Friday, 24 February 2017 08:56

448 SBITethys1

A recent loader at Kinder Morgan’s Vancouver Wharves was the new Ultramax bulk carrier SBI Tethys, with a distinctive Axe Bow (vertical bow) design, one of several such vessels owned and operated by Scorpio Bulk Carriers. The company is incorporated in the Republic of The Marshall Islands and has principal executive offices in Monaco and New York.

Built by Chengxi Shipyard, Co Ltd; Jiangyin, PRC
Owned and operated by Scorpio Bulkers Inc (SBI)
LOA 199.99m
Beam 32.29m
GRT 34,447 tons
DWT 61,190 MT
Liberian flag

448 SBITethys2 448 SBITethys3

Scorpio Bulkers Inc. embarked on an ambitious expansion program in recent years and now operates a fleet of 40 modern bulk carriers in the Kamsarmax and Ultramax sectors, the oldest of which was delivered in 2015. A further five vessels are scheduled for delivery in 2017. Underlining the continuing struggles of the dry bulk sector, the company’s CEO Mr. Emanuele Lauro last year confessed in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that when the company placed a large number of new build orders at rock bottom prices in 2013-14, they were confident of a significant market recovery by 2016-17, which as we know has yet to happen. As a consequence, the company recorded a loss of almost $125 million in 2016. Also, in the period from November 2013 to March 2014, the company purchased 28 Capesize vessels for a total cost of $1.5 billion but all were eventually sold at a combined recorded loss of $400 million.

CEO Mr. Emanuele Lauro, grandson of the late Italian ship owner Mr. Glauco Lolli Ghetti, is the Co-Founder of Scorpio Bulkers Inc. and has been the company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since 2013. He has also been the Vice President of the Chamber of Shipping of Monaco since 2006. In 2013 Mr. Lauro was voted No.2 in the Llloyds List top 100 most influential people in shipping on the back of the company placing more newbuilding orders than anyone else in the dry bulk and tanker sectors that year. Unfortunately he was subsequently quoted as saying “there is never a more appropriate time to take action than when you realize you made a mistake”.

Located in Jiangyin city, Jiangsu Province, Chengxi shipyard Co. Ltd. is one of the largest shiprepair and newbuilding enterprises under China State Shipbuilding Corporation with capacity to build vessels of up to 300,000 DWT.

Ship of the Week contributed by Captain Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd.


Friday, 17 February 2017 14:19

447 Aqualegend1

An immaculate and pretty impressive sight as she passed under the Lions Gate Bridge on Monday (Family Day) this week on her inbound leg to Kinder Morgan’s Westridge Terminal was the Greek owned Aframax tanker Aqualegend.

Built by in 2012 Samsung Shipbuilding & Heavy Industries, Geoje, South Korea
Owned and operated by Unisea Shipping, Athens
LOA 249m
Beam 44m
GRT 61,237 tons
DWT 115,571 MT

447 Aqualegend2 447 Aqualegend3

Aqualegend is seen alongside Kinder Morgan’s Westridge Terminal, above left, and under the escort of a Seaspan tug off Victoria, above right.

Unisea Shipping was established in 2005 to operate tankers and bulk carriers with an emphasis on safe, secure, efficient and environmentally friendly shipping. The company manages its activities through the Greek office located in the Athens suburb of Kifissia and through Unisea Philippines Inc., Manila.

Following recent project approvals received from both the Federal and Provincial Governments, the board of Kinder Morgan is shortly expected to make a Final Investment Decision on expansion of pipeline capacity from Alberta to the Westridge terminal from 300,000 barrels/day to around 890,000 barrels/day. Construction would then begin in September 2017 with a view to completion in late 2019  and having the terminal operational in early 2020. In addition to an additional (and larger diameter) pipeline to be built, mostly along the existing right of way, the project includes expansion of oil storage capacity and the construction of three new load berths.

447 Aqualegend4

Crude oil tanker spot rates continue to be subject to variable supply and demand pressures. As shown in the above graph, a fleet utilization of around 94% in 2015 was a bumper year for owners but has since tailed off to below 90%. This is placing pressure on rates but within the numbers there are considerable regional variations. Fleet growth and reduced demolition is also a problem.

