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3.5 million to repair HMCS Sackville

The federal government today announced a contribution of up to $3.5 million to the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust for extensive repairs to HMCS Sackville.

As Canada’s oldest warship and the sole remaining Flower-class corvette, HMCS Sackville is an important part of Royal Canadian Navy history.

HMCS Sackville has been owned by the non-profit Canadian Naval Memorial Trust since the 1980s, operating seasonally on the Halifax waterfront as Canada’s Naval Memorial and a museum ship.

Most of the repair work is expected to be completed at the Fleet Maintenance Facility (FMF) Cape Scott located within Her Majesty’s Canadian (HMC) Dockyard Halifax.

Tours and visits to HMCS Sackville will be discontinued until the repairs are completed, which, pending an assessment, is expected to be in summer 2018.

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Addtional Announced CSC Bids

Bids for the CSC were due today, and 2 additional bids have been publicly announced. the French/Italian consortium has proposed their FREMM Design, used by France, Italy, morocco and Egypt, and under consideration by Australia. in an interesting twist, the consortium maintains the 15 ships can be built by Irving at the original 30 billion project estimate.

A bid was also received from Alion Canada, offering the Dutch  Provincien Command frigate. this ship went into service with the dutch navy in the early 2000’s so is only somewhat newer then the current Halifax class. I have no record of this ship class visiting Halifax.

UPDATE:

A 4th bid has been announced coming from Spanish firm Navanta. The F-105 is a variation of the Spanish Álvaro de Bazán-class frigates and is the basis for the Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen class (Pictured above), and the under construction Australian Hobart Class.  The ships use the American Ageis system.

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Athabaskan to be Scrapped

The federal government issued a tender to “dispose of, through Ship Breaking, the former HMCS ATHABASKAN”

This means she is to be scrapped, rather then preserved as a museum ship. You can read the Tender at https://buyandsell.gc.ca/procurement-data/tender-notice/PW-ERD-003-26503

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Halterm Upgrades Yard Equipment

Halterm yesterday announced the purchase of new equipment.

The terminal will be spending 10Million Dollars over the next year to increase refer capacity by 25%, as well as purchasing 3 Kone Rubber Tire Gantries (or RTG). The 3 units are expected to be delivered in February (1) and October (2) of next year. The New RTG’s will straddle a container stack 5 high, and 6 wide.

The terminal also recently began scraping the 3 original container cranes. Small, and unused, they took up space at the end of the pier.

This continues a recent history of new equipment since the Installation of the New Super Post Panamax Cranes in 2014. Earlier this year the Terminal took delivery of new Kone Reachstackers

Kalmar Ottawa Yard tractors and Toplifts.

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New Feature – The Port Report

we have launched a New Feature on our site – The Port Report. you can Reach it at http://halifaxshippingnews.ca/portreport.php

This report generates on demand, and updates every 2 hours. It currently features the latest posts on HSN,  Weather, Wind & Sea Conditions, and Arrivals & Departures.

We will be looking to add new information and features to the report, and are happy to entertain requests and comments.

 

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The Last Tribal, HMCS Athabaskan to be Paid off in March

Next weeks Council agenda contains an item for DND requesting a Flypast. March 10. For the paying off of HMCS Athabaskan. The good news, is that this paying off includes a Sailpast.

the Motion Reads:

That Halifax Regional Council grant permission for the Royal Canadian Air Force to conduct a low-level flyby, as low as 500 feet over the water, of two CH-124 Sea Kings as they escort HMCS ATHABASKAN during the final sail past on Friday, March 10, 2017 in conjunction with the paying off ceremony.

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2016 – Year in Review

Container Shipping Events:

ACL’s New G4 Vessels made maiden appearances with Atlantic Star, Atlantic Sail and Atlantic Sea making appearances. ACL also committed to the Port of Halifax until 2022 and projects a doubling of volume.

May brought the arrival of CMA-CGM Tage, at 9300teu, the largest container ship to call in Halifax, and the first to have the accommodation block forward. Her sister CMA-CGM Rhone called in December.  Dinkeldeip was replaced on the St. Pierre Run by Nolhanava. Halterm also picked up some new Toplifts, and Yard Tractors.

OffShore Events:

in offshore news, the Stenna Icemax drill rig, working for shell lost its riser in heavy weather. a eplacement was shipped, assembled at pier 9, and delivered to the IceMax. the Delay caused the charter of Jones Tide to End Early. All Seas pipe Layer Audacia also stopped in port to pick up supplies.

RCN Events:

In Navy News, HMCS Toronto finished FELEX, marking the end of that program. HMCS St Johns was deployed, and had prework done on the Synchrolift. SPS Patiño filled in for HMCS Preserver, as fleet AOR. Preserver was Decommissioned in October. HMCS Iroquois was also towed for scrap.  The RCN also Hosted Exercise Cutlas Furey which brought visits from a number of foreign Naval Vessels.

Visiting Naval vessels include USS Hampton, USCGC Neah Bay, ARM Cuauhtémoc, USS New Mexico, USS DetroitARC Gloria, USCGC Tahoma,USCGC Bristol Bay

Other Events:

The Yarmouth Ferry came back, this time run by Bay Ferries (again) and with a new High Speed Catermaran vessel (Again) leased from the US Navy. Nova Star, the previous operator declared bankruptcy. In the Bulk Carrier world, CSL and Algoma Bought vessels from Oldendorf, who was one of there Vessel pool partners, renaming them.  Svitzer bought a tug, and setup an operation in Montreal. Former Svitzer tug Point Vim also returned, moving cable by barge to Newfoundland.

