Friday, 25 May 2018 11:49

511 Kirkeholmen2


The oil/chemical tanker, Kirkeholmen, has been a regular sight in the Port of Vancouver and Indian Arm Anchorages over the past two years.  The ship carries petroleum products from the US refineries just south of the border in Anacortes to keep our fuel-thirsty lower mainland well supplied.  Fully loaded the Kirkeholmen can safely carry approximately 110,000 barrels of gasoline which is enough to full up the gas tanks of about 350,000 automobiles.

Built: 2010
LOA: 144.22m
Beam: 23.03m
DWT: 17,136

511 Kirkeholmen4  511 Kirkeholmen6

The Kirkeholmen is managed by Norbulk Shipping, whose present fleet consists of; bulk carriers, chemical and oil tankers, container ships, gas carriers and reefer ships. Since it's formation in 1982 Norbulk Shipping has continued to expand its ship management operations. Ship owner clients located across the globe now include, public listed companies, private family controlled shipping interests and government shipping enterprises. Ship management remains the core business of the group and the company maintains full compliance with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Norbulk Shipping was one of the first ship companies to obtain certification of Quality Management systems in 1994.

The name Kirkeholmen, along with other ships in the fleet such as the Fruholmen and Brentholmen are all named after Norwegian Islands.

Ship of the Week contributed by Ben Vanderberghe of Westward Shipping Ltd.


Friday, 18 May 2018 08:34

510 bliss1

In her inaugural transatlantic voyage from Germany to the Pacific Northwest, the Norwegian Bliss marked a major milestone and she is now the largest passenger ship to transit the Panama Canal since its expansion in 2016.  The Norwegian Bliss will arrive at her homeport in Seattle for the Alaskan cruise season on May 30th, where she will have her official christening ceremony, and then embark on a three-day exhibition cruise, that includes her first stop in Victoria on June 1st.  From June 2nd, Norwegian Bliss will start her seven-day voyages from Seattle to Alaska with featured calls in KetchikanJuneauSkagway and Victoria

April 21, 2018
Built by: Meyer Wefts in Papenburg, Germany
Length overall: 333.5 m / 1,094 ft
Max Beam: 41.5 m / 136 ft
Tonnage: 168,028 GT / 11,700 DWT
Passengers Capacity: 4,004
Crew: 1,716
Staterooms: 2,043
Cruise speed: 23.2 knots
Engines: Diesel Electric


510 bliss4  510 bliss3

The Norwegian Bliss is the sixteenth ship in Norwegian Cruise Lines fleet and has a number of unique features including a private area called The Haven that encompasses 80 luxurious suites and a two-story Horizon Louge for these guests' exclusive use.  For the young at heart, there is a two-level 1,000-foot long electric car race track with cars reaching up to 30 miles per hour, an open-air laser tag arena and two multi-storey waterslides.

510 bliss2

Norwegian Bliss is the third ship in the Breakaway Plus-class and is the 16th ship in the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) fleet.  The ship has been fitted with the ABB Azipod XO electrical propulsion system, which includes an electric-drive motor housed inside a submerged pod and exhaust gas scrubbers, reducing sulphur emissions by 99%.  NCL will introduce an additional new "Breakaway Plus" Class cruise ship in 2019 and has four additional ships on order for delivery beginning in 2022, with an option to introduce two more ships in 2026 and 2027.

Wednesday, 09 May 2018 10:11

509 HMNZS Te Kaha1

Her Majesty’s New Zealand Ship (HMNZS) Te Kaha arrived at Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyards in March, Seaspan having been awarded a “Frigate Systems Upgrade Project” as a subcontractor for Lockheed Martin on the Royal New Zealand Navy’s ANZAC Class frigates. The project includes upgrades to the surveillance, combat and self-defence capabilities and to replace current outdated technologies. Once upgrades are complete, work on sister ship HMNZS Te Mana will begin sometime in 2019. The project represents a rare opportunity for a Canadian shipyard to demonstrate the capability to competitively upgrade non-Canadian naval vessels similar to the “Modernization and Mid-Life Upgrades” to the 12 Canadian Halifax Class frigates, five of which were completed by Seaspan Shipyards.

