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LNG: the fuel of the future for container ships, or a ‘disastrous’ option?

LNG: the fuel of the future for container ships, or a ‘disastrous’ option?

By Mike Wackett

By the end of next year, 20-25 per cent of the global containership fleet will be fitted with scrubbers, enabling those vessels to consume lower-cost heavy fuel oil (HFO) blends, predicts Alphaliner. Moreover, it expects 2M alliance partners Maersk and MSC to have their combined 62-strong 18,000-23,000 TEU ULCV fleet to be equipped with scrubbers by 2021.

After 1 January, it will be illegal for ships to bunker fuel with a sulphur content above 0.5 per cent, unless they are fitted with exhaust gas cleaning ‘scrubber’ systems. The consultant said that, at 15 October, the number of containerships already fitted with scrubbers was 142, “with a long line being retrofitted or waiting to enter yards”. (more…)

Damen launches two road ferries for BC Ferries

Damen launches two road ferries for BC Ferries

In the space of just a few weeks, two 81-metre road ferries for BC Ferries have been launched at Damen Shipyards Galati and are now being fitted ahead of entering service next year. Once operational, they will be capable of carrying up to 300 passengers and crew, and 47 vehicles.

The ferries were built to Damen’s Road Ferry 8117E3 design and the order was secured following an extensive, multi-phased, international tender process. BC Ferries is currently undertaking a fleet renewal. The twin Damen Road Ferry 8117E3 will serve the Northern Gulf Islands off the coast of Vancouver, replacing vessels that are now over fifty years old. (more…)

Does Canada have a strategic plan to enhance its fleet of icebreakers?

Does Canada have a strategic plan to enhance its fleet of icebreakers?

By K. Joseph Spears

Since Canada is an Arctic nation, there is a strong requirement for icebreaker capability in our Arctic waters. The Canadian Coast Guard, operating within Fisheries and Oceans Canada, is tasked with providing the necessary icebreakers in support of its own mandate and other government operations (search and rescue, hydrographic work and resupply, to name just a few). These are hard-working ships, with experienced crews who often work in hostile environments. Interestingly, former CBC  National news anchor Peter Mansbridge, a former Churchill, Manitoba resident, described his time aboard Canadian Coast Guard heavy icebreaker’s CCGS Louis St. Laurent in the Northwest Passage as among his most cherished moments in broadcasting. Yet, Canada’s icebreakers are old, with the average age of Canadian icebreakers being just shy of 40 years, which adversely impacts their operational readiness and reliability. (more…)

Brand new container ships enhance Halifax reefer trade

Brand new container ships enhance Halifax reefer trade

By Keith Norbury

Tropical Shipping expects to debut a second brand-new container ship on its Halifax run by this July to transport fresh and frozen foods and other products to the Caribbean. “It may even be earlier, but we’re going public with saying early July,” said Gordon Cole, the company’s Assistant Vice-President for Canada, Hispaniola, and the Virgin Islands. (more…)

Tropic Hope among new class of vessels being put into service by Tropical Shipping

By Tom Peters

The sleek new container vessel Tropic Hope made its inaugural call to the port of Halifax in January, launching a new era for niche carrier Tropical Shipping.

Tropical Shipping, headquartered in Florida, moved its sailing service to Halifax from Saint John in January 2017 and operates weekly between the Nova Scotia port and Palm Beach, Florida, as well as to Puerto Rico, the Eastern Caribbean and the Virgin Islands. The line calls Halifax’s South End terminal, operated by Halterm, moving between 40,000 and 50,000 TEUs annually. Tropical is the premiere carrier for temperature controlled cargo in the Caribbean, said Gordon Cole, Tropical’s Assistant Vice-President in Saint John. The shipping line maintains its administrative offices and a staff of 22 in the New Brunswick city. The carrier transports products such as french fries and other foods to the Caribbean, and returns with pharmaceuticals and other products. (more…)