Beluga Expectation tethered

The owners of cargo ships don’t make money when they sail their ships empty. They lose money since they have to pay expenses and lose revenue. They prefer their ships holding cargo. For Duluth, they want their ship to arrive here with a cargo, discharge it, then load another cargo and depart. When it does happen here, it is usually some general cargo such as steel that comes in and then grain that goes out. With grain exports down, it is harder to find that downbound cargo and that makes the trip up here more expensive since the ship would be leaving here empty. A more expensive trip up means fewer ships will get here. Like most other parts of the economy, lower cost means more business. Wind turbines have come to the rescue, both ways. The Beluga Constitution was here a couple weeks ago, bringing wind turbine parts in and loading other wind turbine parts to take out. The Beluga Expectation should be here around noon to do the same thing. Both boats loaded wind turbine parts in Bilbao, Spain and they both will be taking other wind turbine parts back to the same port. Above, the Beluga Expectation at the Port Terminal in June. Photo taken on June 24, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-08-2007

Beluga Expectation and cranes

Two ships that brought parts for wind turbines from Spain to Duluth will be leaving today. The S. Pacific was the first ship in. After discharging the wind turbines, it went over to CHS 1 to load grain. The second ship in was the Beluga Expectation. It was expected to be finished discharging last night but will need to clean up the deck and reconfigure the ship from carrying wind turbine parts to taking grain since that is what it will be loading at Thunder Bay, its next stop. Above, the Beluga Expectation is discharging wind turbine parts at the Port Terminal on Sunday. The ship’s 2 cranes were not used for this job so they are turned away over the water. The port’s 2 gantry cranes were used. You can see them turned to the left, a position they would have if they had just lifted a piece from the ship’s hold and are now slowly setting it down onto a trailer truck. Photo taken on June 24, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 06-26-2007

Beluga Expectation brings big stuff

Wind turbine towers are large cylinders that hold wind turbine blades and other hardware high up where the wind can do its work. For months, wind turbine towers have been coming into Duluth by ship and by truck, from the east and from the north. Lately we have been sending many of them south to Iowa and east to Buffalo. The one above, and 44 others, came from Spain on the Beluga Expectation and will soon be going to a wind farm in Illinois. We have so many here waiting to go somewhere that they are being moved by truck to a new holding area between slips C and D. The picture above shows the first tower section moved there on Sunday. The Port Authority gantry cranes had just lifted it out of the ship’s hold and placed it on a trailer truck that took it down a specially built road to the new site. The crane next to it had just lifted it off the trailer and placed it on the ground. They are waiting for the next one. They hope to finish tonight. Photo taken on June 24, 2007.  You can see more pictures here:
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 06-25-2007