Built by Tenix Defence Systems, Melbourne, Australia
Commissioned in 1997
LOA 118m
Beam 15m
Propulsion 1 x General Electric LM2500+ gas turbine providing 30,000 hp (22.5mW)
2 × MTU 12V1163 TB83 diesel engines providing 8,840 hp (6.5 mW)
Speed 27 knots
Complement 25 officers & 150 ratings
1 x Kaman Super Seasprite helicopter

509 HMNZS Te Kaha2 508 Great Intl3

Lockheed Martin Canada, which won the contract to upgrade the vessels in April 2014, is New Zealand’s prime system integrator, responsible for the supply of the combat system upgrade on both ships as well as a new shore-based trainer. This includes the combat system integration of new weapons and sensors, as well as ship design and installation. The new Combat Management System (CMS) is based on Lockheed Martin Canada’s CMS 330. The upgrade cost for the two frigates is $639 million.

In 2015, HMNZS Te Kaha sailed from New Zealand to Gallipoli, ahead of the 100th Anniversary of the landings there during World War I. Thereafter she sailed for the Gulf of Oman where she was assigned to anti-piracy patrols. In 2017, the ship's deployment in the western Pacific was extended to provide support to the U.S. 7th Fleet after the destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with the container ship ACX Crystal off the coast of Japan. The impact resulted in the loss of seven seamen and caused extensive damage to the destroyer.

The UK’s Royal Navy provided early security for the colony of New Zealand, but in 1846, the settlers bought their first gun boat and which proved to be the fledgling beginning of a home-grown defence force, Before the formal establishment of a navy, the people of New Zealand paid for the building of the battlecruiser HMS New Zealand which served with distinction in the battle of Jutland in 1916. The New Zealand navy went on to make a major contribution to the Allied cause in World War II and the Korean War.

In the early 1980’s, the New Zealand relationship with the United States deteriorated over the issue of nuclear-powered ship visits and the access of nuclear weapons to New Zealand. In addition, New Zealand dispatched RNZN vessels to monitor environmental damage caused by French nuclear testing in the Pacific. Tension was further raised with the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior operated by Greenpeace in Auckland harbour 1985. The sinking was eventually admitted by the French government after the two French agents responsible were detained by NZ police.

The Maori name Te Kaha translates to 'fighting prowess' or 'strength'

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



Friday, 04 May 2018 07:29

508 Great Intel1

At “Marintec China” held in Shanghai in December 2017, the first Chinese smart ship embedded with a domestically developed intelligent navigation system was presented with Lloyds Register (LR) cyber-enabled ship (CES) descriptive notes. The vessel concerned, the appropriately named Great Intelligence, was designed by Shanghai Merchant Ship Design and Research Institute (SDARI). Other partners in the project were China’s System Engineering Research Institute (SERI) and China Class Society (CCS). The vessel is a modified version of the successful Green Dolphin Fuel Efficient Bulk Carrier Design and is China’s home-grown pilot smart ship project. LR’s CES descriptive notes have been assigned to the project with the latest requirements being applied to the vessel herself in the form of Cyber AL2 Safe (Navigation, Propulsion, Steering), Cyber AL2 Maintain (M/E, A/E, Boiler, Shaft) and Cyber AL2 Perform (Energy Management).

Built at Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard Co., Ltd (GWS), a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC)
Owned and operated by Sinotrans Shipping Ltd. Hong Kong
LOA 179m
Beam 32.3m
DWT 38,800

508 Great Intel2 508 Great Intl3

LR is a leading player in the adoption of digital technologies within the marine and offshore sector by way of a “total-systems” approach. In 2016, LR issued the first guidance on cyber-enabled ships “Deploying Information and Communications Technology in Shipping – Lloyd’s Register’s Approach to Assurance”. The guidance identified the important elements that constitute a cyber-enabled ship and which need to be adopted to ensure that the technology does not introduce a safety risk. Great Intelligence is also fitted with SOMS, a Chinese developed marine system with autonomous learning ability and intelligent operations having the ability to analyze real-time navigation and meteorological data, select optimum routes and alert the vessel to dangers.

