Friday, 13 June 2014 01:12

Remaining Albedo crew members released

315 Albedo

Eleven crew members of the Malaysian registered ship container ship Albedo which was hijacked by Somali pirates in November 2010 have been freed after three and a half years (1288 days) in captivity, apparently without a ransom being paid. The crew who are from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Iran were flown to Kenya for medical checks and debriefing before being repatriated. Seven of the ship's crew were released two years ago when a ransom was paid but sadly not before one had been executed by their captors. Four others died when the vessel sank (picture above) after two years at anchor. Approximately 38 crew members from a variety of hijacked vessels still remain unaccounted for.

A search has also been on since Wednesday last week for the Greek coastal tanker Fair Artemis that lost contact 40 miles off Ghana with a 24-strong crew and a cargo of gasoil. The vessel sent a distress call on June 6 saying that she had been hijacked and was being looted as it was forced to sail through the waters of neighboring Togo. Naval forces from Ghana, Togo, and Nigeria all engaged in the search and she eventually turned up on Wednesday this week – minus cargo of course. 

315 Brazil

Whilst already well known for shutting down port operations during national soccer games, Brazilian stevedores were set to go the full Monty during the World Cup with a complete shutdown in protest against Government attempts to implement much needed reform. At the 11th hour, a shutdown was postponed until June 27 after the government agreed to listen to stevedore complaints following many months of ignoring them. Now is peak soya-bean exporting season when ports are even more congested than normal hence damage to the country’s agricultural sector would be immense.

Friday, 13 June 2014 01:07

Bulk carrier fire in Corpus Christi

315 Antonio

The bulk carrier Antonio suffered a serious cargo hold fire this week in the Port of Corpus Christi, Texas. Smoke enveloped a wide area of the port and local area with one shore fire-fighter being taken to hospital with heat exhaustion. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

315 CSA 315 LCA

The Canadian Shipowners Association and the US based Lake Carriers Association have announced  an agreement on five shared principles for ballast water control measures on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canadian Eastern and Arctic waters to the limit of the Canadian exclusive economic zone (Operating Area).  The purpose of the agreement is to establish fair, equivalent and flexible ballast water regulation on both sides of the border.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014 12:09

No US tax on cargo from Canada and Mexico

A big sigh of relief for Canadian ports as the new US Water Resources Reform and Development Act signed into law on Tuesday excluded a proposed 0.125 per cent tax on cargo arriving in Canada and Mexico destined for the US.  In lieu of any tax, the new Act does offer $25 million to ports that contribute to the National Harbor Maintenance Tax, such as Seattle and Tacoma.

314 BlueCircle

Chair of the Board, Craig Neeser, presented Blue Circle awards for environmental performance beyond compliance following this week’s Annual General Meeting of Port Metro Vancouver. The 2013 award recipients were APL (Canada), COSCO Canada, CMA CGM (Canada), Disney Cruise Line, Eukor Car Carriers, Grieg Star Shipping (Canada), Hapag-Lloyd AG, Holland America Line, Hyundai Merchant Marine, K Line; Maersk Line, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Mediterranean Shipping Company (Canada),  Orient Overseas Container Line, Princess Cruises and Westwood Shipping Lines. Company representatives nominated to accept the award are shown together in the pictures above.

Financial highlights announced by CFO Allan Baydala prior to a lively Q&A session with members of the general public  were:

  • Re-affirmation by Standard & Poor of PMV’s AA credit rating, for the fourth consecutive year.
  • A 12% increase in overall consolidated revenue, from $189 million in 2012 to $212 million in 2013
    • An 18% increase in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization
    • A 27% increase in overall Consolidated Net Income from $75 million in 2012 to $94 million in 2013 (excluding one-time gain on the sale of assets of $21 million in 2012)
  • The purchase of the former Fraser Wharves auto terminal in Richmond for $56 million.
  • The completion of the South Shore Elevated Road Structure, on time and on budget

PMV also paid out $1.2 million in harbour dues discounts to vessels participating in the EcoAction program as recognized by the Blue Circle Award.

Friday, 06 June 2014 10:29

ASEAN delegation visits Vancouver

314 Asean

During the three day visit of a high ranking delegation from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to Vancouver this week, Canada was urged to extend trade links to this fastest growing region on the planet comprising a market of 600 million people. The visit was coordinated by the Department of Foreign Affairs with the delegation being hosted by a International Trade Minister Ed Fast along with Provincial Ministers and the Premier. The delegation head reminded us that there is currently only one direct flight a week from ASEAN countries to Canada and that needs to change given that the region has around 1,200 airports and will require 3,000 additional aircraft between now and 2032 to meet the projected increased demand for travel. ASEAN is a thriving 10-nation political and economic organization made up of Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. In terms of shipping, the region holds registration of 17% of the world fleet and currently handles around 78m TEU per year.

Friday, 06 June 2014 10:28

BC Government beats LNG drum in Europe

314 LNG

BC Finance Minister Mike de Jong and a group of officials, has been on a sixnation tour of Europe this week to discuss BC’s economy and opportunities for LNG investment. In addition to meeting with potential investors in London, the Minister will meet with the UK Treasury. Tour stops include Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, France (for D-Day commemoration), Amsterdam, London and New York when Mr. De Jong will attend a June 11 conference on North American energy.

Just last week, the federal Natural Resources Minister the Honourable Greg Rickford announced plans to establish a Major Projects Management Office (the MPMO West) in Prince Rupert to work with West Coast First Nations on proposed Provincial energy projects in the province. The tripartite forum will be designed to facilitate interaction between the federal and B.C. governments with First Nations related to aboriginal participation in energy developments as recommended by The Prime Minister’s special advisor on First Nations engagement, Mr. Doug Eyford.

314 KitimatLNG

The Kitimat LNG project led by Chevron Corp. and Apache has signed an agreement with TransCanada Corp. for about 1.9 billion cubic feet per day capacity pipeline to supply the venture. This in turn will spur a major extension to the Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL) pipeline. This new pipeline of 260 kilometres of 48-inch diameter pipe will carry natural gas sourced through the NGTL System via the proposed Pacific Trail Pipeline (PTP) that will terminate at the Kitimat LNG plant at Bish Cove.

314 Victoria

Following a period of extensive study, the board of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA)has elected not to pursue shore power for cruise ships on account of the often very short period of port stay. "Industry commitments to clean fuel and on-board scrubber technology have eclipsed shore power as a viable air-quality strategy for Victoria," commented  Curtis Grad, President and CEO of GVHA. The port is scheduled to handle 205 calls at the Ogden Point cruise terminal this year as Victoria continues to rate highly with passengers as the Canadian port of call for Seattle based ships under the Jones Act coastal trading requirements.

314 FedKivalina

After being closed for two days, the St. Lawrence River reopened late last week after tugs successfully pulled the Federal Kivalina off the bank on which she was grounded near the Thousand Island Bridge. Routine precautions were taken in case of bunker oil leakage but thankfully non occurred.

314 Sewol

The marine tragedy of the year claimed another victim last week when a second diver searching for bodies in the sunken ferry Sewol was killed. The diver was pulled from the water where he was involved in the cutting open of the hull in the hope of reaching the bodies of 16 people still missing nearly two months after the vessel sank, Meanwhile a car reportedly owned used by the fugitive businessman believed to be the owner of the Sewol has been located. All 15 of the surviving crew members, including the 69-year-old captain, have been arrested and face charges of gross negligence after video footage emerged of some abandoning the vessel while the passengers were still on board.

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