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Displaying items by tag: Ports & Shipping

A brand new Chinese built Dutch flagged tanker ordered by a Swedish lake based shipping group arrived into Dublin Port from Wales this morning, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The L-class leadship Thun Lidkoping is the first of five 18,650 deadweight chemical product tankers which was completed by Avic Dingheng Shipbuilding Ltd in China.

The name chosen for the leadship operated by Thun Tankers (Erik Thun Group), derived from the shipowner group's inland homeport of Lidköping located on the southern shores of Lake Vänern. This is the third largest lake in Europe which is connected to the sea by shipping canals.

The L-class each with a cubic capacity of (98%) 20,665 m3, have a design developed in-house using Erik Thun AB's long experience of building sustainable, high quality vessels that operate as a major player in northern Europe.

In terms of environmental care, a concerted focus has been made with new regulations and customers’ needs taken into the key design and building process of this new class type.

The 148m tanker along with second sister, Thun London which too was delivered recently, operate in the Gothia Tanker Alliance network while crewing and technical management is conducted through MF Shipping Group.

This morning's arrival in Dublin Bay of Thun Lidkoping from Milford Haven, Wales, also involved Afloat to track a passing fleetmate, Thun Gemini which had departed Dublin Port having docked at Oil Berth No.1. It was at the adjacent berth that Thun Lidkoping berthed, though the maiden call of the newbuild tanker took place at the Irish port only last month.

As for Thun Gemini, the smaller G -Class tanker is returning to the same south Wales port which saw a passage offshore of Dun Laoghaire Harbour where Afloat reported of the tanker's once-off call to enable maintenance carried out at the south Dublin Bay port.

Such a call by the 2003 built 4,100dwt tanker was notably a rare occurance for such a vessel type which as previously reported took place three decades ago.

Published in Dublin Port

The Port of Galway is where Afloat.ie takes an impromtu look in at the city's dock where the focus on shipping movements concentrates on cargoships involved up to the end of this month, writes Jehan Ashmore.

In port this afternoon is Arklow Shipping's Dutch flagged short-sea trader, Arklow Valley which arrived yesterday from Belfast Harbour to engage in scrap steel. The 5,158dwat vessel was launched in 2016 as the fourth of 10 Royal Bodewes Eco-Traders commissioned by ASL.

It is somewhat unusual to see an ASL in the Port though what is a common sight is the Bláth na Mara, a domestic cargoship serving all three of the Aran Islands in Galway Bay. The operator Lasta Mara Teoranta is based at The Docks but at the pier beyond the enclosed single basin of the Dun Aengus Dock that forms the main  port.

Typical cargoes carried on board Bláth na Mara range from food stuffs chilled and frozen, household goods, furniture, coal, cars, transit vans, tractors, horses in addition to various types of lifestock.

Recently, Islands Ferries announced plans to restore a direct passeger service from next year. The last such service which included freight was operated by O'Brien Ferries using the custom built Oileáin Árann. 

At sea today is Bithav (6,834dwat) which is off the south Cork coast having departed with bitumen from Port Jerome, (Rouen) France. Likewise of Arklow Valley, this Dutch flag vessel will too remain in port until tomorrow when both vessels set sail in the morning.

On Sunday, Corrib Fisher is to make another arrival having loaded oil products from Cork Harbour at the Whitegate Refinery. The 6,090dwt tanker of UK firm, Jas Fisher Everard has in recent months taken over the routine duties of a fleetmate the aptly named Galway Fisher.

The 10 year-old replacement vessel is also on standby as an emergency oil spill response vessel for the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).

Published in Galway Harbour

The Irish Continental Group (ICG) has said it is totally prepared to meet the challenges posed by Brexit, whatever way those challenges emerge.

At the group’s annual general meeting, John McGuckian, ICG chairman, said, “we’re confident that whatever happens, we will react in an efficient and profitable way”.

Speaking to The Irish Times after the meeting, ICG chief executive Eamonn Rothwell said he’d prefer if sterling wasn’t so weak but he didn’t show concern on the basis that he doesn’t “know what Brexit is yet”. Mr Rothwell added that he doesn’t expect the group to suffer as 40 per cent of travellers on the Irish Sea are travellers originating in Ireland, while the remainder are British.