The functions within the vessel’s smart system include:

  • Ship Operation and Maintenance System (SOMS) Health Management – The SOMS Health Management System monitors the ship’s main equipment operational parameters.
  • Ship Operation and Maintenance System (SOMS) Energy Efficiency Management – The SOMS Energy Efficiency Management System provides energy efficiency monitoring, analytics and optimisation (for example energy consumption during the voyage, voyage parameters and ship condition for energy optimisation), energy efficiency historical data analysis, energy efficiency management (for example fuel and emissions control) and decision-making support.
  • Ship Operation and Maintenance System (SOMS) Intelligent Integration Platform – The Intelligent Integration Platform (IIP) is the core of the smart ship intelligence, integrating the data from the Energy efficiency management system and the Health management system.
  • Intelligent Navigation System – The Intelligent Navigation System is intended to augment existing vessel’s systems and not to replace or impact existing vessel safety systems. Data from ship and shore-based service stations is collected and analysed against baseline ship’s route information in order to identify opportunities for route optimisation. The Intelligent Navigation System also provides smart functions such as ship route optimisation to reach the destination in shortest time, with minimal fuel consumption, with the most comfortable or most economic voyage

The smart ship concept is also designed to lay the foundation for Chinese unmanned ship development. Compared with a standard Green Dolphin design, it is claimed that Great Intelligence has the potential to improve propulsive efficiency by 3% and reduce daily fuel consumption by 4%. The 19th Marintec China attracted 65,000 visits and more than 2,100 exhibitors to Shanghai with the German pavilion being the largest.

Vessel owner, Sinotrans Shipping Limited, parented by the Sinotrans Group and headquartered in Hong Kong, is one of the largest shipping companies in China. The company is engaged in vessel time chartering, shipping service and fleet management.


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


Thursday, 26 April 2018 10:49

507 QE21

Ten years after her arrival in Dubai to great fanfare, the former Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth 2 underwent a “soft opening” last week (April 18) as a luxury floating hotel and museum following a stem to stern refurbishment. The vessel was purchased in 2008 for $100 million with the objective of adding her to an already long list of tourist attractions in Dubai but the financial crisis of 2008/09 which hit Dubai particularly hard left the vessel’s fate in limbo. However, with all now back on track and a grand formal opening scheduled for October this year, she is following in the footsteps of family member Queen Mary in Long Beach which, despite all manner of financial ups and downs, continues to survive as a hotel and conference centre.

Built by John Brown & Co, Upper Clyde Shipbuilders, Clydebank, Scotland.
Launched September 1967, named by H.M. Queen Elizabeth
Maiden voyage May 1969
Now owned by PCFC Hotels (a Dubai World subsidiary)
LOA 293.5m
Beam 32.0m
GRT 70,327 tons
Propulsion 2 x GEC main engines, total 88 MW driving twin variable pitch propellers
Speed maximum 34 knots, service 28.5 knots
Guest capacity 1,777
Crew in service 1040 

507 QE22 507 QE23

was originally fitted out with a steam turbine propulsion system rated at a maximum power output of 110,000 shaft horsepower and coupled via double-reduction gearing to two six-bladed fixed-pitch propellers. However, these proved unreliable from the outset and with a fuel consumption of 600 tons/day, the writing was soon on the wall. During her 1986 to 1987 refit, the steam turbines were removed and replaced with nine German MAN L58/64 nine-cylinder, medium-speed diesel engines.

