Wednesday, September 20, 2023

CSL Flexvik - new name for the ALE

 A ship which appeared to have been languishing in Halifax for many months has been the scene of considerable activity during the past weeks, and I noted today that it now has a new name on the bow.

The ship arrived in Halifax in January 2023 in tow with propellor and rudder damage after grounding in Long Pond, Newfoundland on September 14, 2022. The ship was carrying the unusual name of Ale and was under Norwegian ownership. In early October 2022 the tugs Atlantic Fir and Atlantic Larch towed the ship to the Verreault Shipyard in Méchins, QC for survey and temporary repairs and the Italian tug Kamarina was sent from Europe to tow it to Portugal for permanent repairs. 

Some difficulties encountered with getting the ship away from Méchins (it may have made contact with other ships in the shipyard, but did not run aground as wrongly reported here) and a parted tow line in the Gulf of St.Lawrence, resulted in the tug and tow diverting to Halifax, arriving January 3 of this year.

Instead of restoring the towing set up, the tug returned to Europe February 15. By mid-March it was reported that the ship had been sold to CSL Europe, one of the overseas subsidiaries of Canada Steamship Lines. Still the ship remained alongside, with a maintenance crew on board, but no sign of other activity until September 3 when it appears that the propellor was removed using air bags for flotation support.

In August workers set up tent shelters nearby on Pier 9C and fabricated a cofferdam structure which was placed around the stern of the ship, surrounded by floats, to facilitate work below the water line.

Yesterday I noted the arrival of a new tail shaft with controllable pitch hub. Built by ZAMECH Marine in Poland. (Although the ship was built in China, it was Polish owned until 2021.)

A complex piece of machinery, it contains a hydraulic system connected through the shaft and a servo-motor in the hub to alter the pitch of the propellor blades for forward, feathering or reverse.

Today I noted the ship's new name had been painted on the bow.

CSL Flexvik, as it is now named, was built in 2012 by Taizhou Sanfu Ship Engineering Co as the Raba for Polska Zegluga Morska (known as Polsteam) and was sold in 2021 and renamed Ale by Oslo Venture Pte Ltd. It is a 13,579 gt, 17.074 dwt general cargo / bulker with three 30 tonne SWL cranes. It was built for the Great Lakes grain trade, and in 2022 made one trip to the Lakehead in May. Then in August it had completed a ten year survey and refit, so was in prime condition when it went ground.

I suppose if the tail shaft replacement and rudder re-instal goes well, the ship may have time to make it to the Great Lakes for the annual grain rush before the winter closure of the St.Lawrence Seaway.


1 comment:

  1. Was by there today, 26-9-23, and noted the prop shaft was installed over the weekend. The machinists were cooling the rudder bushings in liquid nitrogen prepping for install. They tell me the rudder pintle will be installed in the next couple of days along with the rudder. This will require divers who will also install the prop blades which are on the pier now.