Saturday, March 30, 2024

Silver Arctic substitute

 The weekly TMSI (Transport Maritime Service International) feeder line between Halifax, St-Pierre et Miquelon and Argentia, NL is served by the Container  / RoRo ship Nolhan Ava. It has been plying the route reliably for many a year, usually sailing from Halifax on Fridays.


The Shamrock in its original configuration.

The ship was built in 2000 specifically for the St-Pierre et Miquelon route as the Shamrock. However it was reassigned in 2004 due to financial issues with the owner. It then worked in the Caribbean until its return to Halifax in 2015 as Nolhan Ava. The ship was taken off the route for a time in 2016 for installation of a ceramic membrane exhaust gas scrubber system in China. When Argentia was added to the route in 2018 it was brought into Canadian registry.

In May 2023 it shifted its Halifax berth from PSA Fairview Cove to the Southend Container Terminal - which is operated as PSA Halifax Atlantic Gateway.

The Nolhan Ava after installation of the scrubber.

It required time off for drydocking and maintenance in 2019 and again in 2021. It has now gone on a longer refit. As a unique ship, there is no Canadian flag vessel of its size and capability that could take its place, and TSMI applied for a coasting license to use a foreign flag replacement. That ship, the Silver Arctic, arrived in Halifax today, March 31 to prepare for the assignment.

The Silver Arctic is operated for the Silver Line of Bergen, Norway under the Norwegian International registry by Fjord Shipping AS of Mäloy. It was launched in 2010, but was not completed in 2012 when the builders Shipyard P+S Werften went bankrupt. Construction was transferred to Remontowa Shipbuilding in Gdansk, Poland in 2013 but there was further delay in 2018 when the original owners, Royal Arctic Line, refused acceptance. It was then sold to Fjord and completed in 2021. It is a 3162 gt, 2700 dwt ship with a capacity of 111 TEU (59 on deck) including 80 reefers (28 on deck) and carries one 25 tonne and one 45 tonne SWL crane. (It has no RoRo capability however.) The ship normally operates from Norway to Iceland, Faroes Islands, Scotland and Baltic ports, but also makes regular trips to Antarctica.  

It was in Cape Town January 5 and after servicing the Norwegian Antarctic base at Troll was back in Cape Town February 9, then was reported at Las Palmas February 27, Goteborg March 8, Aalborg March 9 and Trømsø March 13. It sailed for Halifax on March 14.

The Nolhan Ava sailed from Argentia on March 25 and is due in Setubal, Portugal April 4.The refit there is expected to take four weeks, and allowing another week for the return trip to Canada it is expected to be back in service by the end of May.

Meanwhile Silver Artic's actual charter is to start April 4 with the first sailing from Halifax April 5.


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