Today, the Transport Minister, the Honourable Marc Garneau introduced Bill C-48, the proposed Oil Tanker Moratorium Act in Parliament. This Act delivers on the Prime Minister’s election promise to formalize a crude oil tanker moratorium on British Columbia’s north coast. This move together with attempts to ban other export commodities through our west coast gateways is a concern, and the tabling of the moratorium legislation sets a negative precedent in the banning of specific commodities only in BC's north coast in the absence of full consultation or clear evidence to support the move. The Chamber of Shipping has issued a press release expressing disappointment with the proposed legislation.
In a Vancouver Sun opinion piece titled, Has the cruise industry outgrown Vancouver?, Greg Wirtz, President and CEO of Cruise Lines International Assocation, North West and Canada questions the viability of the Port of Vancouver for the cruise sector. The sudden closure of the Ballantyne cruise facility and the increasing size of the cruise ships is causing significant stress on the remaining facility at Canada Place. "The Port’s current plans, focused on optimizing cruise business at Canada Place, will not adequately address current constraints or future opportunities. It’s time for a new plan. The cruise industry is looking to our partners at the Port, in the tourism sector and in government to work with us on a new plan that responds to evolving industry trends — and ensures the city, the region and the province can continue to share in the benefits of this popular and growing industry." This Saturday 14,000 passengers are expected to embark or disembark at Canada Place.
April 2017 marks one-year since Waterfront Shipping (WFS) welcomed seven of the world’s first ocean-going vessels capable of running on methanol into its fleet. The first three vessels were delivered in April and the remaining four later in 2016. These innovative vessels have achieved accolades from the marine industry for their use of clean-burning methanol as an alternative marine fuel. Over the past year, the seven 50,000 dead weight tonne methanol tankers – powered by two-stroke dual-fuel engines capable of running on methanol, fuel oil, marine diesel oil or gas oil – have been operating safely and reliably across the globe.
In collaboration with Marinvest/Skagerack Invest (Marinvest), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL), and Westfal-Larsen Management (WL), Waterfront Shipping's vision for the use of methanol as a cleaner marine fuel shows great promise. "With the recent announcement by IMO for a global 0.5% sulfur cap for vessels worldwide effective 2020, methanol will soon be one of the very few fuel alternatives to MGO that can be utilized by existing modern vessels after relatively minor and cost effective retro-fit modifications compared to, for instance, LNG," says Rolf Westfal-Larsen Jr., CEO Westfal-Larsen Management.
Last Friday, GCT Canada welcomed the largest container vessel to call the country at Deltaport. The Hapag-Lloyd 13,200 TEU “Antwerpen Express” has been deployed as part of THE Alliance’s Transpacific mainline West Coast PN3 service. The Hamburg class vessel is the first of a progressive ship upsizing for the service. Not only will this new fleet of vessels offer more slots for importers and exporters to grow in the market, but it will do so with an improved environmental footprint. GCT Deltaport hosts the largest ships to call the Port of Vancouver. The facility has recently completed major construction on its $280 million Intermodal Yard Reconfiguration project that increases rail capacity by over 50% within the existing footprint, enabling even better handling of big ship surge volumes. GCT Deltaport is the Antwerpen Express’s first-port-of-call directly from the Far East (Hong Kong-Yantian-Ningbo- Shanghai-Pusan-Vancouver).
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) included a notice on pages 11-12 of the current edition of its Customs Bulletin and Decisions newsletter stating that it has withdrawn its proposed modification and revocation of ruling letters relating to Customs application of the Jones Act to transportation of certain merchandise and equipment between coastwise points. CBP said that, based on the comments received on the matter, both supporting and opposing the proposed action, and CBP’s further research on the issue, “we conclude that the agency’s notice of proposed modification and revocation of the various ruling letters relating to the Jones Act should be reconsidered.”
The Coast Guard Marine Safety Center received its sixth application for Ballast Water Management System type approval for the Erma First FIT Ballast Water Treatment System manufactured by Erma First of Greece. MSC will review the application for compliance with US Coast Guard regulations in 46 CFR 162.060. Once it has been determined that the application meets the requirements, the MSC will issue a type approval certificate. So far only three systems have been approved. BWMS type approval applications and approval certificates are posted on MSC’s website.
