In the Globe and Mail this week, it was reported that the federal government has hired investment bank Morgan Stanley Canada Ltd. to review ownership options for 18 Canadian ports, setting the stage for privatizations of the country’s shipping centres and airports. Canada Development Investment Corp., a Crown agency responsible for selling off federal assets, announced Monday that Morgan Stanley is “to provide financial advice” on the finances and future of port authorities. We have learned that the initial study is focussed initially on the four largest ports - Vancouver, Prince Rupert, Halifax and Montreal with a draft report will be delivered in mid-December and made public in February 2017. The Minister of Transport has stated that is only one option being considered. In September, the goverment hired Credit Suisse AG to provide guidance on potential privatization of the country’s airports.
The Canadian Coast Guard has issued a warning to mariners advising that 35 empty containers that fell off the Hanjin Seattle near the south end of Vancouver Island could pose a danger to navigation. The containers were swept overboard on November 3rd when the vessel hit rough seas near the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Containers have been spotted adrift west of Pachena Point, south of Barkley Sound and pieces have washed ashore on beaches between Tofino and Ucluelet. A US Coast Guard official said the Hanjin Seattle docked in Seattle after the incident and was inspected there. It is unclear who will be responsible for the clean up in view of Hanjin Shipping's bankruptcy. Hanjin was meant to submit a rehabilitation plan to a court in Seoul by December 23. This has now been delayed to February 3 as the court has decided to give Hanjin’s accountants, Samil PricewaterhouseCoopers, extra time to assess the company’s finances.
Meanwhile, Korea Line has been named as the preferred bidder to take over Hanjin's Asia-US and intra-Asia networks by the Seoul Central District Court. The deal involves five 6,500 TEU ships, seven subsidiaries, related staff and other assets.
After a number of delays caused by rough seas, salvage crews have finally managed to raise the sunken tug Nathan E. Stewart from the sea floor Monday night near Bella Bella. Environmental sampling of sediment, water and vegetation around the site of the accident continues, but no results have been released yet. Both Transport Canada and the Heiltsuk First Nation have launched investigations into the accident.
In the November edition of Green Wave, Green Marine announced that ex-COS staffer, Thomas Gregoire has joined as their new program manager and will be based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His primary role will be to support Green Marine's East Coast and Great Lakes participants in implementing the Green Marine environmental program and coordinating Green Marine's Great Lakes advisory committee and other working groups. On a personal note, we've just learned that he and his wife Montana are expecting twins. Congratulation Tom!
Woodfibre LNG Limited has announced plans to move ahead with the construction of the new LNG facility in Squamish, BC. Parent company Pacific Oil & Gas Limited authorized funds for the $1.8 billion project to proceed on the former Woodfibre Pulp and Paper Mill site which is located at the ancestral village site of Swiyat. The project includes a natural gas liquefaction and export facility that is capable of exporting approximately 2.1 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year for 25 years. Thirteen conditions on WLNG were imposed through the Squamish Nation (SN) Process and SN Environmental Assessment Agreement and until it is confirmed that all conditions have been met the Nation may revoke its Environmental Assessment Certificate (EA Certificate) and terminate the Environmental Assessment Agreement. Construction expected to begin in 2017, with operations starting in 2020.
The Government of Canada has published a Notice of Proposed Procurement (NPP) Request for Information (RFI) and Industry Consultation for Interim Icebreaking and Towing Capability for the Canadian Coast Guard. The NPP is seeking information regarding the potential pricing and availability of interim measures to provide icebreaking and towing services. It also seeks to understand how the proposed solutions by Industry might provide economic benefits and support to the shipbuilding and broader marine industry in Canada. CCG has identified a potential requirement for one (1) to three (3) tow capable vessels inboththe Pacific and Atlantic regions (including Juan de Fuca strait, mid to northern BC offshore coasts, Gulf of St-Lawrence, Atlantic offshore, etc) to respond to marine incidents over the short or medium term.
Please be reminded that effective January 1, 2017 that amendments to the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code become mandatory. These amendments include a declaration advising whether or not the cargo is "harmful to the marine environment," new measures for the prevention of pollution by cargo residues, and revised schedule of solid bulk cargoes. The West of England P&I Club has produced a good summary of the amendments that will take effect. Further guidance is expected from Transport Canada.
