Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Expected BBC Topaz

 The heavy lift ship BBC Topaz is expected in Halifax tomorrow - March 20 - on a long trip that originated in Viet Nam and Singapore then via the Cape of Good Hope to Port Cartier, QC. The ship was last here January 31, 2023 when it loaded some heat recovery steam generators at Pier 9C.

BBC Topaz at Pier 9C on January 31, 2023. The large yellow and green objects, were manufactured by Innovative Steam Technologies in Cambridge, ON.

This time around the ship will be loading quite a different cargo, which I will detail once the ship arrives.

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.

BBC Chartering has also just announced a new class of ships to be built specifically for the St.Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes. Termed "Lakermax" the ships will have two 250 tonne capacity cranes and two large unobstructed box shaped holds. Like BBC Topaz they will have all accommodation forward allowing for large deck cargoes such as wind turbine blades. There will be ten ships in the series which will be delivered over the course of the next two years.

The BBC Topaz is arriving from Port Cartier, QC where it delivered a cargo of wind turbine blades for the 200MW Apuit project which will be partly on traditional First Nation territory and partly in Port Cartier.

The ship made the headlines during a recent storm when the master opted not to heed local advice to move the ship off the dock. When the storm struck, the ship's lines parted and two tugs were needed to re-secure the ship before it drifted aground. The ship was detained in Port-Cartier for two days by Port State Control March 13 to 17. Unloading had already been delayed by a crane failure, and a sister ship, BBC Rhonedal,was waiting to offload.

BBC Chartering has also made the news in Australia when three of its ships have been banned due to deficiencies. One ship was banned for ninety days due to unsafe stowage of explosives.

BBC Topaz sailing from Halifax on February 1, 2023.


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