Despite the country’s well documented economic challenges, Greece retains its position as the world’s leading ship owning nation having control of around 18% of the world fleet with 333m DWT in service and a further 40m DWT on order. While Greek owners have diversified into other shipping sectors, primary focus continues to be on the tanker (35%) and dry bulk ( 47%) sectors. The balance of the fleet consists of container ships (11%) and gas carriers (4%), the balance being mostly ferries in the domestic trades.

The Greek fleet is valued at a staggering $90 billion which is third in the rankings behind the US due to the value weighting of the cruise fleet. Greek owners also continue to be the number one buyers in the sale and purchase market.

Ship of the Week contributed by Captain Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd.


Friday, 10 February 2017 13:31

446 BergeNeblina

Berge Neblina is classified as a Very Large Ore Carrier (VLOC) the likes of which we are very unlikely to see on the west coast of Canada given her enormous size. These vessels are built to exclusively serve the world’s major iron ore and coal trades which by far surpass the volume of any other bulk commodities moved by sea. Last month, Berge Neblina loaded one of the first iron ore cargoes at Vale S.A. Brazil’s new Ponta da Madeira Maritime Terminal near the northern port of Itaqui. Iron ore was sourced from the company’s major new mine in the Amazon known as S11D which is located in Canaã dos Carajás in southeast Pará. Access to the new mine is intended to provide Vale with capacity to move approximately 230 million tons of iron ore annually by 2018.

Built in 2012-13 by Bohai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry, Huludao, PRC
Owned and operated by Berge Bulk Maritime, Singapore
LOA 361m
Beam 65m
GRT 195,199 tons
DWT 388,000 tons
Registery: Douglas, Isle of Man (UK)

446 berge Neblina1 446 berge Neblina2 446 berge Neblina3

The terminal, abutting the Bay of Sao Marcos (St. Mark) has a natural draft of 26 meters (86 feet) at low tide. Tidal rise and fall of 14m (46') proved quite a challenge given the strong currents generated, but these were overcome by construction of underwater concrete breakers. With eventual production capacity of 90 million metric tons of iron ore per year, the S11D is the largest project in Vale’s history and one of the largest mining projects in the world. The project features a truckless system which uses movable crushers and conveyor belts to extract iron ore from the mine. The iron ore is than processed and loaded onto rail for transport to the Ponta da Madeira Maritime Terminal (picture below) from where it is shipped to European and Asian markets.

446 berge Neblina4

Valemax is by now the well recognized trade name for the fleet of very large ore carriers (VLOC) owned or chartered by Vale S.A. With a capacity ranging from 380,000 to 400,000 tonnes DWT, they meet the revised Chinamax standard of ship measurements for limits on draft and beam. They are by far the largest bulk carriers ever constructed, when measuring deadweight tonnage or length overall. The first Valemax vessel, Vale Brasil, was delivered in 2011. Initially, all 35 ships were expected to be in service by 2013, but on account of market weakness the last ship was not delivered until September 2016. In late 2015 and early 2016 following the decision of China’s Ministry of Transport to allow vessels of this size to trade to Chinese ports,  Chinese owners ordered 30 more similar vessels with deliveries starting in 2017. This brings the total number of Valemax vessels in service, under construction or ordered to 65. The new orders will also provide much needed employment to struggling Chinese shipyards.

Ship of the Week submitted by Capt. Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd.

Friday, 03 February 2017 13:39

445 oakspirit1

                     LNG Carrier Oak Spirit (Photo credits to Teekay Shipping)

Once again emphasizing how rapidly US shale gas exports are growing both to Asia and Europe, Teekay’s new buil LNG Carrier Oak Spirit recently transited the Panama Canada with the first cargo of US shale gas for Japan.  Oak Spirit was delivered to Teekay in August 2016 under a five year charter to Cherniere Energy to load LNG at the company’s Sabine Pass, Louisiana, export terminal. On January 6, she delivered her cargo to Chubu Electric Power Company’s Joetsu LNG Terminal. Oak Spirit is the second of eleven M Type - Electronically Controlled Gas Injection (MEGI) type new builds under construction for Teekay. Her keel laying to launch date in 2015 took only 88 days.