At the group agm there was no opposition to any of the resolutions, with remuneration practices in the company supported by over 90 per cent of shareholders. The shareholders dividend of 7.76 cent per share was also approved at the meeting. That dividend will be paid in June.

For more including the sale in 2017 of the former Isle of Innisfree (Kaitaki) to a New Zealand operator and results on ICG's ro-ro operations click here. 

Published in Ferry

#WorldMaritimeDay - ‘Connecting Ships, Ports and People’ is the theme of this year’s World Maritime Day on Thursday 28 September.

Discussing the place of the International Maritime Organization (IOM) in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, IOM secretary-general Kitack Lim says ports have a significant role to play in generating “increased employment, prosperity and stability through promoting maritime trade.”

To this end, the IMO will help UN member states “to develop and implement maritime strategies that address a wide range of issues, including the facilitation of maritime transport, and increasing efficiency, navigational safety, protection of the marine environment, and maritime security.”

Lim adds that “to be sustainable, human activities have to be balanced with the oceans’ capacity to remain healthy and diverse in the long term.”

A parallel event for this year’s World Maritime Day, similar to last year’s forum, will be held in Panama this October.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#SligoShip - Sligo Harbour has a general cargoship in port today, Arundo one of 18 vessels so far that docked in 2016 an increase of 18% in traffic compared to last year, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Afloat had monitored the cargoship Arundo (1985/1,957grt) at the north-west port having sailed from Rostock, Germany.

According to the harbour master, the ship is discharging lignite (coal) alongside the Deepwater Jetty. On completion of unloading, a departing cargo will be baled waste products bound for The Netherlands where it is to be incinerated. 

Sligo Harbour can accommodate ships of 3,500 tonnes and is the only working harbour between Galway and Derry.

Under the Harbours Act 1996 the port was transferred from Sligo Port to the control of Sligo County Council. There are two working jetties the aforementioned Deepwater Jetty, 77m in length and Barytes Jetty of 55m.

 

Published in Ports & Shipping

#TallShipsRace - Bulker Arklow Meadow departed Aughinish, Shannon Estuary last week bound for the Port of Blyth, where the UK port was host to the North Sea Tall Ships Race, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Irish flagged Arklow Meadow had loaded at the Rusal Aughinish Alumina plant (see: sister report) from where the 'M' class 14,990dwt bulker departed to round Scotland. The bulker discharged at Blyth where the north-east English port has the Alcan Aluminium Ore Unloading Facility. The South Korean built bulker currently remains at this berth. 

At the Northumberland port a spectacular line-up of around 30 entrants of the North Sea Tall Ships regatta gathered for the Parade of Sail and which this year celebrated a Diamond anniversary of the Tall Ships race movement. The North Sea event followed that of the main Tall Ships Race 2016, the prestigious annual race which is also organised by Sail Training International.

It is exactly sixty years since the very first Tall Ships Race visited Lisbon, Portugal in 1956 - an international fleet aptly made a return visit this year, having set off from Antwerp, Belgium. The winner of the Tall Ships Race 2016 was Norway’s Statsraad Lehmkuhl as previously reported on Afloat.ie which visited Dublin Port last month after a cruise-in company to Coruña, northern Spain.

Last week’s sailing spectacular of the North Sea Tall Ships Parade of Sail was held in glorious conditions on the UK’s Bank Holiday at the end of August. As the magnificent tallships departed the Port of Blyth, the Parade of Sail was observed by spectators lining the decks of Princess Seaways, a ferry operated by the Parade sponsor, DFDS Seaways. The Danish shipping company also had something to celebrate, as 2016 marks their 150th anniversary.

Princess Seaways, made the special four-hour cruise to Blyth from Newcastle, further south along the coast. Otherwise the 31,000 gross tonnage ferry normally operates the Newcastle-Amsterdam (Ijmuiden) along with route partner and a sister, King Seaways. The former Val de Loire served Brittany Ferries seasonal Cork-Roscoff route until replaced by current incumbent, Pont-Aven that entered service in 2004 (this year installed with 'scrubbers'). The flagship also operates year round on France-UK and UK-Spanish routes.

