The Hong Kong government has announced that it will make switching to low sulphur fuel mandatory for vessels at berth from 2015 — the first Asian port to do so. A draft Bill that requires sulphur content to be no more than 0.5% will be tabled at the Legislative Council for a vote in mid-2014 after Hong Kong’s local marine called for a leveling of the playing field. Under the so called Fair Winds Charter, for the past three years, some ship owners have been voluntarily switching to low sulphur fuel but this was by no means universal – hence the decision to legislate.
Loading nickel ore in Pomalaa, Indonesia
Following weeks of last minute lobbying by national and international mining companies, the Indonesian government last weekend enacted a new law banning the export of some unprocessed minerals. The main targets are nickel ore and bauxite under a law passed by Indonesia’s parliament in 2009 under which says mineral ores are required to be processed at domestic smelters from 12 January, 2014. Indonesia’s Ministry for Mines and Energy had proposed a three-year exemption that would allow companies to export unprocessed minerals until 2017 provided they make a commitment to build domestic smelters. Jakarta modified its proposals at the last minute to allow exports of iron ore, copper and some other concentrates to continue. Last week a number of Chinese owned and chartered vessels were reported as having been prevented from leaving Indonesian ports, just two days before the ban came into force. China imported around 65 million tons of nickel for the first 10 months of 2013, nearly all of it from Indonesia and the Philippines.
Nickel ore exports from Indonesia have long been controversial on account of mis-declaration of Transportable Moisture Limits (TML) which has resulted in the loss of at least six vessels, namely:
October 2010: Jian Fu Star, 13 fatalities
November 2010: Nasco Diamond, 21 fatalities
December 2010 Hong Wei, 10 fatalities
December, 2011: Vinalines Queen, 22 fatalities
February 2012: Harita Bauxite, 15 fatalities
August 2012: Trans Summer sank off Hong Kong, but all 21 crew were rescued by helicopters.
All vessels were carrying nickel ore from Indonesia to China.
The Italian navy and relatives of the 32 people who lost their lives released a wreath on January 13 on the second anniversary of the Costa Concordia disaster. On Giglio island, the accident was commemorated with a mass in the church that housed survivors on the night of the tragedy. Judges and survivors stood in silence at the theatre turned courtroom where Captain Francesco Schettino is accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the vessel before all passengers had been evacuated. The trial has been postponed due to a strike by lawyers in Italy and has been rescheduled for January 27. A stone plaque bearing the names of those who lost their lives has been posted on the Island (above right).
Where the Costa Concorida will be scrapped has yet to be announced but for obvious reasons, given the precarious state of the vessel, her insurers are hoping that it will be somewhere in the Mediterranean. An announcement on the winning tender is expected in March and the vessel is being prepared for moving in June. It was revealed last week that after an extensive tender process, a total of 12 yards spread over Italy, the UK, France, Norway, Turkey, the Netherlands, and China are competing for the contract to dismantle and recycle the vessel. That’s quite a chunk of steel to cut up.
The Pacific Pilotage Authority is inviting expressions of interest from parties interested in providing a pilot boat service in Cape Beale (Port Alberni) area.
Parties wishing to find out more about this opportunity are asked to contact PPA by telephone at 604-666-8575 to obtain background documentation. Expressions of interest must be received no later than Friday, January 31st at 4:00 pm PST.
As previously advised through Canada Border Services Agency’s Customs Notice 13-020 – Marine Mode Carrier Codes – Transition Period Extension, marine agent carrier codes are set to expire now on January 30, 2014. This date is expected to remain unchanged, however we understand that CBSA will continue to work with agents to ensure that the applications are submitted and processed in a timely manner.
Please note that the following points have been clarified this week:
Further information on carrier code eligibility as it pertains to single agents is expected to be released next week.
Marcella Szel has been picked by the board to replace Nancy Olewiler, whose term as a director expired on December 31, 2013. Szel has been on the TransLink board since January 2012. A former CP Rail executive and Coal Association of Canada board member, Szel is also vice chair of Port Metro Vancouver. View news release. Brenda Eaton, who served as deputy minister to former premier Gordon Campbell, has joined the board for a three-year term. The other board members are Howard Nemtin (vice chair), Robin Chakrabarti, Rick Christiaanse, Lorraine Cunningham, W. John Dawson, Barry Forbes, and Don Rose.
site of proposed new Tesoro oil export terminal
On January 10, a Superior Court Judge ruled in favor of the Port of Vancouver, WA against three environmental groups that have been trying to stop development of a 42-acre oil-handling terminal for Tesoro. The three groups – Columbia Riverkeeper, the Northwest Environmental Defense Center and the Sierra Club jointly sued in October 2013 to stop the project on the basis that a 10-year, $45 million lease agreement was approved before an environmental study had been conducted. The project involves the development and operation of a new 120,000 barrels-per-daycrude-by-rail unloading and marine export facility.
The Chevron Apache LNG project, Kitimat LNG, is cautiously moving forward by engaging a joint venture between two international engineering firms Fluor Corporation and JGC Corp to undertake the engineering, procurement and construction for the proposed terminal at Bish Cove. JGC will be responsible for the liquefaction facilities and Fluor will oversee utilities and offsite facilities. Even so, the company has yet to announce a final investment decision (FID) on the $4.5 billion projectwhich has a license from the National Energy Board to export up to 10 million tonnes of LNG per year for 20 years. Both the provincial and federal governments have approved an environmental assessment of the project.
