Canada Steamship Lines Celebrates Urban Art and Canada’s 150th Birthday
At the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway this week, CSL unveiled a unique contribution of artwork commemorating Canada’s 150th birthday. Between mid-February and early March of 2017, four urban Montreal artists worked together to create the mural on the forward façade of the accommodations block of the bulk carrier CSL St-Laurent that depicts a Canada goose with its powerful wings spread in flight, its forward motion a tribute to Montreal and to Canada. The Sea Keeper/Gardien des eaux is an original work of art conceived by Montreal urban artist Bryan Beyung and created by Beyung with artists FONKi, Ankh One, and Benny Wilding of the Ashop art collective. The monumental mural was created over a few weeks – a feat which is in itself is worth noting – and required the ingenuity of CSL's Technical Team to make it a success. Painting an original work-of-art of this scale on a ship was a first for the artists, a first for CSL and a first for a Canadian commercial vessel. CSL has also produced a video depicting the making of the mural, which is available at here.
BC Supporting LNG for Marine Transportation
The BC provincial government announced on Wednesday that it is taking action under the Climate Leadership Plan to support investments by natural gas utilities that will increase the use of LNG and renewable natural gas in the transportation, marine and other sectors and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Amendments to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Regulation (GGRR) under the Clean Energy Act will enable utilities to increase existing incentives provided to shipping companies for the conversion of vessels to run on LNG, invest in LNG bunkering (marine fueling) infrastructure, and increase the supply and use of renewable natural gas (RNG). Programs under the GGRR are funded by the utility, not the Province. The amendments are enabling only, and set the parameters for potential utility programs and investments that will reduce GHG emissions. The government asserts that converting just one ocean-going tanker, cruise ship, or container ship to run on LNG instead of heavy fuel oil will reduce GHG emissions by about 93,500 tonnes per year, equivalent to taking over 19,800 vehicles off the road. It hopes that utility investments in LNG fueling infrastructure will help establish B.C. as a marine bunkering centre on the west coast capable of providing LNG to an increasing number of LNG vessels and leading to global reductions in GHG emissions.
Peter Ellis joins Clear Seas as Executive Director
The Board of Directors of Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping is pleased to announce the appointment of Peter Ellis to the position of Executive Director, effective March 20th, 2017. Peter comes to Clear Seas after a distinguished thirty-one-year career in the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Armed Forces. Prior to his retirement in the rank of Rear-Admiral, he held a variety of operational and institutional leadership roles both at sea and ashore, having served in Halifax, Esquimalt and Ottawa. He has served in over a dozen Canadian ships and submarines, and sailed in several allied warships. He commanded the frigate HMCS Halifax and Canada’s Pacific Fleet. As Executive Director, Peter brings proven leadership to Clear Seas as the organization fulfills its mission to be the leading source of impartial information on marine shipping in Canada.
Peter Ellis, CMM, CD, is a former naval officer who retired from the Canadian Armed Forces at the rank of Rear-Admiral.
The Chamber of Shipping welcomes Peter to Clear Seas.
2017 Federal Budget Delivers More Intent Than Dollars for Marine Transportation
This week’s federal budget had some level of focus on transportation and infrastructure but it will likely not satisfy a marine transportation industry facing significant commercial challenges, issues of competitiveness, and an aggressive U.S. marketplace. While the intent of several new initiatives is positive and timely, it is yet to be seen whether or not the government can deliver programming quickly enough to support the competitiveness of Canadian gateways.
Transportation. As expected in recent weeks, the budget did lay out information regarding funding envelopes like the new National Trade Corridors Fund. Additionally, the government will allocate $50 million over 11 years to Transport Canada towards the launch of a Trade & Transportation Information System (housed in a new Canadian Centre on Transportation Data). Open-data portal that will provide performance measures and multi-modal data collection/analysis.
Infrastructure. Asset divestiture, such as privatizing Canada’s airports and ports, was not in the budget. However, in its expenditure management initiatives, the Government noted it would initiate a three-year horizontal review of federal fixed assets, organized and staged by asset type. While some groups have already raised concerns that Canadians remain “in the dark”, the fact is an extensive and extended review period is yet to come.
Budget 2017 restates the government’s commitment to the Canada Infrastructure Bank, which will provide $5 billion to the above-stated National Trade Corridors Fund (in addition to the $2 billion over 11 years that the Fund is receiving separately). The Bank will soon be recruiting for a new CEO and Board Chair, and will be operational, according to the government, by late 2017.
Trade. With respect to trade, the Government reiterated that all significant measures of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union are on track to be in force by the Spring. This has been of particular concern to Canadian maritime labour that views CETA as a threat to Canadian jobs. Further to remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Trudeau earlier this month on U.S. and Canada regulatory cooperation, Budget 2017 outlines a renewed commitment to advancing regulatory alignment in support of trade. The Treasury Board Secretariat, home of the U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council, will be receiving an additional $6 million over three years to continue its efforts in supporting business growth by promoting regulatory alignment with Canada’s trading partners.
Climate Change and Environment. A number of measures to implement the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change were included in the 2017 budget. The budget signaled that the government intends to introduce a carbon pricing “backstop mechanism” that will apply in provinces and territories that do not meet the federal government’s carbon pricing benchmark. This will effectively enforce a national carbon price from the federal level. Beyond this, the budget also proposes $67.5 million in funding over four years to Natural Resources Canada to promote energy efficiency programs.