Among the North Sea Tall Ship Races participants that were observed from the ferry's cruise, was another Norwegian entrant, Christian Radich, Poland’s Dar Mlodziezy, the UK’s Lord Nelson and the Dutch Morgenster, a visitor to this summer’s Dublin Riverfest.

At the weekend the Tall Ships had completed the 500 nautical mile leg from Blyth having arrived at the Swedish Port of Gothenburg culminating the North Sea Tall Ships Race. This was the fifth occasion that Gothenburg has hosted the Tall Ships.

Published in Tall Ships

#CargoshipFocus: Corrib Shipping, a Dublin based ship management company, whose Cathma, one of four cargsoships, is at anchor offshore of Cork Harbour this morning awaiting orders, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 3,990 gross tonnage Cathma, flagged in Curacao a Dutch island in the Caribbean, had sailed light yesterday from Foynes Port. The cargoship having discharged a cargo of fertiliser from Ventspils, Latvia.

Cathma had taken almost a week to complete the voyage from the Baltic to the Shannon Estuary port, one of six terminals operated by Shannon Foynes Port Company.

Along with her fleetmates, Cathma sails for Corrib Shipping based in Dundrum, Co. Dublin. Founded in 1995, Corrib comprises shipowning companies and employs officers and crew to man its vessels.

Cargsoships of Corrib sail as part of the Royal Wagenborg fleet, in which the Dutch shipping operator (alone has 170 plus vessels) act as chartering agents for the Irish company.

The other members of the Corrib dry cargsoship carrier quartet are Cora Jo, Jolyn and Cathy Jo. The latter vessel likewise of Cathma were built by Ferus Smit’s yard in Leer, Germany.

The shipbuilder's Dutch yard in Westerbroek is where Arklow Shipping Nederland B.V. had their first of 10 ‘C’ class leadships, Arklow Cadet launched in June.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#TimberLinks– Coast Lines Shipping Ltd's Ayress discharged round timber at Passage West, Cork Harbour, from where she is returning today to load the same cargo at Campeltown, Scotland, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The privately owned wharf, at Passage West near Monkstown, in the centre of Cork Harbour handles short-sea coasters in which the Dominica flagged Ayress (1979/1,713grt) is a typical example. Branded as the 'Timber-Link' by the Midelton, Co. Cork company, the single hold 80m vessel is due to arrive at Campeltown tomorrow to load more timber.

Such trade between the two countries, Afloat several years ago reported on which can be read by clicking here.

Nearby to Passage West is the local service of Cross River Ferries that uses a pair of former Scottish ferries that ran to Skye, that link communities across the expanse of Cork Harbour. During the summer, the short-cut becomes busier with tourists visiting Cobh and ferry traffic also from France.

As pictured above is the New Pier at Campbeltown on the Mull of Kintyre where timber is exported to Irish ports, notably along the eastern seaboard. Among the ports are: Wicklow (see transfer to local authority), Rosslare and Youghal to the east of Cork Harbour.

On the adjacent berth can also been seen behind the stack of round timber, the gantry structure of the roll-on roll-off linkspan serving Calmac’s thrice weekly operated Campeltown-Ardrossan route.

On Saturday’s only, ferry, Isle of Arran serves her namesake with an en route call to the island at Brodick before completing the sailing to Ardrossan on the mainland.

The seasonal-only route which became ‘permanent’ this season following a three-year pilot trial, is even more secure as CalMac recently signed an eight-year contract to operate Clyde and Hebridean west isles services.

Published in Cork Harbour

#FarewellRMSstHelena - One of the world’s most remote inhabited islands, St. Helena, a British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic Ocean is to lose its unique historic shipping service with South Africa, the only sea connection with the outside world, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The combined passenger and freight vessel RMS St. Helena is to be replaced by a 'cargo-only ship' as the first airport on the island was due to have opened last month. Until this takes place, the RMS St. Helena operates the deep-sea service from Cape Town. It was more than two decades ago when RMS St. Helena made a notable once-off call to Dublin and Cobh (Cork) in 1995.