As if white-washing the Brits in the just completed Ashes Series (cricket) were not enough, the latest secret weapon employed by the Aussies is to bake the opposition at the Melbourne tennis open. South-East Australia has been hit with extreme hot weather with temperatures comfortably above 40C this week causing play in Melbourne to be suspended as players and spectators wilted under the sun.
It appears that in the dispute between The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and its expansion contractor GUPC, both sides have taken a step back from allowing the dispute to disrupt the construction schedule. ACP has also this week published a list of FAQ http://micanaldepanama.com/expansion/faq/ and has assured the International Chamber of Shipping that the dispute will not impact the transit toll proposals already published.
ACP has released a construction update on Youtube, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRZ-S-RJH6Q#t=424
One of the world’s largest LNG carriers, a 266,000 CBM Qatari owned Q-Max is to be converted to a capability to run on LNG. The country owns 14 modern Q-Max vessels and 11 smaller Q-Flex vessels with 216,000 cu m capacity hence if technically proven worthwhile this could be the precursor to a major program of hybrid dual fuel retrofits. Already extremely efficient, the fleet was installed with re-liquefaction units to return boil-off vapour to the cargo tank to maximize cargo volumes delivered.
Transport Canada is inviting comments by January 31, 2014 on the report of the panel appointed to review Canada’s Ship-Source Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Regime. The report was formally released on December 3 2013 and can be found at http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tankersafetyexpertpanel/menu.htm. Many of you have been briefed on the report at Chamber meetings but should you have any questions or wish to discuss any aspect of the report, please contact Stephen at the Chamber. For its part, the Chamber will be making a submission hence the Board welcomes any member input by close of business, January 24. Individual submissions to Transport Canada can be also made to:
Ms. Genevieve St-Amour
330 Sparks Street
Place de Ville, Tower C, 25th Floor
ITB Marine Group which comprises ITB West, ITB Subsea, ITB North, ITB Fuels, and through its parent company, a partnership with Samson Tug Boats – has evolved steadily over the last decades and is now moving to a larger corporate office in Richmond.
ITB West covers Island Tug and Barge’s operation on the west coast, ITB North manages all arctic operations, and ITB Subsea now manages the submarine cable business and Canpac divers. ITB Fuels is the fuel reselling and tank farm business & Samson Tug Boats is an innovative harbour tug service based in the Fraser River.
After just over ten years at the 55 Rogers Street address, the Marine Group which provides management services to the individual business units - will move to a new building in Richmond BC, whereas the ITB West operations group has a slightly more complicated move planned. The office building located at 55 Rogers Street will be moved onto a recently renovated barge, and relocated to Island Tug & Barge’s base at Berry Point where it will provide a floating operations center.
Please note the new mailing address for the entire ITB Marine Group and Samson Tug Boats effective February 1st, 2014 shall be: Suite #310, 10991 Shellbridge Way, Richmond, B.C., Canada, V6X 3C6.
Maersk has announced the revival of the SeaLand name for regional intra-Americas container services. North-south ocean services in the Western Hemisphere will be integrated into the new platform effective January 1 2015.
The crew of the Royal Navy ship HMS Protector also celebrated an unusual Christmas in Antarctica whilst conducting the ship’s annual survey patrol on behalf of the UK Hydrographic Office and to provide logistical support to the British Antarctic Survey Organization. The crew marked the day by playing soccer and then enjoying a traditional dinner on the ice complete with trimmings (anything for a photo-op). The British Antarctic Territory is the UK's largest overseas territory.
On a related note, Nordic Bulk Carriers has been speaking of their intention to schedule more transits of the Northwest Passage following the successful voyage last September of their ice strengthened Nordic Orion when carrying coal from Vancouver to Finland.
After becoming trapped by Antarctic pack-ice on Christmas Eve, the Russian expedition ice-breaker Akademik Shokalskiy’s 52 scientists and tourists were eventually lifted off by a helicopter dispatched by the Chinese ice-breaker/research vessel Xue Long (Snow Dragon) and transferred by launch to the Australian ice-breaker Aurora Australis on January 2. Thereafter both the Akademik Shokalskiy and Xue Long remained trapped by heavy pack ice crew until a change in wind direction on January 7 provided an opening for escape prior to the planned arrival on the scene of the American icebreaker Polar Star. The vessel responsible for this truly international effort, the Akademik Shokalskiy had been chartered by the Australasian Antarctic Expedition to follow the route explorer Sir Douglas Mawson travelled a century ago. Scientific advances made during that expedition included work in cartography, geology, meteorology, aurora, geomagnetism, biology and marine science.
The Danish ro-ro vessel Ark Futura sailed this week from the Syrian port of Latakia with the first batch of that country’s chemical weapons under a UN-backed disarmament arrangement. The vessel loaded an initial shipment of nine containers which are to be transferred to the U.S. Navy’s Cape Ray for destruction. The overall plan is as follows:
1. The Syrian authorities are responsible for packing and safely transporting the chemical weapons from 12 sites across the country to the port of Latakia. Russia has supplied large capacity armoured trucks, while the U.S. has sent container drums and GPS locators.
2. Russia will provide security for loading operations at Latakia, for which the U.S. has supplied loading, transportation and decontamination equipment. China has sent 10 ambulances and surveillance cameras, and Finland an emergency response team in case of accidents.
3. Denmark and Norway are providing cargo ships and military escorts to take the chemicals to an as yet unnamed port in Italy. Russian and China will also provide naval escorts.
4. In Italy, the "most critical" chemical agents will be loaded onto the US Maritime Administration support ship Cape Ray to be destroyed by hydrolysis in international waters. Less-toxic chemicals will be shipped by Norwegian and Danish vessels for disposal at commercial facilities.