 507 QE24 507 QE25

During her years of service, QE2 sailed around the world 25 times, carrying more than 2.5 million passengers. Now permanently moored at Mina Rashid port in Dubai, she has been refurbished based on her original design, from carpets to the theater and even restaurant menus featuring dishes served in the liner’s heyday. Large portraits of United Arab Emirates rulers hang opposite portraits of a young Queen Elizabeth II and Samuel Cunard, founder of the company.

507 QE26 507 QE27

In May 1982 at the outbreak of the Falklands War with Argentina and the decision of the UK Government to send a naval task-force to the South Atlantic, QE2 was requisitioned as a troop carrier. Helicopter pads were installed on the poop deck, public lounges were converted to dormitories and she was modified to allow for refuelling at sea. Around 650 Cunard crew members volunteered for the voyage under black-out conditions which took 3,000 members of the Fifth Infantry Brigade to the Falklands. She returned to passenger service in August 1982.

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

Thursday, 19 April 2018 09:22

506 USS Lexington1

We normally do not cover ships lying on the seabed, particularly one that has been there for 76 years, but this week we are making an exception for an exceptional vessel. Early last month the wreckage of USS Lexington was discovered by an expedition crew aboard Paul Allen’s RV Petrel. The Lexington was discovered 3,000 meters below the surface approximately 500 miles off the eastern coast of Australia. She was mortally damaged by Japanese torpedo bombers, launched from aircraft carriers, on May 8 1942 during the Battle of the Coral Sea. She was abandoned and scuttled with the loss of more than 200 crew.

Built by Fore River Ship and Engine Building Co., Quincy Massachusetts
Ordered in 1916 as a battle cruiser – design amended in 1922 to an aircraft carrier
Launched in 1925 and commissioned in 1927
LOA 270.7m
Beam 32.8m
Propulsion quadruple screw turbo electric 180,000 shp (130,000 kW)
Speed 33 knots
Crew 2,800 including air-arm
Aircraft 78
Sister ship: USS Saratoga

 506 USS Lexington2 506 USS Lexington3

Lady Lex
, also known as Gray Lady was the fourth U.S. naval vessel to be named Lexington after the 1775 Battle of Lexington during the American War of Independence. Originally designed as a battlecruiser, she was converted during construction into one of the U.S. Navy's first aircraft carriers in order to comply with the Washington Naval Treaty which essentially eliminated all new battlecruiser and battleship construction. Following transit of the Panama Canal, picture above right) she was assigned to the U.S. Pacific Fleet for her entire career. USS Lexington, three heavy cruisers and five destroyers were ordered to depart Pearl Harbor on 5 December 1941 to ferry marine dive bombers in support of the U.S. base at Midway Island. On the morning of 7 December, the Task Force was about 500 nautical miles southeast of Midway when it received news of the Japanese attack on their Pearl Harbour base. In the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942, over the course of four days USS Lexington and the carrier USS Yorktown battled with a Japanese carrier fleet threatening New Guinea and Australia. It was recorded as the first naval battle in history fought by aircraft and with the opposing ships never actually laying eyes on each other.

506 USS Lexington4 506 USS Lexington5

The 76m RV Petrel (pictures below) carries subsea equipment capable of diving to depths of up to 6,000 meters. The search team was helped in this case by accurate accounts of where the Lexington went down but ultimately high powered sensors on a remote controlled vehicle led them to the location of the wreckage. Highlights included the ship’s name still clearly visible on the hull, anti-aircraft guns, the shells of fighter and bomber aircraft and even a loose torpedo lying on the seabed.

506 USS Lexington6 506 USS Lexington7

In recent years, Paul Allen led expeditions have found the wreck of the Japanese battleship Musahi, and that of the destroyer USS Ward, both off the coast of the Philippines. The Ward is best known for firing the first American shot in World War II when it attacked a Japanese midget submarine near Pearl Harbor early on the “Day of Infamy” December 7, 1941. The Battle of the Coral Sea was a tactical victory for Japan in terms of vessels lost on each side but the battle proved to be a strategic victory for the U.S; notably as the first checking of a Japanese advance since the outset of World War II. The heavily damaged Japanese aircraft carriers Shōkaku and Zuikaku were unable to participate in the Battle of Midway the following month when the U.S. secured a decisive victory which ultimately proved to be a turning point in the course of the war.

