When the new Oceanex Connaigra was officially unveiled last month in St. John’s, the company’s executive chairman was boastful in highlighting what the 210-metro container ship will mean for Newfoundland and Labrador.
We look at it over the long term; this ship is good for years,” said Capt. Sid Hynes.
Now, the ship is docked in Halifax because of a propeller issue. Discussing the situation Tuesday, Hynes spoke in relateable terms.
“It’s the same as you would feel if you bought a new car and you had to take her back for your warranty,” said Hynes of the $108-million vessel, the largest of its kind flying a Canadian flag. “That’s what happens. You’ve got a complicated machine. Every now and then you’ve got to take it in for warranty and that’s what we’re doing.”
According to Hynes, the problem with the new ship was identified last week. Information on Oceanex’s website indicates it was making its sixth voyage from Montreal. Hynes said the ship arrived in Halifax Saturday and that it is not known how long it will be before the vessel returns to sea.
In the meantime, the MV Cabot has joined the Oceanex Avalon on the route to and from Montreal and St. John’ for fixed weekly service. Hynes said issues with the Oceanex Connaigra will not impact the shipment of goods.
“There’s no service disruption,” he said.
The Cabot is smaller than the new ship at 185 metres, but Hynes said there are no capacity issues.
“We’re operating at about 70 per cent (capacity), so it’s no sweat.”
The MV Cabot made its first departure from Montreal since the issue with the Ocean Connaigra was identified on Nov. 19. The company has been attempting to sell the older ship, which was built in 1979.
Flensburger Shipyard in Flensburger, Germany, built the Oceanex Connaigra.