Saturday, December 9, 2017

Harry DeWolf takes shape

After nearly six months the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship Harry DeWolf finally has a bow. Two major mega blocks for the ship were rolled out and connected at Halifax Shipyard in July. Block #1, the icebreaking bow section, remained in the assembly hall until this past week when it was rolled out to the hardstand.

The sign says"Small Parts Laydown Area" - the ship's bow was one of three "mega blocks" which make up the ship - not exactly small parts.

This morning crews were carrying out final alignments. Using multi-wheeled motorized carriers from Fagioli Canada (partners with J.D.Irving)  the bow was sidled into place so that welding can begin.


The frst two mega blocks went together in far nicer weather in July.


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Friday, December 8, 2017

Salarium - we will need it soon

The self-unloading bulk carrier Salarium made one of its infrequent visits to Halifax today. The Canada Steamships Lines ship is on long term charter to Mines Seleine to carry salt from the Magdelan Islands salt mine to various ports in the region. It has just delivered a load to Saint John, NB and will load gypsum in Halifax as a back haul to Montreal. It makes few empty trips, so is always looking for cargoes other than salt to keep it busy.


Salarium makes its way inbound passing the foot of Sackville St. My eye is only about 15 feet above sea level today, as opposed to yesterday's photo. I will make it to the waterfront eventually!


The ship was built by Collingwood Shipyard in 1980 as Nanticoke, a "Nova St.Lawrence" class ship, intended to trade the Great Lakes and east coast, carrying bulk cargoes such as ore, coal and grain. It was named for a Lake Ontario port, site of a large Ontario Hydro coal fired generating station and a steel plant.


In 2009 the ship was assigned to the salt trade and renamed, including a new funnel mark, which represents K+S Windsor Salt Ltd's Mines Seleine subsidiary.


We will soon be requiring road salt in Halifax in view of the weather forecast, and the occasional sight of flurries offshore.

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Comings and Goings

After a rough day yesterday caused several delays in arrivals and departures, conditions were serene today and normal sailings resumed.

HMCS Ville de Québec arrived early this afternoon in bright sunshine.
 
The frigate has been exercising in the Halifax harbour approaches.


Earlier in the morning the shuttle tanker Beothuk Spirit got underway for offshore Newfoundland to take up its duties, starting at the Hibernia oil field. It had been scheduled to sail yesterday, but its very high freeboard made disembarking a pilot too dangerous. The ships flies the Canadian flag and has a Canadian crew.


The ships passes Sackville Street, and its bridge is almost at eye level from my vantage point which was at the corner of Market Street, about 100 feet above sea level.


 

Before sailing: its massive full width bridge and bow loading structure dominate this image. The ship loads its cargo from offshore installations over the bow by special connection.

Note the markings for three thrusters and bulbous bow above the loaded waterline forward.(See previous post for more detail).

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Sunday, December 3, 2017

First timers

Two ships arrived in Halifax for the first time, both under slightly unusual circumstances.
Friday night's arrival is the bulk carrier Federal Kushiro. The Marshal Islands flag ship is a frequent caller to Great Lakes ports, but has come to Halifax to top off its grain cargo since it cannot load to full capacity in the shallow waters of the Lakes.

The ship was built in2004 by Shin Kurushima, Onishi, Japan for Fednav the large Canadian shipping company operated from Montreal. It was built to near Seawaymax size with a 19,223 grt and 32,762 dwt. It carries three 30 tonne deck cranes.

It sailed onto the Lakes November 14, unloading a cargo in Hamilton, ON then proceeding to Johnstown, ON to take grain. However due to the ship's high freeboard it was difficult to get the grain to flow from that port's loading pipes. Coupled with the draft restrictions of the Seaway locks, the ship could only take a partial cargo. Topping off in Halifax should be no problem since the grain spouts are mounted high enough to reach very large ships. Rain cut short the loading operations for today however, and the ship was idle at Pier 28 this afternoon.



An unusual caller at Halterm was the Maersk Seletar. This is a US flagged ship, operating on Maersk's North Europe to east coast US service TA2 (with MSC) and is en route from New York back to Europe. The reason for its call was unclear to a casual observer, however it was noted that they were unloading reefer boxes. The demand for these in Halifax is fairly high for fish products and produce and that would be one reason for dropping off these particular containers. However the ship was working other cargo as well.


Also noted were the large number of Hamburg Süd containers, particularly aft. Maersk's takeover of Hamburg Süd cleared the final regulatory hurdle November 30 when South Korea was the 23rd jurisdiction to approve the deal (with some conditions). The arrangement now puts A.P. Moller Maersk's world-wide fleet at 773 ships (owned and chartered) including the 105 from HS. The company's container capacity is now a staggering 4.15 million TEU.

Maersk has a US subsidiary, which evolved from their takeover of Sealand Shipping a number of years ago. Maersk Line Ltd USA operates US flag ships, with US crews, but since the ships were not built in the US they are not Jones Act compliant. However since they are US owned and flagged they qualify to carry certain government and strategic cargoes that foreign carrier cannot. Maersk Seletar was built in 2007 by Hyundia Heavy Industries in Ulsan, South Korea for A.P.Moller Singapore Pte Ltd. It has a capacity of 6788 TEU, although Maersk lists a nominal capacity of 6648. (They are notoriously coy about actual ship capacity). It joined Maersk USA in June of this year.
Tonnages reported when built were 79,702 grt, 81,094 dwt, but now appear as 80,503 grt, 87,545 dwt.

