Category Archives: news

Dartmouth CG Base Sold.

Finance minister just announced that Waterfront Development has purchased the Dartmouth Coast Guard Base as the location for an Ocean Technology Hub.

Update: Here is the Press Release
The former Canadian Coast Guard land on the Dartmouth waterfront will be home to an ocean innovation center.

The Waterfront Development Corporation has received approval from the provincial government to purchase the land from the federal government.

The corporation will now work with the provincial government, industry and post-secondary schools to develop the center, where ocean technology research and private sector marine businesses can work together to drive more investment, commercialization, exports and growth.

The annual global market value for ocean-related goods and services is $3 trillion.

“Nova Scotia is home to some of the world’s best ocean technology companies,” said Jim Hanlon, CEO of the Institute for Ocean Research Enterprise. “Providing this new facility as a space for collaboration and waterfront testing will allow those companies to more effectively innovate and compete globally.

“Having this as shared space brings even more value to industry and to the students who will create the next generation of ocean industries.”

More than 200 companies make up Nova Scotia’s ocean science and technology sector. Activity includes science, fisheries, aquaculture, offshore oil and gas, shipbuilding and maritime security.

“The ocean is our competitive advantage,” said Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson. “Acquiring the land is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, preserving a key site that will create new markets and opportunities for people in Nova Scotia’s marine and ocean-related sectors.”

Located at 27 Parker St., the property includes buildings, waterfront and over 850 metres of wharf and two 100 metre piers.

The property is a 9.5-acre site plus water lot. The purchase price is $6.5 million.

“Waterfront property holds great strategic value for the province and our economy,” said Colin MacLean, president and CEO, Waterfront Development Corporation. “This purchase creates an exciting opportunity to cluster ocean technology companies with Nova Scotia’s world-class marine research programs, enabling direct ocean access to support their work.”

An ocean innovation action team is in place to guide the vision and strategic direction for the ocean innovation centre.

The centre supports OneNS goals linked to business startups, exports from growth-oriented companies, and research and development partnerships.

Nova Scotia is recognized internationally for ocean research done by Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia Community College, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Royal Canadian Navy, and a growing sector of export oriented ocean technology companies.

The Canadian Coast Guard now operates from the Bedford Institute of Oceanography.

Anchor from HMCS Niobe Uncovered



An anchor, believed to have belonged to His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS)Niobe, has been unearthed at HMC Dockyard in Halifax. HMCS Niobe was the first Canadian warship to enter Canada’s territorial waters, on October 21, 1910, a landmark event in the beginnings of the Naval Service of Canada.

As fate would have it, the discovery of the roughly 900-kilo (2000-pound) anchor was made just days before the commemoration of Niobe Day, which will from now on, be celebrated annually by the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) on the 21st day of October. An excavation crew working at HMC Dockyard recovered an anchor and chain buried beneath a demolition site on the morning of October 14. The anchor has been inspected, assessed against relevant documents and photographs, and is now believed to be that of HMCS Niobe.

The anchor was unearthed at former Jetty 4, where Building D-19, a Second World War dockside warehouse and one of the first structures at HMC Dockyard, once stood and is now being demolished.

The position of the anchor speaks to a particular time and function. The direction of the chain links is consistent with the position of the Niobe’s bow when employed as a depot ship and the size is consistent with an estimated size of the links of the Niobe’s anchor in a post-Halifax Explosion photo. 
While a list of stores left behind by the Royal Navy is not available, no vessels in the newly formed Royal Canadian Navy were large enough for this size anchor except for the Niobe, or possibly the Rainbow (based in Esquimalt, BC). Additionally there would have been no other use for a heavy chain and anchor at the discovery site, except to permanently moor a large vessel such as Niobe.

After she was paid off, Niobe functioned as a depot ship from July, 1915 until 1920 moored in Halifax Harbour. The Halifax Explosion on December 6, 1917, pulled the ship’s concrete embedded anchor from the harbour floor and dragged the ship. Once re-secured to Jetty 4, additional anchors were put in place including one to the shore from the stem and one from the stern. The anchor that has been discovered is believed to be one of these three bow anchors that were used to keep Niobe in place

The dimensions of the roughly 900-kilo (2000-pound) anchor are, 4 metres (13 feet) from crown to head, 4.1 metres (13.5 feet) across the stock, and 3.35 metres (11 feet) from bill to bill of the flukes. Additionally, each link of the anchor’s chain is 51 centimetres (20 inches) by 28 centimetres (11 inches) and weighs approximately 34 kilos (75 pounds)

HMCS Iroquois to be paid off January 2015

 

As expected today’s technical briefing brought details of 4 warship decommissionings.

HMCS Iroquois will prepare for its official paying off ceremony in January 2015 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Cracks were found in the hull earlier this year, so this news was not unexpected.
 

 

 

 
HMCS Preserver is rapidly approaching the end of its operational life, which was planned for 2016. This Was a surprise announcement. 
 
  Engineering surveys conducted in recent months identified levels of corrosion in HMCSPreserver that have degraded the structural integrity of the ship below acceptable limits, specifically in the vicinity of the port side boiler room.
 
 As a result of its current material state, and considering the relatively short service life remaining for HMCS Preserver, the cost to reinstate this ship to full operational capability does not represent a responsible use of public funds. HMCS Preserver will therefore cease its operational life, remain alongside and prepare for pay off in the near future.
 
On the pacific side, 
HMCS Algonquin was involved in a collision at sea with HMCSProtecteur while conducting exercise manoeuvres en route to Hawaii. There were no injuries. The ship was able to return to its home port of Esquimalt, BC, to undergo a full damage assessment.
 
 It was assessed that HMCS Algonquin suffered extensive damage to its port side hangar and remained alongside in Esquimalt. Considering the relatively short service life remaining for HMCS Algonquin, which was scheduled to be retired in early 2019, and its current state of repair, the cost to re-instate this ship to full operational capability no longer represents a responsible use of public funds. As a result, HMCS Algonquin will begin preparations for pay off in the near future.
 
HMCS Protecteur will be officially retired after sustaining serious damage in a fire in February 2014. An extensive assessment of HMCS Protecteur has concluded that the ship was damaged beyond economical repair.
 
 Considering the relatively short service life remaining for HMCS Protecteur, which was scheduled to be retired in 2017, and its current state of repair, the cost to re-instate the ship to full operational capability would not represent a responsible use of public funds. As a result, the ship will remain alongside and be prepared for disposal as early as is practically feasible.

Group Ocean Moves East – Building Floating Dry dock in Bas-Caraquet

The New Brunswick government, the New Brunswick Naval Centre, and Group Océan  have signed an agreement aimed at reviving the shipbuilding and repair sector in Bas-Caraquet, which will generate up create up to 77 jobs and stimulate other economic spinoffs.

“Reviving shipbuilding in northern New Brunswick is important for job creation and supporting our provincial economy,” said Premier David Alward. “The arrival of Océan opens the door for shipbuilding and repair work to resume in northeast New Brunswick.”
The  tripartite agreement stipulates that Océan will establish its operations at the Naval Center of New Brunswick through a long-term lease. In the coming months, Océan will begin the first phase of the construction of a floating dry dock with a capacity of nearly 7,000 tons.

The dry dock will be constructed in three sections to reach a total length of 105 metres (350 ft.).
This large-scale equipment, which complements Océan’s current inventory, will bolster the range of services the company offers to customers. The dry dock will also meet the needs of Océan for the repair of its largest vessels. The creation of 57 to 77 jobs over a five-year period is planned under the agreement.

For Comparison, the ScotiaDock 2 was 150m, and the Novadock is 250m. this looks to be poised to bid on non NSPS government business (new naval tugs, etc) and compete for smaller repair jobs with Shelburne ship repair.

File photo above Dredge Ocean Traverse Nord taking in supplies before heading to do contract in the carribean. the Dredge was built at Ocean’s yard in Quebec.

HMCS Toronto sails for Mediterranean tommorow

Minister Nicholson will announce the immediate deployment of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Toronto to join NATO Reassurance measures in the Mediterranean.
Media are invited to attend the departure ceremony for HMCS Toronto as the ship sets sail for the Mediterranean Sea. There will be no media availability.
HMCS Toronto will be replacing HMCS Regina, which has been part of Standing NATO Maritime Forces since May 2014.
Where: Canadian Forces Base Halifax Dockyard 
 
SNMG-2 which hmcs Regina is a part is scheduled to arrive in Halifax in the near future.

HMCS Athabaskan Tow Report Released.

You Can find our Full Coverage of the HMCS Athabaskan Tow Here

The Canadian Press was able to get the May 2013 report into the tow issues with HMCS Athabaskan. I have not seen the report, so the info below is from the CP Piece. The report, obtained under access-to-information law, says the punctures require 18 square metres of steel to be replaced. Another 711 square metres of the ship needs fresh hull coating because the broken lines rubbed against the vessel, while rails, stanchions and a smashed sonar operator compartment window also have to be replaced, the report says.

the repairs would cost approximately $2 million.

The report says the Defence Department was invoiced about $546,000 by Atlantic Towing to complete the tow from Sydney, N.S., to Halifax, on top of the $707,000 the department has been billed for the initial leg of the journey by original Contract winner Group Ocean.

Investigators say the Ocean Delta,one of the two tugboats involved in the operation suddenly lost power in the Gulf of St. Lawrence between Sept-Iles, Que., and the Magdalen Islands on the morning of Dec. 26 when an air leak caused the clutch to disengage. The tug then spins around, striking the navy ship along one side while its fenders “burst as a result of the force exerted on them during the collision,” the report says.

On the 28ththe tow to Halifax resumed. Then, over a course of hours, four lines snap while the ship is about 10 kilometres off the rocky coast of Scatarie Island. The report says winds did not exceed 45 kilometres per hour and waves were between one to two metres at the time.

The first tow line snapped at 10 p.m. A search and rescue helicopter was deployed by the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre to bring personnel onto the drifting ship to secure a new line, which was done early on the morning of Dec. 29.

That tow line snapped about five hours later, and then a mooring line was used to continue the tow. But that line also broke a few hours later, and another mooring line was attached.

On Dec. 30 at about 3:40 a.m., that line broke. A third mooring line was then attached to HMCS Athabaskan to return it to Sydney.

Navy Cuts to CFAV Vessels

The Navy recently cut service on firebird to normal Business hours, monday to friday. It was also Announced by the CBC that CFAV Quest had the remainder of her sailing days cut for this fiscal year.

The cancelation of the FireBird evenings and weekends is really not a major issue. Atlantic Oak, and Atlantic Willow, are both equipped for firefighting – in fact – Firebirds days were numbered anyway, and the large tug replacement project specified the new tugs to replace the Glen class had to include fire capability. I am also only aware of her being used once in recent memory – back in 2008.

Quest Supports the work of the Defence Research Establishment. It is likely that Quest will continue to be funded, though out of research budgets of DRDC and not operational budgets of the Navy. DRDC is getting a new building at the French cable Wharf in Dartmouth, and their research activities have expanded in recent years, so it seems unlikely they would be left without a vessel. Given there are only 2 months left in the fiscal year, the number of sailing days cut is probably minimal.

Bunkering Situation Resolved – Algoma Dartmouth to Remain

Algoma Central Corporation has entered into an agreement with Sterling Fuels Limited to continue marine fuel delivery services using its bunkering vessel, Algoma Dartmouth, in the Port of Halifax and surrounding area. This new arrangement will be effective upon the expiry of current agreements for fuel delivery services on January 18, 2014.

Algoma brought the Algoma Dartmouth to Halifax harbour in 2009 to provide marine delivery services within the Harbour for marine fuels produced at the Dartmouth Refinery. With the closure of this refinery in September, 2013, the existing source of supply for marine bunker and intermediate marine fuel blends ended.

Marine fuel customers will continue to see the same Algoma team on the Algoma Dartmouth. “This vessel and crew have a distinguished track record in their performance and service since 2009. We are very pleased to keep this team together to continue to meet the Halifax area marine fuelling requirements,” said Mr. Smith.

From Sterling Fuels Release – it would appear that they are charting the vessel and the crew from Algoma. A Sterling sister company already operates the McAsphalt dock in Eastern passage near Autoport, so presumably Sterling will be importing fuel to a tank there. Sterling is also related to the Miller Group, who provide road construction and waste disposal services in HRM.

Sterling is a Bunkering provider in the Great Lakes region.

UPDATE: Apparently the McAshpalt owned Tug/barge combo Victorious / John J.Carrick are on their way to Halifax with bunker product from Quebec.

UPDATE: Victorious / John J.Carrickare due on the 23rd to the McAshphalt Dock in Eastern Passage. If Algoma Dartmouth ties up there, we will know the plan.

Will we find out the names for the Joint Support Ships today?

Yesterday a release went out to Media inviteing them to attend an important announcement concerning the Royal Canadian Navy’s Joint Support Ships at the Queenston Heights National Historic Site located at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario on October 25, 2013. 

 
Given the announcement is at a historic site, could the government be announcing the names of the vessels? Posibily with a war of 1812 theme?
 
Canadian naval vessels are not named for people, but after native tribes and rivers and Canadian cities. Could the next supply shop be HMCS Queenston?
 
I guess we will find out at 12:30 Atlantic time
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