South Korea’s Pan Ocean Co Ltd has been put up for auction with those bright people who know a lot about these things putting a value of around $600 million on the company. The company was formerly known as STX Pan Ocean when part of the STX Group declared insolvency in 2013. Pan Ocean reported operating profit of 115.3 billion won during the first half of this year, from a 93.8 billion won loss in the same period of 2013. Binding bids must be placed by Dec 11. Cheque books at the ready?
The lost Franklin expedition ship found in the Arctic last month has been positively identified as HMS Erebus from which Sir John Franklin commanded the ill-fated 1845 expedition to find the Northwest Passage. The Prime Minister made the announcement personally this week in the House of Commons. HMS Erebus and HMS Terror disappeared after they became locked in ice in 1846.
On October 16th, the Vancouver Maritime Museum will host Marc-Andre Bernier, chief of the underwater archaeology team for Parks Canada tha found the Franklin Expedition, for a special presentation on Arctic Shipwrecks and the Franklin Expedition. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Vancouver Maritime Museum website.
Zim Line has assured customers that it is committed to the Port of Oakland despite the fact that two hostile protests over the last two months have forced the company’s vessels to cancel port calls. A pro-Palestinian group Block the Boat for Gaza is protesting against the actions and policies of Israel towards Gaza and says its next protest will take place on October 25.
Federal, provincial and territorial Ministers of Transportation and Highway Safety approved actions to change regulations for commercial heavy trucks that will support the trucking industry and economic competitiveness. The Ministers also endorsed updates to the National Safety Code (NSC), which sets out inspection criteria for trucks, trailers and buses, to be implemented by each government. These measures will support the safe and efficient movement of goods by improving fuel efficiency; reducing GHG emissions and providing greater flexibility for shippers travelling across provincial and territorial boundaries.
The long awaited Class NK investigation report into the loss of MOL Comfort last year, much of which is highly technical, has declared that the vessel split and sank in a “very rare casualty due to rough weather conditions and problematic vessel operation and management”. The investigation further comments that the casualty could be a ship-specific matter relating to excessive lateral loads such as bottom sea pressure and container weights possibly aggravated by significant differences between MOL Comfort and other vessels in terms of ultimate hull-girder strength against the wave-induced vertical bending moment specified in class rules.
Under Japan’s Product Liability Law, vessel owner Mitsui OSK Lines, together with cargo and insurance interests, is seeking around $131.6m from builder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for alleged negligence and defects in the vessel. For its part, Mitsubishi, the shipbuilder, has rejected any responsibility for the incident saying that MOL Comfort’s design and construction complied fully with class rules and the ship “was provided with the fundamental level of safety”.
A group of around 500 Nicaraguan farmers has clashed with police during a protest against the proposed Nicaragua Canal which would involve confiscation of their land. A spokesperson voiced “we do not want the canal to be built and nobody should come in here and take over our land”. If built, the project will compete with the Panama Canal by linking the Caribbean with the Pacific. A contract has been awarded to the Chinese company, HK Nicaragua Development (HKND). Nicaragua itself is rated the second-poorest country in the Western Hemisphere behind Haiti and No. 114 in the World Economic Forum’s ranking of 144 countries for infrastructure.
It has long been known that the Panama Canal pilots do not agree with the decision of the Canal Authority to replace traditional mules with tugs to guide vessels through the new locks when the expanded Canal opens for business in 2016. The pilots have now gone public with their concerns by declaring that “the new requirements run higher risks of accidents than existing practices, transits will take longer and they the use of tugs will add costs”. The pilots are also concerned that even though the expansion project has widened the canal’s narrowest passage at the Culebra Cut, it will still be too tight to accommodate the transit of two post-Panamax vessels at the same time.
The so called “Joint Shipping Initiative” comprising Shell, BP, Maersk, Stena, NYK, MOL and “K” Line. has announced the donation of $1.5 million to a United Nations Development Program aimed at fighting Somali piracy by tackling what is seen as the economic basis of the problem onshore in Somalia. The project aims to encourage local economic development through job creation, training, and business development grants in what is perhaps the worst example of a failed state.
A review panel has recently released its draft report on Part X of the Australian Competition and Consumer Act (CCA), which permits shipping lines to organise both consortia and discussion agreements. To the consternation of the marine industry, the report recommends that this provision be repealed. However, the panel does recommend that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) be given the authority to grant block exemptions to consortia agreements that demonstrate a “minimum standard of pro-competitive features under certain circumstances” which may translate to agreements having no common conference tariff and no pooling of revenues and losses. The full draft report can be downloaded via the following link: http://competitionpolicyreview.gov.au/files/2014/09/Competition-policy-review-draft-report.pdf. A second consultation period is now in effect until November 17.