Our Chair, Dave Hill, and President, Robert Lewis-Manning, attended Monday's announcement by the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and the Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, on the new Oceans Protection Plan. The $1.5 billion Plan has four encompassing priority areas:
Creating a world-leading marine safety system
Preserving and restoring the marine ecosystem
Investment in oil spill response and cleanup
Partnerships with Indigenous communities
Included in the Ocean Protection Plan are new navigational aids, added towing capacity, a review of the Pilotage Act, and engagement with Indigenous groups in matters relating to spill response and marine safety. To read the full plan, visit: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/oceans-protection-plan.html.
The Orca Relief Citizens' Alliance filed a federal petition that asks for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to create a 26-square-kilometre buffer zone in Washington State, along the western shore of San Juan Island in the Salish Sea. Vessels in the zone would be required to reduce their speed to the point where they create no wake, which would reduce underwater noise which disturbs orcas.
Pasha Hawaii plans to order two new liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueled 3,400 TEU containerships, with the option to order two additional vessels. Selection of the US shipyard is expected to be finalized by January 2017. Delivery of the first containership is expected mid-2019, with delivery of the second vessel to come in early 2020.
Stolt-Nielsen has received approval to take over the chemical tanker operations of Jo Tankers. The acquisition includes 13 chemical tankers and a 50% share in a joint venture with eight chemical tanker newbuildings, representing an enterprise value of $575m. This will provide Stolt-Nielsen with the tonnage-replacement needs of the company’s fleet for the next several years and adds new trade routes that enhance the company’s global service capabilities.
The government of Taiwan is lining up a NT$560bn (US$1.757 B) rescue package for the local shipping industry in view of the intense consolidation happening across the container sector. Taipei has moved to ease fears about to what will happen with the island’s main lines including Evergreen and Yang Ming. The deputy minister of transportation and communications Wang Kwo-tsai said that, “The bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping in August has caused many of its ships, as well as the goods they carried, to be detained by port authorities around the world,” he said. “We see how people had to figure out ways to salvage their goods stranded at sea… The incident shows us that the government has to provide support to the industry before the damage becomes uncontrollable.” Wang said that the industry is expected to recover within two years. He also spoke about the urgent need for the island’s box carriers to upgrade their near redundant panamax boxships to vessels larger than 10,000 teu.
It was officially announced this week that Arthur Bowring, managing director of the Hong Kong Shipowners Association (HKSOA) will step down from the organization at the end of the month. Bowring has held the position since 1997 and has indicated that he will continue in a consultancy role. Sandy Chan, the former CEO of the Hong Kong Estate Agents Authority, who will take over from Bowring on December 1. Martin Creswell, a veteran at China Navigation, will also be joining the HKSOA as technical director.
As we took time to remember our veterans last week, the immaculately preserved USS North Carolina lies testament to an age of naval warfare in which battleship supremacy was unquestioned. All that changed on December 7 1941 with the attack on Pearl Harbour but nevertheless, battleships remained a potent threat to merchant shipping and played a vital role in support of invasion forces throughout World War II. Many consider USS North Carolina, a well preserved example of one of the last battleships to be built to be perhaps the finest example of naval design of that era.
Built by New York Naval Shipyard Laid down in October 1937 Launched in June 1940 Commissioned in April 1941 Decommissioned June 1947 LOA 222.1m Beam 33.0m Propulsion: 4 x General Electric steam turbines generating 121,000HP or 91,000kW Speed 28 knots Complement: 2,300 men Aviation: 3 catapult launched Kingfisher float plans
At the time of Pearl Harbour, USS North Carolina was still serving in the Atlantic as a guard against the German battleship Tirpitz being ordered into action against allied shipping. In June 1942 she was ordered into the Pacific in support of US reoccupation of invaded territory. Her arrival in Pearl Harbour was a well timed moral boost for U.S. Pacific forces. She subsequently spent much of the war screening allied aircraft carriers from attack but also in executing advance bombardments as the US progressively reoccupied territory, eventually playing a role in the final assault on the mainland of Japan. She was hit only once, a torpedo on the port bow which sadly killed 8 crewmembers but she was out of action for only a month.
After decommissioning in June 1947, USS North Carolina was transferred to the state of North Carolina in September 1961 for $330,000 raised by the efforts of North Carolina school children, who saved their spare change and lunch money for the "Save Our Ship" campaign. In April 1962, she was dedicated in Wilmington as a memorial to North Carolinians of all services killed in World War II and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1986.
Ship of the Week provided courtesy of West Pacific Marine.