Yearly Archives: 2020

The end of the ECTug Wharves

The former Foundation maritime wharves, now known as ECTug (short for Eastern Canada Towing and Salvage) which was what foundation maritime became when spun off from Foundation Co. (now AECON). ECTUG is now Svizter Canada.

Halifax has a history of Sea Stories, Men Left Halifax to fight in multiple wars, Privateers returned with their captured prizes. The stories that came out of Foundation Maritime were so immense, they filled 2 volumes by Farley Mowat; Grey Seas Under, and The Serpents Coil.

Foundation Maritime grew out of the Foundation Company of Canada, which was a construction firm who owned barges and dredges for constructing Harbour works. They needed a Tug, and found the Laid up ex HMS Frisky, renamed Gustavo Ipland, in Hamburg Germany. They purchased her, and Named her Foundation Franklin in 1930.

Having a tug, eventually led to it being chartered for salvage work, and Foundation Maritime was born. As the years went on, many additional tugs were purchased and chartered, and the business expanded to include terminal operations, towing and salvage. Foundation Maritime shrewdly perusing Business and ships in distress.

For much of its early years, even finding a ship in distress was a problem. Modern electronic navigation systems were not invented yet, and ships were guided by the stars. in a storm, or cloud cover, it could be days before you could confirm your position. This is also the case with the distressed vessel being sought. their position was days old, and may not have even been correct to begin with. if you could reach them on the radio, it might have been possible to RF Direction find them,Though during the wars, this was a asking to be sunk by a uboat.

The Foundation Company of Canada Still exists today as the construction firm AECON. Foundation Maritime Sold its tugs in 1973, Leading to the formation of Eastern Canada Towing and Salvage (EcTug). the tugs retained their names, however Point was substituted for Foundation in their names. ECTug was then acquired, and eventually became Svitzer Canada.

In 2010 they signed a MOU with Atlantic towing, With Atlantic Towing taking over Halifax operations, and Svitzer working Port Hawksbury/ Straight of Canso area. Svitzer last used the wharf in 2015, and Sold the property to Develop Nova Scotia last year.

More recently, the Atlantic Piliots Authority has made use of the wharves.

The foundation Maritime wharves still stand, at the foot of Salter St. for a few more days, to be replaced by a single new wharf to support marina operations.

Largest Container Ship to Call in Canada

Take that west coast ports.

This morning, the largest containerized cargo vessel to call at a Canadian port arrived at the Port of Halifax. The CMA CGM Brazil, 366 metres length, 51 metres beam and 15,072 TEU capacity, berthed at PSA Halifax at approximately 12:00 a.m. ADT.

Placed on end, it would be the third tallest structure in Canada, after the CN Tower, and the INCO Superstack in Sudbury. The ship entered service in in May of this year, and is likely on its first trip.

COSCO Himalayas, at 14,200teu called at Prince Rupert in 2017 and held the previous record for largest ship to call in Canada

The CMA CGM Brazil sails on the weekly Columbus JAX service, from South Asia to the East Coast of America. With a terminal area of 32 ha, a quay length of 1,045m and a depth of 16.5m, PSA Halifax is the only port in Eastern Canada that can accommodate ultra-class vessels.

This inaugural call of the CMA CGM Brazil comes shortly after the arrival of Eastern Canada’s largest ship-to-shore super post-Panamax crane in July 2020, bringing the total number of SPPX cranes at PSA Halifax to five. The Halifax Port Authority is in the final stage of completion of a deep-water berth extension which will bring the total quay length to 800 meters to meet the growing deployment of Ultra Class Container Vessels.

the ship is currently scheduled to sail at 11:30. this may change however.

UPDATE: Firm Pilot order for 13:30.

Scandi Neptune at Pier 9

The offshore construction vessel Scandi Neptune is currently tied up alongside at Pier 9. The ship was contracted to remove well heads, at either the Sable or Deep Panuke projects.

the ship is Currently mobilizing for the work, having arrived from St. John’s NF.

Noble Regina Allen loaded.

The Noble Regina Allen was loaded aboard the GPO Amethyst Monday morning, and is in the process of being secured for transport.

go get a good look, this will likely be the last oil platform to come into or out of Halifax for a while.

UPDATE: the Ship is set to depart at 8PM tonight.

Ortolian Gamma for ACL

Ortolan Gamma arrived last Friday for ACL filling in for Atlantic Star which is currently at Gdansk, Poland, likely for a work period.

of note, ACL is reflagging its ships. the UK Seafarers union RMT issued a statement:

The ACL fleet was registered in the Port of Liverpool from 2016, when the Atlantic Sea was christened by Princess Anne, the first in Liverpool for fifty years. Yet earlier this week, ACL re-flagged one of its sister ships Atlantic Sky to the Maltese register – a Flag of Convenience and the biggest shipping register in the EU. ACL’s owners Grimaldi Group have warned that the rest of the ACL G4 ships on the Red Ensign are also likely to be re-flagged.

ACL has been threatening to reflag it ships since 2018 over concerns over no deal Brexit. Several other shipping lines have been doing the same. the full release can be found here

Last of the Montreal Strike Container Traffic

The Strike in Montreal ended with a 7 month truce this past Sunday. Several ships at anchor departed and sailed for Montreal. Genoa Express (above) hung on, and completed cargo work before sailing. Quebec express also hung around, and is currently at the pier at Fairview Cove (below).

MSC Brianna called this week, as the first stop of a 6 month contract for 2500teu/per week to come to Halifax. this is new business, and may be a hedge against winter delays and further labour action.

Princess for Sable decommissioning.

The Boskalis tug Princess put into Halifax fro a brief fuel and supply stop Tuesday, before heading for Mulgrave. The tug will likely be collecting one of the Sable offshore platforms for delivery to the UK Recyclers.

Halifax Fire’s Rescue boat 13 is Passing in the Foreground.