The Russian research ship Professor Hlyustin sailed from Vladivostok last week with a group of scientists and cadets on board who will study the radiation situation in the Sea of Japan. The objective of the project is to understand the consequences of the blow out of the Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011 which resulted in an estimated 16,000 people being killed. The month long study will be conducted through the Sea of Japan and the Tsugaru Strait and on toward the Kamchatka region to a maximum depth of 6000 meters. Samples of water, air, soil, plants and marine life will be taken where they will be studied on board and and then sent on to a research institute in St. Petersburg and tested for the presence of cesium-137, strontium-90 and other contaminants.
Port Metro Vancouver, Governance Committee is now accepting applications for candidates to be considered as Directors on the Board of the Port Metro Vancouver. The deadline for applications is October 20, 2014. Two positions are open to applications at this time. The first is a current vacancy and the second is a term expiry. The Nominating Committee is particularly interested in individuals who have experience in the maritime business, financial risk management and major capital projects.
For more information on the criteria and process, view PMV's Notice.
Following completion of a comprehensive review of the development, testing and production timelines associated with the delivery of the remaining project components, CBSA has advised that a new deployment schedule for future eManifest functionalities has been established. The schedule introduces functionality incrementally, which enables new systems to run in parallel with existing production systems allowing for early detection and resolution of issues. The latest schedule which will deliver new eManifest features and systems to our external clients is as follows:
As system development continues to move forward, the CBSA will be communicating further details about the eManifest deployment schedule, and how it impacts each stakeholder group, through various channels such as Web site content, Webinar presentations and client mail-outs.
The Chamber of Shipping hosted a World Maritime Day fundraiser this week at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club to commemorate World Maritime Day (Sept 25) and raise funds for the Mission to Seafarers. An excellent turnout was entertained by Master of Ceremonies, Kevin Obermeyer, and guest speaker, John Horton, who provided a presentation on the work of the Canadian Lifeboat Institute. Thank you again to all who attended or otherwise supported the event.
Malaysia’s Petronas, the major partner in Pacific Northwest LNG which is proposing a significant LNG export plant in Prince Rupert has this week voiced the company’s frustration with the regulatory process and fiscal environment in BC. Chief Executive Mr. Shamsul Azhar Abbas, warned that unless the B.C. government unveils competitive tax and regulatory rules next month, he will cancel plans to invest an estimated $36-billion in the project. Rather than ensuring the development of the LNG industry through appropriate incentives and assurance of legal and fiscal stability, the Canadian landscape of LNG development is now one of uncertainty, delay and short vision,” Mr. Shamsul told the Financial Times. Canada is “already 40 years behind in the game.”
NDP Financial critic and MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley Nathan Cullen tabled a private member's bill this week to ban oil tankers from the North Coast of BC and impose “a more thorough consultation with communities to be impacted by such projects in the future”. "These are some of the most tempestuous waters in the world." Mr. Cullen told reporters. Mr. Cullen is well known for his opposition to development of Canada’s oil sands and expansion of oil export opportunities and acknowledged that the timing of his Bill is designed to force the issue in the 2015 federal election debates that lie ahead. The pipeline was approved with 209 conditions in June.
The environmental lobby group Ecojustice has launched a legal challenge to PMV’s approval of a new $20 million coal transport terminal at Fraser Surrey Docks on the basis that it breaches certain provisions of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The petition argues that PMV acted in a biased manner and that the Attorney General of Canada failed to consider the adverse environmental consequences of burning coal in other countries and that health impacts on residents near the terminal were not fully taken into consideration. Ecojustice describes itself as a national charitable organization that uses the law to defend Canadians' right to a healthy environment – a caption from the organization’s website is shown above.
The MV Nunavik set sail from Deception Bay last week en route to China via Canada's Northwest Passage, with 23,000 tons of nickel concentrate The Fednav owned vessel holds a Polar Class designation and is the first commercial vessel to attempt the Northwest Passage completely unescorted with an Arctic cargo. The route to China via the Northwest Passage is some 40 percent shorter than the traditional Panama Canal route, and as a result, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1,300 tonnes.
The Nunavik is the most powerful conventional (non-nuclear) icebreaking bulk carrier in the world and is supported by a shore-based team of ice navigation specialists from Fednav and its subsidiary, Enfotec. The vessel will receive regular ice charts including real-time satellite imagery in order to operate Enfotec's proprietary onboard ice-navigation system, IcenavTM, further enabling safe and efficient transit. To follow the Nunavik's passage visit: http://www.fednav.com/en/voyage-nunavik.