Thursday, April 20, 2023

Maersk Katalin - refreshed

 The tanker Maersk Katalin arrived at Irving Oil's Woodside terminal this morning, April 20. it is an unusual visitor on a couple of counts.

Unlike most product tankers we see in Halifax, which are built in South Korea, this ship was built by Guangzhou International in Guangzhou, China, in 2012. It has a distinctly different looking superstructure, with open decks at each level of the accommodation block. They look more like something you might see on an apartment building. The decks are cantilvered out and have only light railings and and no stanchions.

Most of the product tankers we see here are in the 50,000 dwt range. This ship comes in at 24,491 gt, 39,724 dwt, making it a "Handysize" (20,000 to 55,000 dwt). Maersk Tankers Singapore Pte, the owners, must have had some particular port or service in mind for the ship, to build it with to this particular size.

This is the second Maersk Tankers ship to come to Halifax recently. The 49,919 dwt Maersk Corsica arrived at Imperial Oil on April 11. As mentioned at the time, Maersk Tankers is separate from AP Moller - Maersk, the container shipping line. Maersk Tankers is owned by a AP Moller Holding, a family trust. Perhaps confusingly, the tankers use the same blue hull colour and the white seven pointed star on the funnel.

To add to the confusion there are two different tanker companies. Maersk Tankers is a service company that owns no ships, but manages ships on behalf of ship owners. It is a huge company, one of the largest tanker operators in the world. It is estimated that it has 180 or so ships under its umbrella in four different pools, organized by size of ship. 1: small and large intermediaries; 2: Handy; 3: MR [Mid Range]; 4: LR2 Aframax [Long Range]. This covers the range from 10,000 to 120,000 dwt. It includes such clean and dirty oil and non-petroleum cargoes such as vegetable oil and a variety of chemicals.

Maersk Product Tankers is the other company, and it does own ships. It currently has 52 product tankers, all of which are managed by Maersk Tankers. There are also subisidiary companies in Sinagapore, Denmark and likely eslwehere, that are closely associated and either own individual ships or provide specific management functions. Maersk Product Tankers is part owned by Mitsui + Co Ltd (of which APMoller holding is a major shareholder) which is among the largest tanker companies with about 40 crude carriers.

Most of the foreign flag product tankers that arrive at Irving Oil's Woodside facility off load refined product from Amsterdam, Netherlands, then head to Saint John, NB to complete unloading. This ship indeed came from Amsterdam, but went to Saint John first. It sailed from Amsterdam April 8, anchored off Saint John April 16-18 and was in the port there April 18-19. It still has a significant quantity of cargo on board, so it will be interesting to see if it unloads it all here.


Apparently when the ship sailed at 0200 hrs on April 22 it still had some product left on board. It gave its destination as Saint John, NB.



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