Seletar is a district in Singapore, site of an early rubber plantation and a Royal Air Force Base. The latter is in development as an aerospace park.
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Thursday, November 30, 2017

New to Halifax x 2

Halifax based Clearwater Seafoods will unveil its latest clam dragger December 21 at Pier 21. The boat arrived today and made a brief foray into Bedford Basin - no doubt to show off for the folks at Clearwater's HQ on the Bedford Highway.

The ship, named Anne Risley, is the second such ship in the fleet. Like the first, the Belle Carnell (both named for the founders' mothers) this is a conversion from a Norwegian platform supply vessel. Clearwater has had success with previous generations of clam dredgers converted from suppliers, but these two are much more sophisticated.

 The ship has been given an enclosed working area and additional superstructure over what was once the cargo deck.
  Built in 2010 by Severnaya Werf in St.Petersburg and completed by Hellesoyverft, in Lofallstrand, for OH Meling + Co AS as Siddis Supplier, the ship was converted by Astilleros Santander in Spain. It sailed from Santander November 15 and arrived at Mulgrave, NS (where it will be based) on November 25. Tonnage increased from 2656 as built to 4478 as converted.


The clam dredge is worked over a stern ramp.
 It is estimated that Clearwater spent in excess of $135mn on the two vessels, not including plant upgrades in Grand Bank, NL (where Belle Carnell is based) and in Glace Bay.
Last year Clearwater caught up to its quota of surf clams for the first time.

Also arriving today fresh from the builder's yard in Geoje, South Korea, the shuttle tanker Beothuk Spirit tied up at Pier 9C. It is the first of three new winterized shuttle tankers built for Teekay Shipping on a fifteen year contract to move oil from the four offshore installations off Newfoundland: Hibernia, Terra Nova, White Rose and Hebron. The latter began production last week.


Besides the large bow structure that contains the cargo transfer gear, the ship is fitted with three forward and two aft thrusters (two forward and one aft are azimuthing - the others are tunnel type) and is classed DP2 for extremely accurate station keeping. It used two tugs on arrival, escorting it to Bedford Basin, turning it and bringing it back alongside Pier 9C starboard side to.

The 85,762 grt, 148,150 dwt ship was delivered in mid-October and sailed directly October 24 via the Panama Canal. It will outfit in Halifax before entering service. The ship will be followed very soon by the Norse Spirt which was accepted November 8, also at the Samsung Heavy Industry Shipyard. The third tanker, Dorset Spirit will be completed early in 2018. All three were named at a ceremony August 25 to honour three early cultures of Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada's eastern arctic.
Sadly the Beothuk of Newfoundland became extinct due to permanent European settlement. The Dorset were an early people of the arctic, whose extinction occurred at about the same time as the Norse arrived in 1000 to 1500 AD. They were succeeded by Thule and Innu, with whom there was apparently little if any contact.

Teekay Shipping, based in Vancouver, operates 40% of the world's shuttle tankers, most of which have been built by Samsung. These specialized tankers load at sea from monobuoys at the well sites and make relatively short trips to storage facilities or nearby refineries. They do not make the long world girdling trips of normal crude tankers. They are therefore fitted with a lot of extra gear, such as the bow loading, and station keeping equipment.

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Monday, November 27, 2017

Update on cranes

As the last of three Halterm container cranes diminishes in size. (Scrappers are dismantling it in pieces. The truck trailerable pieces are then sent off to a scrap yard for further cutting) I have reports that fourth container cane on pier 36 will not be dismantled. It is apparently used every Friday to work SPMI's Nolhanava on its weekly run to St-Pierre et Miquelon.


I assumed it might be on the list, since its boom is apparently never raised. This may be because the ship is so small it does not need to be raised. Oceanex used to use pier 36 also, but now only occasionally and then it seems only for RoRo. As the last pre-Panamax crane, its usefulness is therefore limited, even though it was built to move back and forth to pier 41-42.

Meanwhile at Fairview Cove the crane dismantling appears to be nearly complete, with no visible portions remaining above dock level.

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Sunday, November 26, 2017

T for two

Two ships arrived today and both their names begin with the letter T.

The tanker Transsib Bridge arrived from Beaumont, TX with a cargo of refined product for Imperial Oil. Operated by SCF, better known as Sovcomflot, a 100% state owned Russian corporation, the ship is also Russian built, by the Admiralty Shipyards in St.Petersburg in 2008. The company specializes in oil and gas transportation, and was founded in the Soviet era to bareboat charter ships as a means of financing fleet growth. Following its merger with Novoship in 2008, the company has become a very large operator with more than 150 ships under its control, totalling more than 13mn dwt.

 Four prominent tug markers share space on the ship's flank with locators for eight manifold connections. There is also a red flash at the foot of the gangway for pilot visibility.

Of course the ship's name celebrates the controversial Trans Siberian gas pipeline (Transsib), although the Trans Siberian Railroad is also referred to as Transsib in some quarters. It is a typical mid-range size tanker of 27,725 grt, 46,564 dwt. Managed by SCF Management Services (Dubai0 Ltd, it is flagged in Liberia.


The second T ship, is hardly a surprise visitor. Tongala is a regular caller for Wallenius Wilhelmsen since it was built in 2012 by Mitsubishi, Nagasaki. At 61,106 gert, 25,585 grt, it has a capacity of 6,459 cars, and although classed as a PCTC (pure car and truck carrier) its 300 tonne stern ramp allows it to carry a range of RoRo traffic. It has often unloaded at Pier 31 in Halifax with miscellaneous RoRo cargoes , but this time around it will only visit Autoport.

Atlantic Fir scurries to take up the bow position and Atlantic Oak makes up aft as Tongala proceeds inbound in the Middle Ground area.

Traditionally Wilhelmsen ships' names begin with the letter T. This particular ships recognizes a dairy farming town in northern Victoria, Australia.

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