One of the world's largest oil supertanker was loaded with an offbeat cargo -- grain -- in Vancouver harbour this week.
GV Supertanker in dock (4 shots)
SV Supertanker being launched (November 1974)
GV ZOOM OUT TO Supertanker
GV Workers on deck (4 shots)
GV Supertanker in dock alongside other ships
GV & SV Supertanker, Amoco Cairo, docked in Vancouver to be loaded with grain (3 shots)
GV Grain being loaded onto supertanker (3 shots)
"The rush to build supertanker has been described as the single biggest industrial miscalculation of all time. This is the supertanker West Phalen being launched and keel-driven in. Most of these super ships were ordered in 1973 when the oil crisis spread panic among the industrial nations. At that time the supertanker held promise of sky-high profits for the shipping companies. But in the ensuing months some countries were forced to cut back consumption of oil as prices spared out of sight. And the eminent re-opening of the Suez Canal brought back the smaller more economical tankers. The result -- there is a gault of supertanker on the market. One of the super ships caught in the oil charter slump is the spanking new Amoco Cairo, docked in Vancouver to take on a load of wheat. Fortunately for her owners she is new and clean and has the option of carrying cargo other than oil. Her sister ships already dirtied with oil have no choice but to sit out the slump. The size of supertanker presents problems in most ports. Here in Vancouver, Amoco Cairo takes up two months instead of one, but the 920-foot vessel also takes on five million bushels of grain -- the equivalent of the wheat grown on two hundred and twenty five thousand acres of land."
Initials BB/1515 FC/PN/BB/1540
REPORTER: AB DOUGLAS
This film is serviced with an English Commentary by CBC reporter Ab Douglas
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: One of the world's largest oil supertanker was loaded with an offbeat cargo -- grain -- in Vancouver harbour this week.
The consignment -- the largest cargo of grain carried anywhere in the world -- was about five million bushels (nearly two million hectolitres).
The vessel, Amoco Cairo, was loaded with the alternative cargo because of the slump in oil charter business. Charter rates for carrying oil from the Persian Gulf have dropped drastically, largely because some countries were forced to cut back consumption of oil as the result of its high price.
Now shipping companies with supertanker are considering using them to carry other cargoes like grain.