Shipyard Events:

The HMCS Harry Dewolf AOPS continued construction and steel was cut for construction of the second ship. Atlantic Towing also bought 2 new Supply Vessels. The tops arrived separately from the Bottoms. Some assembly required.

The Year Ahead:

So what to expect for 2017? The major shakeups in container lines alliances to take effect. The Arrival of Tropic Shipping January 9th, from Saint Johns. Expect to see the final 2 ACL G4 Vessels to Appear, and the roll-out of HMCS Harry Dewolf for mega block assembly in the spring. Also Tall ships are coming.

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Sydney MegaPort!?!!

so the port of Sydney Nova Scotia is attempting to develop a megaport called Nova Port. The Idea is that it will be the Newest and greatest port on the east coast, and container lines and their 18000 TEU ships will flock to the port. The development is being done by SHIP Sydney Harbour Investment Partners, which includes China Communications Construction Company, Canderel Group, and Bechtel.

yesterday they announced a partnership with Ports America to run the thing. SHIP has said that they will start construction as soon as they sign up sufficient business. Its not going to happen.

First, Sydney Isn’t close to anything. getting containers to and from the port will be a pain. Sydney is 4 hours further up the road from Halifax, and the rail line, Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway, is near abandonment, having seen the last train from Sydney in December 2014 and likely in need of a massive overhaul to carry container traffic. A previous container service by Terra Transport via Marine Atlantic ferry  to Newfoundland, was re-routed to Halifax in 1997.  – in part because CN was uninterested in running trains to Cape Breton, favoring Halifax instead. this likely hasen’t changed, and its doubtful  CN will be interested in having to deal with the traffic, as will will only serve to slow down their existing trains.

Second, they keep referring to attracting Ultra Large container vessels, however no line currently has them calling on the East Coast of North America. while this might change, the large volumes occur in the pacific trade, and can justify these vessel sizes. its unlikely they will make the trip around when the smaller classes already service the routes with excess capacity.

Third – the only way they can make a business case is if they can keep the cost of container handling lower then any other East coast port. Since most of the costs to handle containers is labour, they will either automate, reducing jobs, or attempt to keep the facility non union and pay lower wages then any other port.

Finally, of note, Ports America abandoned its lease in Oakland, declaring bankruptcy for its operation there. That terminal handled 1/5th the traffic in the port of Oakland, which ran 2.4 million teu’s in 2014. Port Americas share of traffic in Oakland was about 100,000teu more then that entire port of Halifax handled last year. If they cant make that operation work – how are they going to make Sydney work.

My thought is SHIP is basically playing with other peoples money. They will make money whether anything is built or not. they will collect management fees, market the investment opportunity, and collect government subsidies. I don’t think any major shipping line is ever going to want to call on Sydney, and this mega port will never be built.

Look, Sydney NS does have a business case for port development. It has an excellent location in the Gulf of St Lawrence, close to Newfoundland. and inland waters. Its a central location for a tug base, or many other marine services. But a mega container port. no way.

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Coast Guard looks for interim Icebreakers and towing Vessels

From the RFI:
Due to age and reduced availability of the icebreaking fleet, the Coast Guard anticipates that it may require additional icebreaking capacity provided by one (1) to five (5) Icebreakers (Heavy, Medium, or Light) at various times over the next number of years. Accordingly, the CCG must investigate potential bridging strategies to address potential
gaps in service.
The Icebreaking capable vessels that are approaching the limit of their notional operational life and undergoing Vessel Life Extensions (VLEs) to keep them in service until replacement vessels can be built and delivered via the National Shipbuilding Strategy. The VLEs are scheduled to take place from 2017 until 2023, with up to three (3) vessels undergoing repairs each year. While efforts are being made to minimize work that would occur during an icebreaking season, the VLE work will remove some vessels from service for a significant period of time.
The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) currently has two (2) Heavy Ice Breakers (HI), four (4) Medium Icebreakers (MI), and nine (9) Multi-Task Light Icebreakers in its inventory. The Coast Guard deploys these vessels in Canada’s Arctic waters during the late-Juneto mid-November period (the Arctic season), and South of 60oLatitude from the December to May period (the Southern season). The vessels are based in Quebec City, Quebec; Dartmouth, Nova Scotia; Victoria, British Columbia and Argentia and St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Coast Guard is also looking at commercial towing options for standby tugs. the John 1 Incident (we covered that tow well) was specifically mentioned as a case where this service would have been beneficial. It looks like the government is looking to buy the services of an existing company.
Given the number of out of work offshore supply vessels – some of which are ice class, there should be some interesting responses.
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New Container service for Halterm

With Saint John NB changing container terminal operators from Logistec to DP World, Effective January 9th, 2017, Tropical Shipping will move its port operations to Halterm Container Terminal.

Tropical Shiping specializes in shipping cargo to the Caribbean, and around the Caribbean. It sounds like a weekly service is coming to Halifax.

The Port of Saint John has launched a C$205 million project over seven years to modernize the Rodney and Navy Island terminals to accommodate larger vessels and expand laydown areas for breakbulk and project cargoes. DP World Saint John recently took delivery of two post panamax container cranes.

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