See the short video:


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



Wednesday, 11 April 2018 10:12

505 MOL Triumph1

After two years of preparations and gaining regulatory approvals the Ocean Network Express (ONE) has finally been launched. The partners are the three major Japanese international carriers with NYK owning 38%, K Line and Mitsui OSK each holding 31%. ONE is launching its first 33 services this month and will eventually operate 85 service loops with 1.4 million TEU of capacity serving more than 200 ports globally as the sixth largest ocean carrier in the world. Dedicated to operate between Asia and Europe, with over 20,000 TEU capacity MOL Triumph is at the upper end of the size of vessel that will operate in the initial ONE fleet.

Built by Samsung Heavy Industries, South Korea
Owned by Mitsui OSK Lines
Operated by Ocean Network Express
Delivered in 2017
LOA 400m
Beam 58.8m
GRT 100,146 tons
DWT 210,678 MT
Capacity 20,146 TEU

505 MOL Triumph2 505 MOL Triumph3

The ONE holding company is in Tokyo but with the global operating headquarters in Singapore. Regional headquarters are in London UK; Richmond, Virginia; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Hong Kong. The company philosophy is that “ONE does not aspire to be the largest carrier in the market, just large enough to survive and yet small enough to care”, also ONE aim is “to be a global company that happens to be Japanese, rather than a Japanese company that happens to be global”. The merging of the three Japanese carriers, each with more than a century of home grown culture is a major undertaking, driven primarily by the financial necessity in order to be competitive. Mr. Nobuo Ishida, President & Regional Head of North America, Ocean Network Express (North America) Ltd Inc., is responsible for the company’s performance in the USA and Canada.

505 Vessel Ranking

505 MOL Triumph4 505 MOL Triumph5


The company has adopted an imaginative cherry blossom magenta as its future brand colour, the above pictures being indicative of vessel and container appearance. The cherry blossom tree is symbolic of springtime in Japan. The company is taking the forward looking view that “as a marketing strategy, creative signs, logos and colours are necessary to be easily recognizable. ONE colour and appearance are only part of the equation to stand out in the container shipping trade, and to represent the new that is emerging. Cherry blossom magenta is therefore just a symbol to convey a larger concept and idea for the shipping world, that needs to change dynamics by becoming a more visible and a less obscure industry for its final customers”.

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



Thursday, 05 April 2018 15:52

504 SymphonySeas


Having been ordered in May 2014, the world’s largest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas was on show last week in the port of Malaga ahead of her maiden voyage taking in Spain, France and Italy. She will spend the summer in the Mediterranean before repositioning in the fall to join her slightly smaller sisters, Oasis, Allure and Harmony in the Caribbean with home-port Miami. Symphony of the Seas is the 25th and now largest ship in Royal Caribbean’s fleet with a reported capacity for up 6,680 guests who will have the opportunity to enjoy every conceivable form of entertainment and relaxation spread over 20 restaurants and six bars.


Built by Chantiers de l’Atlantique, Saint Nazaire (STX France)
Owned and operated by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
Delivered March 2018
LOA 362.1m
Beam 47.5m at waterline, 66m maximum
GRT 228.081 tons
Main propulsion 3 x 20 MW (27,000 hp) ABB Azipod Units
Thrusters 4 x 5.5 MW (7,400 hp) Wartsila WT-55
Speed 22 knots cruising
Crew 2,220
Cost US$ 1.4 billion


504 SymphonySeas2 504 SymphonySeas3


Responding to the challenge of embarking and disembarking so many guests in a few hours, Royal Caribbean now offers the use of a mobile app which leverages a combination of bar codes, beacons and facial recognition, to speed up the process of check-in. The company is also offering RFID wristbands or "WOWbands" to replace traditional SeaPass cards, When it comes to onboard amenities there are a number of new innovations including:

• The Ultimate Family Suite (picture above right), which can accommodate up to 8 guests, boasts a slide from the children’s bedroom to the living room, a floor-to-ceiling LEGO wall, an air-hockey table, a 3D movie theater-style TV room, with popcorn machine and a library of video games. The 212 sqft wrap-  around balcony has a bumper pool table, climbing experience and full-size whirlpool.
• Laser Tag: State-of-the-art and special effects.
• 1977: A spectacular ice-surface video taking projection technology to a new level.
• HiRo (Aqua Theater): A show combining cutting-edge technology, unexpected stunts, innovative acrobatics and future-forward choreography.
• Flight (Royal Theater): One-of-a-kind show taking guests through the history and future of flying and the evolution of air travel which ends with homage to the Wright Brothers


504 SymphonySeas4 504 SymphonySeas5 504 SymphonySeas6


The company describes Symphony of the Seas ship as a novelty mixture of Oasis-class deck layout and Quantum-class innovations. Other new additions include the first-ever Royal Caribbean waterslides created by ADE (Aquatic Design & Engineering), a climbing play area for youngsters of all ages and just to keep everyone’s caffeine level up there is a traditional Starbucks coffee bar in the Boardwalk neighbourhood. The vessel has an amazing 19 pools to keep the fun going and 15 Studio cabins designed for solo travelers.


See the video


Royal Caribbean International was founded as Royal Caribbean Cruise Line in 1968 by three Norwegian shipping companies: Anders Wilhelmsen & Company, I.M. Skaugen & Company, and Gotaas Larsen. The newly created line put its first ship, the Song of Norway, into service two years later. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is the holding company for Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, Azamara Club Cruises and CDF Croisieres de France.


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





Tuesday, 27 March 2018 11:42

503 Torm Amalie1


Seen alongside at Kinder Morgan’s Westridge Terminal last week is the Medium Range (MR) oil/chemical tanker Torm Amalie, having delivered a cargo of aviation fuel destined to keep the wheels turning at Vancouver International Airport (YVR). The Trans Mountain Jet Fuel pipeline system carries fuel from the Chevron refinery, and the Westridge terminal to YVR via a 41km pipeline system that has been in operation since 1969. It includes five storage tanks at YVR with an overall volume of 7155 cbm. Pipeline capacity is supplemented by around 1,000 tanker truck deliveries of jet fuel to YVR each month from Washington State, each truck travelling about 140 km round trip per delivery.

Built by Guangzhou International Shipyard, PRC
Owned by Torm Shipping, Singapore
Managed by Torm Shipping, Mumbai, India
LOA 183m
Beam 32.3m
GRT 30,241 tons
DWT 49,999 MT


503 Torm Amalie2 503 Torm Amalie 3


Without a new jet fuel delivery system, the number of trucks required to keep the airport moving was projected to rise to more than 3,000 a month within 20 years. For this reason Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation (VAFFC), a consortium owned by most of the major airlines serving YVR, is building a new fuel delivery system based on the construction of a marine terminal and tank storage farm storage on the South Arm of the Fraser River which will be connected by a 13 kilometre underground pipeline to YVR. Following detailed consultations lasting more than a decade, in December 2013 the project received an Environmental Assessment Certificate from the B.C. government and an Environmental Decision Statement from VFPA allowing the project to continue to permitting. The permits are required from VFPA, the BC Oil and Gas Commission and local governments before construction can proceed. Unfortunately this has not been a smooth process on account of the City of Richmond taking every opportunity to stall the project, having opposed it in principle from the outset.


503 Torm Amalie4 503 Torm Amalie5 503 Torm Amalie6


The map above left shows the route of the current underground delivery system to YVR and above centre, an artist’s impression of the new terminal to be built of the Fraser River. The terminal is designed to accept fuel barges but also tankers up to Panamax in size. The map above right shows the routing of the new underground pipeline from the Fraser River to YVR.