There will be various investments aimed at green transportation measures, such as $56.9 million over four years to Transport Canada to develop new greenhouse gas regulations for the marine, rail, aviation and vehicle sectors, and $17.2 million over five years to develop and implement heavy-duty vehicle retrofit and off-road regulations, as well as a clean fuel standard.
Nominations invited for the SS Beaver Medal
The Maritime Museum of British Columbia is once again inviting nominations for the SS Beaver Medal, an annual award that recognizes outstanding achievements in B.C.’s marine sector.
Nominations are encouraged for individuals who have made noteworthy contributions to our Province’s marine interests,including but not limited to: science, technology, business, applications of maritime skills, nautical heritage and culture, and academic offerings. An award is also made to recognize a noteworthy organization, vessel or technological project.
TransCanada seeking approval to start building pipeline
TransCanada has applied to the National Energy Board for regulatory approval that would allow them to start contruction of the North Montney Mainline.The company has received conditional federal and provincial approvals for the NMML, however they are subject to a final positive investment decision by Petronas, the primary backer of the Pacific Northwest LNG Project on Lelu Island in Prince Rupert. Construction is estimated to cost around $1.4 billion and will connect the NMML project with TransCanada's existing pipeline network, allowing the company to ship the gas to markets across Canada and into the United States. If regulatory approval was provided, TransCanada could begin construction of the pipeline in the first half of 2018.
Container Company Executives ordered to testify in U.S. Antitrust Probe
The U.S. Department of Justice antitrust investigators served subpeona's on top container shipping container executives last week while they were in San Franciso to attend the Box Club meeting. The Box Club includes CEO's of major containers lines and only the heads of each company may participate in it's twice yearly meetings. US antitrust attorneys sit in on the meetings, even when they are held outside the U.S, to ensure that discussions do not go into legally precarious territory such as pricing. Quite often, the group also invites economists or industry analysts to attend. Under limited US antitrust authority granted by the federal maritime regulators, container lines that belong to discussion agreements can meet to discuss and agree on voluntary rate guidelines. The carriers are subject to the DOJ's antitrust prosecution if they exceed this authority by jointly fixing rates.
Companies that have confirmed that they were served subpeona's include Maersk Line, MSC, CMA CGM, Hapag Lloyd, Evergreen and OOCL among others. At this time no specific details have been released, and it should be noted that a subponea does not mean that a company has engaged in illegal behavior.
China - Foreign vessel penalized for use of fuel over 0.5%
American Club is advising that the Maritime Safety Administrations (MSAs) in Hebei Province and Tianjin Municipality have both reportedly penalized a foreign ship for use of fuel with sulfur content over 0.5%. It is not clear at this stage how the vessel was penalized. It has been reported that, in conducting the supervision and inspection survey of the foreign vessel that arrived at Tianjin Port, the MSA officer suspected that the vessel was using noncompliant fuel. Sampling results showed that the sulfur content of the fuel of that ship was 0.866%, which exceeded the maximum content of 0.5%m/m. This was the first reported case of the usage of non-compliant fuel in the PRC since the second and more stringent stage of control measures was implemented on January 1, 2017. The latest control measure requires ships to use fuel with a sulfur content of no more than 0.5% during berthing at key ports (excluding 1 hour after anchorage and 1 hour before departure).
Following the above referenced publicly reported case, there have been at least two other foreign flagged vessels that have been penalized by the MSA for allegedly using non-compliant fuel. Vessels are urged to comply with the latest PRC ECA low sulfur content requirement regulations to avoid detention or some form of penalty.
Having been delivered in 2015, Seajacks Scylla is considered to be the world’s largest and most advanced Offshore Wind Farm Installation Vessel. The vessel is purpose designed and constructed to meet the environmental rigors associated with working the UK and North West European markets. Operating at depths of up to 65m and with an open deck space of 4,600m2, Seajacks Scylla is ideally suited to servicing the ever expanding market for off-shore wind farm installation.
Built by Samsung Heavy Industries, Geoge City, South Korea Owned and operated by Seajacks UK Ltd., Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, UK LOA 139m Beam 50m GRT 12,000 tons DWT 5,000 MT Propulsion: 3 x 3000kW stern azipod units Thrusters: 3 x 3000kW (retractable) Jack-up legs, length 105m Speed 12 knots Accommodation for 130 crew and turbine installation specialists
Seajacks Scylla is uniquely equipped with a 1,540 MT leg-encircling crane capable of meeting the installation needs of jumbo-monopiles, jackets, and turbines of future wind farms in deeper waters further from shore.
She recently visited the Port of Rotterdam for a mooring system upgrade following her first successful assignment on Phase 1 of the Veja Mate Offshore Wind Farm Project which included the installation of 67 foundation monopiles off the coast of Germany, each weighing approximately 1,300 MT.
The vessel left Rotterdam for Esbjerg in Norway where she was mobilized for Phase 2 of the Veja Mate Offshore Wind Farm project (location shown in the above map) which includes the turbine installation of 67 Siemens SWT-6.0-154 wind turbines. Each turbine has a capacity of 6MW and a rotor diameter of 154m, to produce enough electricity for 400.000 German homes each year.
Based in Great Yarmouth (UK), Seajacks was acquired in 2012 by Marubeni Corporation and Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), a government-sponsored private equity corporation.
Ship of the Week contributed by Captain Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd.