Monday, February 8, 2016

CMA CGM - stopped and drifting

The container ship CMA CGM Titus has been stopped off Halifax since midnight.

The ship left port at around 2130 hours and after disembarking its pilot set out on its normal course for New York however at about midnight its speed dropped off from better than 13 knots to .4 knots and the ship began a leisurely drift southward.

With severe weather approaching from the southwest it seems a strange thing to do. It is possible that the ship is carrying out some routine maintenance that would have kept it in port beyond its normal sailing time.

The 96,817 grt, 109,000 dwt ship was built in 2011 and has a container capacity of 8465 TEU, and is on the Columbus Loop service of  CMA CGM in partnership with UASC and CSCL.

For a photo of the ship, see yesterday's Halifax Shipping News


Saturday, February 6, 2016

HMCS Iroquois - what a difference a year makes

It was just over eleven months ago that I took a picture of HMCS Iroquois from the harbour ferry Christopher Stannix. At that time the Tribal class destroyer was alongside at HMC Dockyard, with a shore feed of steam and some members of her crew removing ice from her deck.

Today (as she was last week, when I misidentified her originally) she is boomed off at November Bravo with no signs of life. Not only that her pennant number has been painted over and her aerials and weaponry are gone.

No announcement has been made about her disposal yet, but let's hope that when spring comes she is on her way to Sorel to be preserved.


Friday, February 5, 2016

Nordana Sky damaged

The cargo ship Nordana Sky was damaged in the Kiel Canal Lock in Brunsbuttel Germany this morning. The ship was entering the lock which was partially occupied by the container ship Vera RainbowNordana Sky was unable to come to a stop in time and "rear-ended" the container ship.

Nordana Sky is still "listed" on the Canadian Registry, and was operated by Transport Desgagnés during 2015 on charter. It may have been reflagged since it returned to Europe, but was due back in Canada again next summer. A frequent caller in Pugwash, NS to load salt it also visited a number of Atlantic Canada and Quebec ports last year.

It had departed from St.Petersburg headed for the Suez Canal when the incident occurred and has now been detained. Damage was reported to both ships, so there will be a trip to a shipyard in the offing.

Nordana Sky was built by the Ferus Smit Shipyard in Leer, Germany in 2015. Soon after delivery in February 2015 as Symphony Sky, and under the Singapore flag, it was chartered  to Nordana, registered in the Netherlands and renamed. It arrived in Quebec City May 15, 2015 and was reflagged to Canada May 20. Its current status as "listed" versus "registered in Canada" is one I have never seen before, but I assume it acknowledges a continuing management by Desgagnés, but a return to the Netherlands flag. 


Thursday, February 4, 2016

MSC Cristiana - something different for MSC

The Medterranean Shipping Comany, better known as MSC, and for more than ten years the number two container shipping company in the world after Maersk, is not well known for its other shippping interests which include tankers and even autocarriers.
Today may have been the first time an MSC auto carrier has called in Halifax.

The ship appears to be fairly freshly painted. There is some black overspray on the white around the bow and along the side.

MSC Cristiana wears the black and white colours and yellow funnel of MSC, but also sports a pair of white stripes. That is really all that distinguishes it from the many other auto carriers that ply the seas. Most autocarriers are built in Japan and Korea, but this one was built by STX Dalian in Wafagdian, China.
(STX is a Korean builder, and at one time fourth largest shipbuilder in the world. It established the yard in Dalian as part of its global expansion. About a year ago the yard was declared bankrupt and liquidated.)

The ship is longer than many autocarriers, giving it greater capacity.

MSC Cristiania, dating from 2011 is owned by MSC and flies the Panama flag.(Most of MSC's container ships are charters.) It measures 59,835 grt, 22,287 dwt, with a car capacity of 6,700.
Its last port was Sagunto, Spain and before that ports in Italy and Turkey, Malaysia and Singapore.


Monday, February 1, 2016

UASC More Big - for now

The Columbus Loop service operated jointly by CMA CGM, China Shipping (CSCL) and United Arab Shipping (UASC) brought in another of their large ships today. UASC Umm Qasr at 9034 TEU ties sister ship UASC Zamzam , which arrived here 2015-10-17, as the largest container ships to call in Halifax.

The tug Atlantic Larch makes fast at the bow as UASC Umm Qasr looms out of the fog.

This is the first call for the ship on the Columbus Loop service that started in August 2015, but got into full swing in October. Those calls (15 ships) in the fourth quarter of 2015 boosted the Port of Halifax's yearly statistics into positive growth territory compared to last year's fairly dismal numbers.

The big ship begins its turn to back in to Halterm. The tug Atlantic Oak is on the starboard quarter assisting in the move.

There is much speculation on the future of these joint services as mergers come into play. One of the Columbus Loop partners, CSCL, has been forced to merge with China Ocean Shipping Co (Cosco) by the Chinese government. The two lines participate in competing alliances and it is any body's guess how that will shake out.

With Maersk breathing down everyone's neck, other lines are competing for business, with an oversupply of ships and diminished deamand.


Sunday, January 31, 2016

BIO Fire and Dockyard Spill

With little shipping activity to view, a trip around Halifax harbour today still revealed a few itrems of note.
At around 1635 this afternoon a fire broke out at a building on the grounds of the Bedford Institute, close to dock. At first there was rapidly rising black smoke, typical of fire fueled by a source such as an oil tank. Within ten minutes or so it appeared that the fuel had burned off and the smoke became whiter as portions of the building began to burn.

From the Halifax side of the harbour the fire appeared to be contained in a single storey building not connected to the main BIO complex. It also did not appear to threaten any of the ships that were alongside.  Fire department resources were called in from around Dartmouth and from Halifax and soon extinguished the fire.
Hard by the MacKay bridge, the fire sent up a plume of jet back smoke at first. CCGS Hudson, CCGS Matthew and CCGS M.Perley were near the fire but did not appear to be threatened.

Meanwhile at HMC Dockyard, HMCS Athabaskan* was still boomed off today after a fuel spill January 22.  The ship was fueling from HMCS Preserver (now a sort of navy filling station, that does not go to sea) when about 800 liters escaped.

Canada's only active destroyer, Athabaskan* is soon to be retired and has suffered a litany of problems in recent months.

The spill was mostly contained in a boom and was cleaned up quickly, but no cause has been revealed. It appears that the problem was aboard Athabaskan* and it has been incarcerated until fixed. 

* Except for the fact that the photo shows Iroquois most of the above is true. Iroquois has been decommissioned and was apparently moved to this jetty recently as part of a shuffle of ships within the Dockyard. Athabaskan is elsewhere and my not be boomed off at all.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

BBC HAREN - a question of timing and luck

No sooner had Halterm announced the impending acquisition of some new shoreside equipment to the tune of $4.5 mn than they had a container crane failure while unloading the ship BBC Haren.

Container spreader on the ground and slack wires - a sure sign of trouble.

On Tuesday Halterm said they will acquire 3 front-end loaders, 8 intermodal tractors and 5 RoRo terminal tractors in the second Quarter of this year.
Some Halterm gear is getting a bit ragged. [file photo]
 [file photo]
Perhaps the new tractors will be like this Terberg demonstrator parked at pier 29 recently. It has the dealer's sticker NC Nielsen on the windshield. Terbergs are built in the Netherlands, and Nielsen is from Denmark.Note the rotated driver's seat that allows for better visibility for backing.

Halterm has already spent an undisclosed amount refitting the number one (southernmost) crane on Pier C during the past year, but it malfunctioned today and had to be removed from service. The other three cranes on Pier C were working on Zim Luanda and it wasn't until after 1530 that the number 2 crane could be moved into position to work BBC Haren

The second crane in line moves into position after finishing work on the Zim Luanda. The slack wires are sagging from the number one crane's boom. The government inspector's grey car is parked astern of the ship.

Fortunately it does not appear that there was any damage to crane, ship or cargo but the cargo was a high hazard one and perhaps they were lucky. Also the ship is a small one, with a small quantity of containers to unload, so it was not held up for a  long. The tank/containers were plastered with radioactive warning labels, and there was at least one government inspector on board the ship taking photos.

Special casks contain radioactive material. Uranium hexafluoride is a favourite such cargo.

BBC Haren is a member of the large BBC Chartering (Briese Schiffahrts) fleet of Haren (Ems), Germany and flies the Antigua and Barbuda flag. Built in 2010 by Damen Yichang (the Dutch company's Chinese  shipyard) as Beluga Loyalty, it was renamed BBC Haren  in 2011. It then dropped the BBC and sailed as Haren from 2012 to 2015 before adding the BBC again. A multipurpose ship of 7878 grt, 11,000 dwt, it carries two 80 tonne cranes that can perform a combined lift of 160 tonnes. It has a container capacity of 671 TEU, has box shaped holds and pontoon type hatch covers that are handled with a traveling gantry.

The bespoke logistics company Peters and May Group, specialists in race car, superyacht, and boat tranport have reserved space on the ship. Although it is too late for you to send your yacht south from Halifax there is still space from Port Everglades to Antigua and Saint Thomas after the Key West Race, but in time for the RORC600.

The ship was carrying one boat on deck - completely rigged and ready to sail away once it is offloaded in warmer waters. Lagua is an Italian catamaran motorsailor en route from the Med to the Carib for the season.