expense is usually not warranted. Owners then sell the ship for further use where its classification will not be renewed, or in many cases the ship goes to scrap.

Algoma Hansa is an unusual ship in many ways. It was built at Alabama Shipyard in Mobile, AB for Dannebrog Rederi A/S of Denmark. Named Amelienborg it was delivered in April 1998 and a sistership, named Aggersborg was delivered in November of the same year. Measuring 11,290 gt, and 16,775 dwt it was registered in Denmark and was a double hull chemical / product tanker with phenolic coated cargo tanks. Algoma Tankers Ltd acquired the ship in 2006 and operated it in the Hanseatic and later Navig8 tanker pools, largely in Europe, but it did make some trips to the Great Lakes. 

Algoma renamed the Aggersborg as Algosea in 2005 and registered it in Canada. They renamed the Amalienborg to Algoma Hansa in 2008 but did not bring into Canadian registry until 2014. By that time its projecting bridge wings had been cut back flush with the ship's sides to permit safe passage through the St.Lawrence Seaway locks.

It will now be replaced in the Algoma fleet by the recently acquired Chantaco which arrived in Halifax December 30 [see post]. Algoma has selected the name Algotitan for the new acquistion, and when it enters service (expected shortly) it will operate this winter with Algoscotia which arrived in Halifax January 8. 

Algoscotia sailed again January 9 for Sydney with cargo from Imperial Oil for its Sydney depot.

There is no word yet on when the sister Algosea will be retired, and it is operating this winter on the Great Lakes. Its replacement, the future Algoberta, is currently working in Europe as Chiberta.

On Monday January 9 the Algoma Hansa swapped places with its replacement. The Chantaco moved to Pier 27 and the Algoma Hansa to Pier 25. Once along side at Pier 25 the workboat Allen Clipper came along to carry out some underwaterwork (perhaps hull cleaning or camera survey). 

There is some indication that a sale has already been arranged for the Algoma Hansa and handover and renaming will take place shortly.