Built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME), South Korea
Owned by Teekay LNG Partners
Operated by Teekay Shipping (Glasgow) Ltd.
LOA 294.9m
Beam 46.4m
GRT 113,000 tons
DWT 95,452 MT
Capacity 173,400 cubic meters
Service speed 16 knots
Registry Bahamas
Sister ship: Creole Spirit

445 oakspirit2 445 oakspirit3 445 oakspirit4

The company has seven more vessels of this class in various stages of build at DSME – including Torben Spirit named after Mr. Torben Karlshoej the company’s founder. Two additional LNG MEGI new buildings will be built at the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard. The Electronically Controlled Gas Injection propulsion system, the first to be installed on LNG carriers, is designed to be significantly more fuel-efficient and have lower emission levels than other engines currently being used in LNG shipping.

445 oakspirit5 445 oakspirit6

Jen Torben Karlshoej (1941-1992), above right, the founder of Teekay Corporation, sadly passed away at the age of only 50. In true Norwegian Shipowner tradition, he is held as a significant pioneer and entrepreneur in the shipping industry. Mr. Karlshoej grew the company as it gradually transitioned from chartering to ownership but never overlooked the bond that he felt with seafarers and was well known for also taking the time to know his Captains and Chief Engineers personally. Having been established in 1973, the company moved its global headquarters to Vancouver in 1991 as the early groundwork for Vancouver’s International Maritime Centre (VIMC) was laid.


Ship of the Week submitted by Capt. Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd.

Friday, 27 January 2017 12:09

444 PleiadesSpirit

Nestled in English Bay anchorage enjoying a cold but sunny and picturesque day over the new year break was the car carrier Pleiades Spirit awaiting berth at Fraser Wharves.

Built by Shin Kurushima Toyohashi Shipbuilding, Toyohashi, Japan in 2008
Owned Mizuho Sangyo, Imabari, Japan
Operated by Nissan Motor Car Carrier Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan
LOA 200m
Beam 32.3m
GRT 60,330 tons
DWT 17,424 MT
Standard capacity: 5,200 vehicles
Sister ship: Leo Spirit

444 PleiadesSpirit2 444 PleiadesSpirit3

Established in 1965, Nissan Motor Car Carrier Co. Ltd. (NMCC) has as its shareholders Mitsui OSK Lines and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. The current fleet of nine vessels trades world-wide in support of Nissan’s global export trades. In 1990, Euro Marine Carrier B.V.(EMC), specializing in short-distance sea transportation within Europe, was established by Nissan in the Netherlands. That company operates a fleet of seven vessels, the largest being the City of Rotterdam and her sister vessel City of St Petersburg, both having capacity for 2000 vehicles.

Nissan cars manufactured for the North American product line are generally produced in one of six manufacturing facilities located in Japan, the United States and Mexico. US President Donald Trump, has criticized US car companies which manufacture abroad, accusing them of costing US jobs. Of the Japanese car manufacturers, Toyota, was recently singled out with a tweeted warning that the world's largest automaker would face a "big border tax" if it exported Mexico-built cars to the US market.

However, Nissan, Japan's second-largest automaker, would be the bigger victim of any tax on Mexican manufactured cars for the US market having built its first overseas plant in Mexico 50 years ago and which now produces more than 800,000 cars in that country each year, about half of which go to the US Japanese automakers together produced around 1.4 million vehicles in Mexico in the year ended March 2016, nearly 40% of the country's total vehicle output. The plan is to increase production to 1.9 million vehicles by 2019.

Irrespective of the prospect of a renegotiated NAFTA, current car production in Mexico is dwarfed by the number of cars produced by Japanese manufacturers in the United States, their single largest market, where Japan's top three automakers alone produced around 4 million vehicles in 2015. Matters could be further complicated by the UK vote to leave the European Union leading to initial fears that the Nissan plant in Sunderland might be jeopardized. Of the 1.2m cars exported annually from the UK in 2015, almost 60% went to the EU. All this amounts to some uncertain times ahead for the car carrier sector if traditional logistical trading patterns become subject to upheaval.

The Pleiades star cluster, also known as the Seven Sisters or M45, is visible from virtually every place that humanity inhabits Earth’s globe. It can be seen from as far north as the north pole, and farther south than the southernmost tip of South America. It looks like a tiny misty dipper of stars.

Friday, 20 January 2017 11:31

443 APL Raffles1

                                                             APL Raffles

It is perhaps fitting that on the day a new US President is inaugurated, we feature a vessel of the American President Line, more commonly known today as simply APL. Gone are the days when the fleet of the American President Lines flew the US flag and proudly circled the globe sporting the names of past US Presidents along with the US Navy’s fleet of nuclear powered aircraft carriers, each of which is similarly named after a past President.