Norwegian fertilizer producer, Yara, and maritime technology firm, Kongsberg Gruppe, are teaming up to build what they say will be the world’s first fully-electric and autonomous container feeder ship. The planned autonomous container feeder ship, to be named YARA Birkeland, will cut emissions from road transport when it starts shipping products from Yara’s Porsgrunn plant to Norway’s Brevik and Larvik ports, the companies said. Brevik and Larvik ports are about 14 km and 26 km away from Porsgrunn respectively by road. The vessel is expected to reduce emissions and boost safety by removing up to 40,000 truck journeys per year. YARA Birkeland will initially operate as a manned vessel before moving to remote operation in 2019, and later to fully-autonomous operations from 2020 onwards.
Port operator DP World says 10 people were injured when one of the massive cranes at Dubai's largest port, toppled over after a container ship hit a harbor wall. The UK-flagged CMA CGM Centaurus contacted the quay while berthing at Jebel Ali on Thursday, May 4, causing the crane to collapse suddenly.The company also says a second crane was shifted off its rails in the incident. An investigation is ongoing. Security-camera footage of the accident shows trucks moving on the dock moments before the yellow crane comes crashing down. This serves as a good occasion to reminder operators of the Pacific Pilotage Authority's Notice to Industry, issued on March 4, 2016 on the positioning of container cranes during arrival and departure of vessels in Vancouver and Prince Rupert.
Another very large ore carrier (VLOC) owned by Polaris Shipping has been anchored after cracks were detected in its deck plating. The cracks were discovered on the 1994-built Stellar Queen at time of inspection by Class and Port State Control prior to loading off the coast of Brazil. This is the second Polaris vessel, as in April the 1993-built Stellar Unicorn was found to have hull cracks and later received repairs in South Africa. Both vessels are similar to the Stellar Daisy that tragically sank off the coast of Uruguay at the end of March, in that both were converted from very large crude carriers. Polaris is committed to conducting thorough inspections and assessing the hull strength of each of its remaining 21 VLOC converted ships.
CN’s Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer Jean-Jacques Ruest is being recognized for his contributions to the maritime industry. He was inducted into the International Maritime Hall of Fame on Wednesday. The Hall of Fame recognizes maritime visionaries who, through excellence in their organization, exemplify forward-thinking and vision to guide the maritime industry into the future. Mr. Ruest joined CN in 1996 as Vice-President, Petroleum and Chemicals. From there, he became Vice-President, Industrial Products in 2003 and Vice-President, Marketing in 2004. In 2010, he entered his current role.
This weekend Prince Rupert's Fairview Container Terminal will see the arrival of three new gantry cranes aboard the heavy load carrier ship Zhen Hua 25. The offloading process is expected to take several days. The three Malacca-max dock gantry cranes will service Fairview's new container berth with a horizontal reach of 25 containers, capable of working the largest vessels in the world. When the expansion completes in a few months, Fairview Terminal will increase by half-a-million TEUs, boosting its total capacity from 850,000 to 1.35 million TEUs.
This weekend the Kaiwo Maru, one of the world's largest tall ships, will be featured at the Ships to Shore King of the Sea Festival in Steveston. The Kaiwo Maru is a four-masted, 361-foot-long sailing ship built in 1989. A limited number of boarding passes will be available on site for Friday and Saturday on a first come, first served basis, starting at 8:45 am. For more information visit: http://shipstoshore.squarespace.com/
G2 Ocean, a joint venture between Grieg Star and Gearbulk, officially commenced operations on May 1st. The integrated company will focus primarily on the commercial use of their combined fleets. In Vancouver, G2 Ocean is located in Grieg Star's office at 1111 West Hastings Street.
For its third time, Canada hosted the Joint Ministerial Conference on Port State Control in Vancouver. This week the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, hosted the delegation of global maritime leaders from European and Asia-Pacific countries which resulted in the signing of a new international declaration on ship safety. The new Ministerial Declaration on Port State Control is a further commitment by European and Pacific Rim countries to continue to eliminate substandard shipping practices that result in loss of life, damage to property and harm to marine environments. It will help create new global policies that advance this goal, putting pressure on administrations and owners of substandard ships to comply with international ship safety standards. Port State Control is an international program for inspecting foreign ships entering local waters. Port State Control inspections ensure that these ships meet international safety, security and environmental standards, and that crew members have adequate living and working conditions.
The UL Standards Technical Panel (STP) 1123 for Personal Flotation Devices held a task group meeting at Coast US Guard Headquarters last month. Representatives from the US Coast Guard and Transport Canada met to develop new bi-national standards for immersion suits and lifejackets for use on US and Canadian commercial vessels. Once finalized and adopted the standards will support the goal of facilitating innovation in the area of personal flotation devices and reducing trade barriers between the US and Canada. The full PFD Standards Technical Panel is scheduled to meet at the end of May to discuss the task group’s progress and propose a timeline for completing the project.