Both the RMS St. Helena and Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2 belong to a unique club of only a handful of vessels designated with the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) prefix.The vessel of the St. Helena Line is operated by AW Ship Management. 

The QM2 and the much smaller 6,797 tonnes RMS St. Helena have called to Dublin Bay, however unlike the liner, the latter vessel was easily accommodated in Dublin Port. It was during that call that I recall the Scottish custom-built vessel for St. Helena Island, berthed alongside Sir John Rogerson’s Quay.

The RMS St. Helena was then on a cruise on behalf of Swan Hellenic, which saw her return to Scottish waters where in Aberdeen she was launched in 1990. Albeit, the cruise was focused on the other side of Scotland along the Western Isles.

‘RMS’ as she is referred to by the 4,500 population of the islanders known as the ‘Saints’, was set to make her final voyage to St. Helena in July. The reason for closing the combined service is primarily due to the opening of the airport, though a ‘freight-only ship’ will be introduced to maintain services to Jamestown, the capital.  The island is famous as this is the place of Napoleon Bonaparte's exile and death. 

RMS St. Helena, her 59 crew and 139 passengers (just 20 short of full capacity), yesterday morning completed a special voyage returning to the UK, London (Tilbury Cruise Terminal). Originally, RMS St. Helena, served the ocean-going service from UK ports (Cardiff then Portland) but then switched operations running out of Cape Town, South Africa.

Later this week RMS St. Helena is to head upriver along father Thames to the Pool of London, where the ship's career of more than 25 years is to be commemorated. (Afloat.ie will have more on this historic and last visit to the UK capital).

After a series of events held in London, the final voyage of RMS St. Helena that is from the UK is to depart on 14 July with the following ports of call: Tenerife, Canary Islands, Ascension Island, St Helena then back to Ascension. From this British Overseas Territory (likewise of Tristan da Cunha) RMS St. Helena heads back to her island namesake before eventually making a final leg to Cape Town due mid-July. This was meant to be the final ever voyage, however (as further explained below) an extension of South Africa only based voyages are scheduled to continue to late September.

The distance of the this South Atlantic voyage is 1,950km/1,200 miles and takes five-days, compared to the planned introduction of scheduled flights to and from Johannesburg, taking a mere six hours. As previously mentioned the new airport remains to be opened. According to a St. Helena Government statement this is due to the challenges of wind shear identified by the first few flights into the airport that began with the first historic trial flights in April.

Work to address this issue is underway at the new airport and the SHG recognise there are St Helenian’s in Cape Town, the UK and Ascension who are ready to return to St Helena and do not have a confirmed means of doing so. Others will be planning journeys in the coming weeks.

SHG will honour its commitment to maintain access by extending the service of the RMS St. Helena as an interim measure and for a limited period until air services begin. This service as usual will be for passengers and freight. The revised schedule of the RMS St. Helena can be viewed here, noting bookings will be accepted from today, Monday 6 June.

According to the St. Helena Line website, the last of the extended voyages is that of Voyage 246 (9th-27th September). This involves a round trip from Cape Town to St. Helena with a call to Ascension Island. The final port of call is to Cape Town which is scheduled for 27 September, marking the end of this chapter in the island's maritime history.

The travel situation is been kept under review and should an air access solution be found quickly, the SHG would need to reassess plans for RMS St Helena.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#ShippingReview – Over the last fortnight, Jehan Ashmore has reported on the shipping scene as outlined in the following stories below.

Shipping and port activity in the Republic of Ireland rose by 3% in the second quarter of 2015 when compared to the same period of 2014, according to the latest quarter of the iShip Index* published today by the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO).

An incredible overhead time-lapse video of the oil tanker Galway Fisher arriving at Galway Harbour recently, showed the skipper’s skills in edging into the tight confines of Dun Aengus Dock.

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) annual conference will be held in Dublin in 2016. The 13th year of the conferenece will be hosted by the Dublin Port Company and is to take place on 2-3 of June.

Published in Ports & Shipping
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