Built by Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries, Samho, South Korea in 2013
Owned and operated by Neptune Shipmanagement Services of Singapore, a subsidiary of CMA-CGM
LOA 368.5m
Beam 51.0m
GRT 151,963 tons
DWT 150, 936 MT
Capacity 13,900 TEU
Main engine Hyundai-MAN B&W 11S90ME-C9.2 engine driving a fixed pitch propeller.
Service speed 19 knots
Registered in Singapore

443 APL Raffles2 443 APL Raffles3 443 APL Raffles7

Armed with a precious mail contract, the sailing of an American steamer from New York to the US West Coast during the California Gold Rush of 1849 was the effective launch of Pacific Mail Company, the predecessor of American President Line.

In 1945, American President Line was quick off the mark to resume the company’s round-the-world passenger service, launching both SS President Cleveland and SS President Wilson in 1946. However, In 1958, the company began looking into containerization and by 1961, had begun building the first combination break bulk-container vessels SS President Tyler and SS President Lincoln. In 1997, the company was bought by Singapore’s state owned Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) and in June 2016, both APL and NOL became subsidiaries of CMA-CGM.

APL Raffles is named after the acknowledged founder of Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles (1781-1826), and after whom the country’s landmark 129 year old hotel is also named. Raffles Hotel was declared a Singapore National Monument in 1987 but if you fancy trying it out you will need to set aside a large slice of your travel budget to spend a night there.

443 APL Raffles4 443 APL Raffles5 443 APL Raffles6

Left to right, classic American President Lines vessels: President Roosevelt, President Jackson and President Lincoln, the latter being an early combination break bulk-container carrier.

An APL ship which served in World War II, SS Lane Victory, survives as a National Historic Landmark museum in San Pedro, California.

Ship of the Week contributed by Captain Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd.

Friday, 13 January 2017 12:09

442 salish orca2

After a 50 day trip of around 10,400 nautical miles from Poland via the Canary Islands and including a transit of the Panama Canal, the first of BC Ferries’ new intermediate Salish Class vessels arrived in Richmond this week. Salish Orca is designed to operate on LNG or ultra low sulphur diesel oil representing a significant leap forward in the adoption of clean technology by the company. Following routine inspections, the vessel will shift to Tsawwassen for crew training and to be in operation by early spring on the Powell River-Comox route.

Built by Remontowa Shipbuilding, Gdansk, Poland in 2015-16
Owned and operated by BC Ferries
LOA 107m
Beam 24m
GRT 8,728 tons
Main engine: 3 x Wartsila 8I.20DF
Service speed 15.5 knots
Capacity for up to 145 vehicles and 600 passengers/crew
Sister ships: Salish Eagle, Salish Raven

442 salish orca3 442 salish orca4 442 salish orca5

In January 2016, BC Ferries and the First Peoples' Cultural Council announced the selection of three Coast Salish artists to create designs for the new Salish Class vessels; Darlene Gait from Esquimalt Nation for the Salish Orca, John Marston from Stz’uminus for the Salish Eagle and Thomas Cannell from Musqueam for the Salish Raven. The vessels are named to recognize the Coast Salish as the original mariners of the Salish Sea. In September 2016, BC Ferries, the First People’s Cultural Council and Stz’uminus First Nation revealed the second of three Salish artistic designs for BC Ferries’ new Salish Class vessels. Stz’uminus First Nation’s John Marston designed the artwork that will adorn the Salish Eagle. The cost of the three vessels was disclosed as being in the region of $200 million.

Over the next year, BC Ferries will be retiring the Queen of Nanaimo and the Queen of Burnaby built in 1964 and 1965 respectively, and which will therefore have served their communities for over 50 years by the time they are retired. Salish Orca will initiate service on the Comox-Powell River route in the spring of 2017. Salish Orca’s sister ships, Salish Eagle and Salish Raven, are expected to arrive in British Columbia this spring and are scheduled to enter service in the Southern Gulf Islands later this year.