TORM plc was founded in Copenhagen in 1889 by Captain Ditlev Torm and Christian Schmiegelow. Today, TORM describes itself as a pure play product tanker company and one of the world's leading carriers of refined oil products such as gasoline, jet fuel, naptha and diesel oil. The company is listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen and on NASDAQ in New York with offices located in Copenhagen, Houston, London, Manila, Cebu, New Delhi, Mumbai and Singapore. In 2015, the company underwent extensive financial restructuring including a recapitalizing of its balance sheet by reducing the existing debt worth up to USD 561 million. As part of the restructuring, OCM Njord Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of entities owned by Oaktree Capital Management, contributed a fleet of 25 in service and six newbuilding product tankers to the enlarged group. This has resulted in the creation of one of the largest owner-operators of product tankers with a portfolio of 74 owned product tankers including LR2, LR1, MR and Handysize vessels. The company also has 2 x LR2 tankers scheduled for delivery this year, 2 x LR1 and 4 x MR for 2019.

See the company’s 125th anniversary video on Youtube

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


Friday, 23 March 2018 10:27

502 Asterix1

After successfully completing sea trials, the Royal Canadian Navy’s new Resolve-class naval support ship M.V. Asterix sailed from Quebec City in December 2017 for her home port of Halifax where she was formally commissioned on January 30 this year. Built in 2010 as a container ship, Asterix carried the names Amorito, Neermoor and Cynthia  in the five years prior to being purchased by Federal Fleet Services in 2015 under the Canadian Government’s “Project Resolve”. She is the first new naval support ship to enter service with the Royal Canadian Navy in 50 years, the first large naval platform to be delivered from a Canadian shipyard in over 20 years and the first naval vessel to be delivered since the launch of the National Shipbuilding Strategy. The contract to convert the vessel was awarded to Chantier Davie Shipyards under a controversial non-competitive contract after Davie was excluded from the original National Shipbuilding and Procurement Strategy on account of being in receivership at that time.

Built by Nordic Shipyards, Wismar, Germany in 2010
Converted by Chantier Davie Shipyards, Quebec (2015-17)
LOA 185.5m
Beam 25.2m
Service speed 22knots
Helicopters: 2 x Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclones or 2 × Boeing CH-47F Chinooks
Class: Lloyds Register

502 Asterix2 502 Asterix3


The conversion of Asterix from an ice-strengthened containership to a modern fleet replenishment vessel involved stripping the vessel down to enable a fully modular rebuild. Along with offensive and passive self-defence systems and aviation capacity to accommodate helicopters, she is the first RCN seagoing hospital facility equipped with a full operating theatre. The government declined to contract with Davie Shipbuilding for conversion of a second vessel resulting in the lay-off of a reported 400 shipyard workers. An unconfirmed Globe and Mail investigation has concluded that Davie is today owned by a complex web of companies that can be traced from Canada and the United Kingdom to Monaco and the British Virgin Islands.

Purchased for CAD 20 million and converted for $667 million (RCMP estimate). Asterix has been described as a stop-gap replacement for the Protecteur Class fleet replenishment vessels, HMCS Protecteur  and HMCS Preserver, built in 1969 and 1970 respectively, both of which were forced to de-commission prior to construction of replacements. Under the agreed financial terms, Asterix is chartered by Project Resolve to the navy at a reported annual cost of CAD75 million. Under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, Seaspan’s North Vancouver yard is scheduled to build two replacement “Joint Support Ships” as permanent additions to the fleet at a total project cost reported to be in the range of $3.0 billion.

502 Asterix4 502 Asterix5


The picture above left shows the rebuilt fully integrated bridge on Asterix and above right is an artist’s impression of the new Joint Support Ships, currently scheduled for delivery in 2021 and 2022. They are based on an existing successful German design and will also be christened Protecteur  and Preserver.

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