This week in the Herald, I cover the announcement that Group Ocean will be building 4 new Tugs for the Navy. These will replace the 5 Glen Class tugs, and 2 Fire Class boats. 3 Glen Tugs are currently stationed in Halifax. Firebird was retired and sold in 2014. The remaining 2 tugs and fire-boat are in service in Esquimalt.
The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) has responded to a complaint by Heiltsuk Horizon Maritime Services, recommending a review of a key performance requirement in the process to procure two emergency towing vessels for the protection of Canada’s West Coast.
As a bid participant, Heiltsuk Horizon – a partnership of majority partner Heiltsuk Nation of Bella Bella, British Columbia and Horizon Maritime Services Limited, registered a complaint last August that the winning supplier did not meet important safety requirements of the tender process.
I wrote about the issues with the towing contract in this Chronicle Herald Piece when the Atlantic Towing vessels headed west. Heiltsuk Horizon has not publicly disclosed the vessels they bid on the project, though based on other charters they were likely tidewater tugs.
In a letter to Heiltsuk Horizon, the Tribunal recommends the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada reevaluate the “bollard pull” (towing power) of the vessels in all bids received and also awards Heiltsuk Horizon costs incurred in submitting the complaint.
“The contract was awarded in the absence of the required proof that the vessels met the mandated towing power,” said Chief Operating Officer Steven Widmeyer, Horizon Maritime Services Limited. “We hope this recommendation leads to a reconsideration of our Heiltsuk Horizon vessels, which are in accordance with recommendations of the 2018 Emergency Towing Vessel Needs Assessment by the Clear Seas Center for Responsible Marine Shipping.”
The CITT letter recommends no further expenditures be made on the awarded contract until a review is complete and also lays out potential actions to be taken post-review, including cancellation of the existing contract.
The Heiltsuk Nation, currently in reconciliation discussions with Canada, teamed up with Horizon Maritime to form Heiltsuk Horizon, following the devastating Nathan E. Stewart oil spill in its territory in October 2016.
the Woodward group products tanker Qikiqtaaluk W, has been anchored off Halifax for a number of days, and will be towed into port.
The Tugs Atlantic Oak and Spitfire III will be conducting the move from the outer anchorages to Pier 31. The ship sailed from Montreal on the 23rd, bound for Savannah Ga. under the Marshal Islands flag. it arrived off Halifax on the afternoon of the 26th, and has remained there since.
The Ship was built in Turkey in 2011, and is Ice Class A1. The Newfoundland Based Coastal Shipping is owned by the Woodward group, and spends the summer resupplying the arctic. in the winter, ships are laid up or charted out under foreign flags.
Update: After raising the anchor, the ship actully sailed into the harbour, turned around at anchorage 1, and sailed out again. where it picked up the tugs that brought it back into harbour as a dead ship move.
For whatever reason (probably waterfront construction) Theodore Too will spend the summer operating out of Saint John NB. a fixture of the Halifax Waterfront, He has traveled before with the Tall ships regatta, into the US, and the great lakes on good will tours. Work as a promotional piece for Halifax is a good reason for him to travel, though moving him to liven up the Saint John waterfront is weak. (Send the Harbour Hoppers, Haligonians seem to hate those)
the TV Show Theodore Tugboat ran between 1993 and 2001. The Big Harbour is based on Halifax, and Theodore himself is the personification of the Tugs at Eastern Towing and Salvage, such as Point Vim (below). the models and the Set from the show are on display at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.
The Navy went looking to Purchase 4 new Large tugs to replace the Glen and Fire Class Boats in 2012. That procurement hasn’t gone anywhere, and the government is now looking at the price and availability to charter tugs for 5 years, with options on renewal for up to 20 additional years. They are looking at four tugs; Two for the East Coast; and Two for the West Coast.
The Stated requirements are:
•Twin engine/propulsion plant capable of delivering an approximate bollard pull of 40 tons or an equivalent total power of 4,000 BHP;
•Firefighting capability (FiFi 1);
•Full speed of at least 12 knots (fully loaded);
•Draft not to exceed 6 meters;
•Vessels not to exceed 5 years of age at the start of the contract.
•Preferred length overall not to exceed 33 metres;
•The vessels will be operated by a civilian crew holding Transport Canada certification;
•The tugs must have a Transport Canada Certificate of Registration;
•The vessels must meet regulatory requirements to operate in Canada and be in full compliance with the Canada Shipping Act; and
•Daily in harbour operations consisting of hot or cold moves of existing and future warships up to 25,000 tons displacement;
•Assisting in closing harbour gates, delivering supplies or fresh water, buoy operations and other routine harbour tasks
Interestingly, they are looking at both Bareboat Charter, or as a Time Charter. In a bareboat charter, the Navy would crew the vessels and only pay for using the Hardware (Much like leasing a car) the other option would be to provide a fully crewed tug, available on 15 min notice for an hourly rate. this is very much the arrangement commercial shippers use when they pay for tug services. The difference is that the tugs would be dedicated to navy use
The Nova Dock was moved from the shipyard to Woodside at noon today.
4 Mckiel tugs had shown up in the past few days, and they appear to be working the Nova Dock. Salvor, Tim Mckeil, Beverly M1 and Lois M are all present, and tied up on the dock, moving it to woodside. the trip left late, at 1pm, and arrived around 6pm.
The Nova Docks Canadian Registry was closed August 18th, And I have been told she has been sold to International Ship Repair of Miami Fl.
The plan is the cut the dock in Half, then tow each half to Florida.
the dock was built in 2 pieces and assembled on delivery.
The tug Svitzer Wombi made port today. Svitzer recently purchased 3 Chinese tugs in May 2014 for use in Australia, though word was one was sent north to be used in Point Cartier PQ at the Cargill grain Facility there.
On her arrival today, the Aussie Name was very small, and the Letters Svitzer Cartier could be seen under the blue paint, Suggesting that will be her name. weld marks for Svitzer Wombi could also bee seen under the paint.
She was built in 2006 by the San Lin Shipyard as Hai Gang 107 and was flagged in Shang Hai China. She is equipped with 2 x Voith-Schneider drives. I expect she will hang out at ECTUG until registered in Canada.
(Above) Tug and Tow Connected via Chains (Below) Closeup of towing arrangement, Does not appear to be using Australian Spirits Anchor Chains.
(Above) Chain Towing Bridle, Attached to a cable. the Cable will be payed out when they get to open ocean. (Below) Tow passing the ferry track
(Above) Tug Janus Leading the Way. (Below) Atlantic Oak, Atlantic Larch and Atlantic Willow (Not visible on other side) steer the stern
With the Seismic Fleet starting to arrive, I have received information on who to expect.
Mainport Pine and Scotian Sea are both tied up at Pier 24/25 and will be working as the supply vessels for the Fleet.
Western Patriot is also tied up at Pier 26, and will be joined by Seismic Vessels Western Neptune; Western Pride; Western Regent; Geco Diamond; and Ocean Odyssey.
Tugs Beverly M1 and Atlantic Fir will serve as Guard Boats.