442 salish orca6

The two largest BC Ferries, Spirit of Vancouver Island and the Spirit of British Columbia built in 1993 and 1994 respectively are to be converted by Remontowa Shipbuilding to also run on LNG by 2019. The Spirit of British Columbia is expected to be under conversion from fall 2017 through to spring 2018, with the Spirit of Vancouver Island following during the fall 2018 to spring 2019. The upgrades, which wlll be part of the normal mid-life span upgrades for the vessels, will also include modifications to the hulls to make them more fuel efficient. The conversions are forecast to save approximately $9.2 million per year in fuel costs for the two vessels over their remaining 27 year projected lifespan.

Ship of the Week contributed by Captain Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd.   

Friday, 06 January 2017 12:13

441 Albanov1

After a few days of Arctic conditions, at least by Vancouver standards, our first vessel of the year seems appropriate. The Russian flagged shuttle tanker Shturman Albanov, which is designed to operate in temperatures as low as -45degC, is the lead ship in a series of six Arctic shuttle tankers ordered by the Sovcomflot Group (SCF) under a long-term contract with Gazprom Neft. These highly specialized Arch7-Class tankers are designed to carry crude oil year-round from the Yamal Peninsula to the Port of Murmansk via the Northern Sea Route. The vessel is the first tanker to be certified in compliance with the International Maritime Organization’s Polar Code which came into effect this week on January 1.

Built by Samsung Heavy Industries, South Korea
Owned and managed by Sovcomflot
LOA 249m
Beam 34m
DWT 41,454 MT
Loaded draft 9.5m
Speed 14 knots
Class: Russian Maritime Register KM, ARC7, Oil Tanker (ESP), LI, CSR, OMBO, CCO, BWM, BLS-SPM, AUT1-ICS, ECO-S
Home port: St. Petersberg

441 Albanov2 441 Albanov3

Shturman Albanov is designed to navigate channels previously cut by nuclear icebreakers. It has been designed for the climatic conditions of the Arctic and the shallow waters of the Gulf of Ob. Once all six tankers have been brought into operation they are intended to carry about 450,000 tonnes of oil per month, allowing dispatch up to 5.5 million tonnes of oil from Yamal’s Novoportovskoye field every year. Unaccompanied by an icebreaker, the vessel negotiate ice up to 1.8 m thick at its stern, and up to 1.4 m thick at the bow thanks to a pair of azipod propulsion units (picture above left) having a total capacity of 22 MW and full 360 degree rotation.

441 Albanov4 441 Albanov5

The Polar Code covers the full range of issues relevant to navigation in waters surrounding the two poles, namely ship design, construction and equipment, operations and training, search and rescue, and protection of the environment and eco-systems of the polar regions. Under the Code, ships intending to operating in the defined waters of the Antarctic and Arctic are required to apply for a Polar Ship Certificate, which would classify the vessel as either:

  • Category A ship - ships designed for operation in polar waters at least in medium first-year ice, which may include old ice inclusions, or
  • Category B ship - a ship not included in category A, designed for operation in polar waters in at least thin first-year ice, which may include old ice inclusions, or
  • Category C ship - a ship designed to operate in open water or in ice conditions less severe than those included in Categories A and B

Vessels are also now required to carry a Polar Water Operational Manual, to provide the Owner, Operator, Master and crew with sufficient information regarding the ship's operational capabilities and limitations in order to support their decision-making process. A MARPOL amendment to protect the Antarctic from pollution by heavy grade oils, was adopted by the IMO in 2010 and took effect in August 2011. Under the Polar Code ships are merely encouraged not to use or carry heavy fuel oil in the Arctic.

441 Albanov6  441 Albanov7

Shturman Albanov is named in honour of the navigator of the Russian polar expedition aboard the Svyataya Anna (Santa Anna) a gun vessel which set out in 1912 to explore and map a route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific via a Northeast Passage which we now know as the Northern Sea Route (pictures above). However, for many months the expedition became locked in polar ice off the Yamal Peninsula. Navigator and second-in-command Albanov, believing that their position was hopeless, requested permission to be relieved from his duties in order to leave the ship and attempt to return to civilization on foot. After an unimaginable ordeal, Albanov and one of the crewmen finally made it back to Russia. They were the only two survivors and the vessel was never seen again.

Ship of the Week prepared by Captain Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd.    

