The US Coast Guard issued a news release providing an update on Hurricane Florence response efforts in North Carolina. To date, USCG air and surface crews have rescued 1,103 individuals and 419 pets. Working with local county partners, Coast Guard crews were able to help assess and clear 765 miles of road, assess 23 bridges, and 14 dams. The ports of Wilmington and Morehead City are open with restrictions as port reconstitution operations continue. Port assessments identified more than 100 aids-to-navigation discrepancies, 24 have been corrected.
Transport Canada has released an executive summary of the Literature Review done in conjunction with the national Oceans Protection Plan Cumulative Effects of Marine Shipping Initiative. Comments and responses to four introductory questions on marine activities to date are available at https://letstalktransportation.ca/cems and further input is invited.
The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources, has announced the Government of Canada’s path forward on the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project. The National Energy Board (NEB) has been tasked with reconsidering its recommendations on the effects of project-related marine shipping. The NEB will be required to complete a thorough and prompt review and deliver its report within 22 weeks. In addition, the Government will present what actions will be taken to protect the southern resident killer whale. A special marine technical advisor will be appointed to the NEB. We are committed to ensuring that the NEB has the expertise and capacity to deliver the best advice to the Government.
Steelhead LNG has closed a deal with South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. to provide engineering and design of two LNG hulls as part of phase one of the Kwispaa LNG project on Vancouver Island. Each hull is expected to measure 340 metres in length and 60 metres wide and feature five individual tanks that provide approximately 280,000 cubic metres of LNG storage. The construction of the two hulls will cost US$500 million and the contract secures the price for future construction of additional hulls. The Kwispaa LNG Project is a proposed LNG export facility located at Sarita Bay on Vancouver Island on land owned by the Huu-ay-aht First Nations, who co-manage the project that is expected to be operational in 2024.
Seaspan ULC (Seaspan) has announced the closing of its public offering of 6,000,000 shares for US$150 million. Seaspan said it will use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, which may include funding acquisitions, debt repayments, and redeeming certain preferred shares. Seaspan charters vessels for long-term, fixed-rate, time charters to container shipping lines. Seaspan’s operating fleet consists of 112 containerships with a total capacity of more than 900,000 TEU.
Business in Vancouver shares its findings as British Columbia’s municipal election campaigns ramp up. There is clearly a growing proportion of the population with a not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) attitude and we can expect that over the next five weeks, this will dominate political discussions in various municipalities.
During the G7 ministerial meetings in Halifax this week, the Government of Canada outlined its plans to address current threats to our oceans and fisheries by combatting illegal fishing, fighting marine litter and plastic pollution, and building resilient communities. $148M will go to various initiatives, including funds towards the Global Fishing Watch program, the creation of an international fund to address plastic waste in developing countries, and support small island developing states (SIDS). Details can be found at Canada.ca/Our-Oceans.
Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada has been named Honorary Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard. The Honorary Chief Commissioner’s roles and responsibilities include national ceremonial and promotional initiatives that celebrate the crucial role the Canadian Coast Guard plays in saving lives and protecting the marine environment.
The International Maritime Organization’s sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC5) has developed draft interim guidelines covering the safety of ships using methyl/ethyl alcohol as fuel. The draft guidelines completes the work undertaken by the Correspondence Group on Development of Technical Provisions for the Safety of Ships using Low-flashpoint Fuels and are designed to provide for the safe design and operation of ships.
Hong Kong-incorporated shipping company Sinotrans Shipping, part of Sinotrans & CSC Holdings, has unveiled the possibility of privatization. An announcement regarding the possible privatization of the company will follow a short-term trading halt in line with the Hong Kong Code on Takeovers and Mergers. Sinotrans & CSC Holdings and China Merchants Group finalized a merger last April. Operating through three shipping segments, Sinotrans Shipping currently has a fleet of more than 50 bulkers, containerships and tankers, according to VesselsValue’s data.
The tentative five-year collective agreement reached for GCT Canada Planners and Assistant Planners on September 6, 2018 was ratified on September 12, 2018 by GCT Canada employees that are members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 502 bargaining unit.
Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping commissioned Vard Marine Inc. to examine the capabilities required for a single emergency towing vessel (ETV) that is expected to render assistance to a disabled ship drifting along Canada’s Pacific coast. The newly released Emergency Towing Vessel Needs Assessment is intended to inform decision makers, response professionals and the public regarding the extensive capabilities that are required to be able to respond to emergency towing scenarios.
Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) has launched an engagement plan to develop a regional growth strategy with Western Canadians for Western Canadians. The Government is committing $208 million over five years to promote the development and diversification of the Western Canadian economy. This strategy will grow the region’s economy, create good middle-class jobs, and lay the foundation for long-term prosperity across the four western provinces. Western Canadians are invited to share their ideas online to help shape the Western Canada Growth Strategy.
This week the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, and the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, hosted a roundtable discussion to provide grain producers, shippers, and railways an opportunity to share information, to address challenges specific to grain transportation, and support the implementation of new measures that will help advance common goals.
Topics covered included:
The Scott Islands Marine National Wildlife Area is the first to be protected under the Canada Wildlife Act and in close collaboration with Indigenous Peoples, the Province of British Columbia, and stakeholders. The protected area spans 11 546 km² around the Scott Islands and the conservation objective is to conserve migratory seabirds and species at risk as well as the habitats, ecosystems, and marine resources that support them. The Scott Islands Protected Marine Area Regulations, in conjunction with complementary measures by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Transport Canada to help mitigate fishing and shipping related concerns in the area, will provide an effective regulatory framework for the management of human activities within the boundaries of the area. An advisory committee, with technical and science advisory working groups, will also be established to provide advice and input into the development of an adaptive management plan for the Marine National Wildlife Area. A final management plan is expected in 2019.
Shell Canada concurrently announced its intent to voluntarily release almost 50 000 km2 of exploratory permits in the same region. Shell Canada’s Country Chair, Michael Crothers, announced the release of permits in the Queen Charlotte and Tofino basins, which overlap with about one third of the newly designated Scott Islands protected area.