Monthly Archives: February 2014

Update on AOPS

Today Federal Ministers offered an update on the AOPS Project.
The first 2 of 7 phases of the 288 million definition contract were completed on time and on budget. This contract was announced in March 2013. an additional 2 phases of the 7 phases have now authorized, valued at 53 million. (presumably phases 3 and 4) Phases 3 and 4 Include 

Engineering Design Phase 2 – This task will include the system engineering activities, integrated logistical support analysis and supplier engagement activities that are necessary to demonstrate that the Arctic/Offshore patrol ship design is a complete and integrated solution that meets all the contract design specification requirements with acceptable risk and within the cost and schedule constraints. 

Engineering Design Phase 3 – This task will include the system engineering activities, integrated logistic support analysis and supplier engagement activities that are necessary to demonstrate that the Arctic/Offshore patrol ship design is a complete and integrated solution that meets all of the contract design specification requirements and is ready for the start of vessel construction.

UPDATE: the 2 additional packages authorized were actually 3 and 5, Which are Engineering Design Phase 2 and the Project Implementation Proposal Development. The Project Implementation Proposal Development

Project Implementation Proposal Development – This task will encompass all the procurement, engineering, production and estimating activities required to develop the detailed project implementation proposal, including the required plans and a substantive cost for the implementation contract.

No Number of vessels has been set yet  – So it still stands at the vague 6-8

Fusion at Anchor

Regular caller Fusion arrived and went to anchor this morning. Her birth at pier 36 was occupied by Oceanex Sanderling. While Sanderling offers regualr service to St Johns NF, Fusion offers regular service the the French Islands of St Pierre and Miquleon, just south of the Avalon Peninsula.

Fusion has holds, and can carry container and RO-RO cargo.

Hero #8 Rolled out – CCGS M. Charles

The second to last hero class vessel was rolled out on the weekend, after the delayed launch of CCGS A. Leblanc occured last weekend.

She was rolled out for painting way back at the Beginning of October. Much work that is normally completed in the yard appears to have been done indoors, inducing installation of the crane on the rear deck, and some antennas and other equipment. Once the mast is installed, launching should occur fairly quickly.

Irma loading Wood Pelets

The Bulk carrier Irma arrived this morning for a load of grain. This year was apparently a good year for grain, and ice was causing problems on the seaway before it closed for the winter, potentially requiring changes to shipping arrangements. Draft restrictions usually cause larger bulkers to top up in Halifax, However given how high Irma is out of the water, she is empty.

Update: I received an Email from the the Port Authority. Irma is being loaded with wood pellets, not grain. I was also informed that this is the first shipment of wood pellets in a number of years.

Grain Pellets were flowing from one of the spouts when I was by this morning.  For a View of the process, this post shows the loading of Patron last year.

Addtional Update: The wood pelets in question are from the Scotia Atlantic Biomass Company, which was formed when Viridis Energy acquired a pellet plant that was dormant in 2012. It was renamed Scotia Atlantic Biomass Company Limited and refurbished before opening in September of 2013. The plant is based in Middle Musquoboit, Nova Scotia with storage and port loading facilities in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

In 2013 Viridis signed a contract with Ekman & Co., based in Sweden to distribute our pellets throughout Europe for power generation, district to heating and residential heating. Halifax is just over 3,000 km to Rotterdam, the hub import for Europe. The tremendous location enables the company to take advantage of the rapidly growing demand for pellets in Europe.

Irma is currently loading 25,000 tonnes of wood pellets that are bound for Ghent, Belgium. The value of the shipment is 3-4 million dollars. She is due to Sail on the 5th. (Below our some loading shots, Courtesy of a friendly Longshoreman (thanks!))

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.

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