Wednesday, 21 December 2016 11:48

440 USNS Bowditch

Much in the news over the past week has been USNS Bowditch which became involved in a diplomatic scuffle between China and the United States following the retrieval of an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) operating from the Bowditch by a Chinese submarine rescue vessel. USNS Bowditch, a Pathfinder Class survey ship, is the third ship in class of a 29 ship Special Mission US Ship program and operates in the South China Sea where last week’s incident occurred.

Built by Halter Marine, Pascagoula
Commissioned in 1996
Operated by US Military Sealift Command
LOA 100m
Beam 18m
Speed 16 kots
Complement 26 civilian and 27 military personnel

440 USNS Bowditch2 440 USNS Bowditch3

USNS Bowditch has been at the centre of a number of previous diplomatic spats including incidents involving South Korea, India and two previous incidents with China.  In last week’s incident, the drone was taken about 50 nautical miles northwest of Subic Bay off the Philippines, just as the Bowditch was about to retrieve it from the water. When responding to questions, The Pentagon said the drone used commercially available technology and sold for about $150,000.

The seizure came only a few days after the US accused China of adopting an aggressive posture in the disputed South China Sea, including its militarization of maritime outposts following the publication of new satellite imagery indicating that China has installed weapons, including anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems, on all seven artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea.

The vessel is named after the early US mathematician Nathaniel Bowditch (1773-1838) remembered for his work on ocean navigation. He is often credited as the founder of modern maritime navigation and his book The New American Practical Navigator, first published in 1802, is still carried on board every commissioned US Naval vessel.

Ship of the Week contributed by Captain Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd.   


Please note that there will be no COS Newsletter next week. The next publication will be January 6, 2017.  Happy New Year!

Friday, 16 December 2016 11:56

439 seaspanswift1

Following an eight week voyage of more than 10,000 nautical miles from Turkey to Vancouver via the Panama Canal, Seaspan Ferries has taken delivery of the Vard designed hybrid trailer ferry, Seaspan Swift, the first of five such vessels to be employed in North America. The new vessel is now berthed at the company’s Tilbury Terminal in Delta where regulatory inspection and crew training is underway. The vessel has already undertaken initial LNG bunkering with product supplied by tanker truck.

Built by Sedef Shipbuilding Inc. Istanbul, Turkey
Owned and operated by Seaspan Ferries (a division of the Washington Marine Group)
LOA 148.9m
Beam 25m
GRT 4,810 tons
Propulsion: 2 x Wärtsilä 34DF dual-fuel engines
Speed 15.8 knots
Capacity for up to 59 trailers
Sister ship: Seaspan Reliant (arrival early 2017)

439 seaspanswift2 439 seaspanswift3

Seaspan Swift, the first new ferry to join the company’s fleet since 2002, is powered by two Wartsila dual-fuel engines and a Corvus Energy Storage System (ESS) consisting of 84 advanced lithium polymer batteries. The design combines dual-fuelled propulsion, hull form efficiency, and a battery backup system that provides 2,200kW for 10 minutes to minimize operational costs and environmental impact. The hybrid propulsion system also permits redundancy while operating at economical speed on a single engine.

Seaspan Ferries currently operates a fleet of seven vessels on roll on-roll off ferry services between BC’s Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island's Nanaimo and Swartz Bay terminals, supplying more than 50% of all cargo to Vancouver Island. The new vessel has capacity for 59 truck trailers compared to the 30 to 40 truck trailer capacity of its existing seven vessels which have been in service for an average of 36 years.

439 seaspanswift4 439 seaspanswift5

Transiting the Panama Canal captured by a webcam (above left) and an artist’s impression of Seaspan Swift when she enters service (above right).

FortisBC is providing incentive funding towards the new vessels following the creation of the Provincial Government’s Gas Reduction Regulation in 2012. At that time, FortisBC announced a $62 million program for fleet operators to offset part of the cost for a natural gas engine over a diesel engine. LNG will be supplied from FortisBC’s Tilbury LNG facility in Delta.

Having been built by the largest privately owned shipyard in Turkey, Seaspan Swift will be joined by sister vessel Seaspan Reliant in February 2017 following which the company has announced plans to order a further three vessels. Seaspan Ferries operates cargo-only services between Vancouver Island and the Canadian mainland, carrying up to 800 trailers a day. The company claims to carry around 60% of all products consumed on the island off the coast of British Columbia.

The vessel is due to enter service on January 2 2017.

Ship of the Week contributed by Captain Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd.