The Government of Canada has announced that it has surpassed its commitment to increase the protection of marine and coastal areas to 5% by the end of 2017. New marine refuges off the coast of British Columbia and in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence in Quebec together contribute an additional 1.59% of protected ocean area to Canada’s coasts. The next target is to reach 10% of coastal protection by 2020.
The marine refuge in the Pacific coast is located within the boundaries of the new large Offshore Pacific Area of Interest, and protects underwater seamounts and several hydrothermal vents by prohibiting all bottom-contact commercial and recreational fishing activities within the refuge. In addition, 11 new marine refuges in the Gulf of St. Lawrence will make a lasting contribution to marine conservation in Canada. They aim to protect cold-water coral and sponge communities and prohibit the use of bottom-contact fishing gear, whether it be for commercial, recreational, or Aboriginal subsistence fishing.
The Chamber of Shipping President, Robert Lewis-Manning appeared again on Conversations that Matter hosted by Stu McNish. In the video Robert Lewis-Manning addresses the challenges facing the industry and the various opportunities presented in the Oceans Protection Plan. To view the video visit: https://vimeo.com/239665164.
On October 31st the Chamber of Shipping President, Robert Lewis-Manning, appeared before the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities via videoconference on the proposed Oil Tanker Moratorium Act, Bill C-48. The Committee has heard from several witnesses, some of which are proposing the moratorium be extended to the south coast and others more critical of the consultation process and lack of evidence based decision making in determining what persistent oils would be captured in the export ban. Our formal submission was sent to the committee today.
Seaspan Corporation has announced that Bing Chen will be joining the Company as its Chief Executive Officer and appointed to the Board of Directors in January, 2018. Gerry Wang will be retiring as CEO and Director of Seaspan effective November 3rd. Upon Mr. Wang's retirement, Peter Curtis, executive vice president and chief operating officer, will also serve as Seaspan's interim chief executive officer until Mr. Chen's arrival, after which he will continue in his current role. Over his twenty five year career Mr. Chen has held executive positions in China, Europe and the United States. Most recently, Mr. Chen served as CEO of BNP Paribas (China) Ltd. where he led the bank's growth strategy in China.
BC Ferries’ Northern Sea Wolf, the vessel acquired for the new route from Port Hardy – Bella Coola, and named through a community engagement process, is on its way to British Columbia. The vessel departed from the port of Piraeus in Athens, Greece, on Nov. 3 for the 10,097 nautical mile journey to its new home in British Columbia. The Transatlantic voyage will take approximately 35 days, depending on weather, fuel stops and canal transit. The ship’s progress can be tracked virtually, including course, position and speed at www.vesselfinder.com. The ferry is expected to begin service in summer 2018.
The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) is seeking up to two independent Directors to join its Board of Directors for a four-year term commencing January 1, 2018. Applicants should have previous board knowledge with an organization of similar size and complexity, knowledge of current and emerging harbour and Victoria-area community issues, and strong business acumen. Expertise in one or more of the following areas would be an asset:
Additional information is available at http://www.gvha.ca/about-gvha/governance and application are due by the end of day, November 20, 2017.
Algoma Central Corporation announced on Oct. 27th that it had reached a tentative agreement with the navigation and engineering officers in the Company’s product tanker fleet, ending a strike that began on October 21st. The union represents 54 employees of Algoma Tankers Limited. Vessels tied up as a result of the strike resumed operations once arrangements were made to return the crews to the ships.
The Green Marine team is enthusiastically planning for GreenTech 2018 which will be held at the Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel, in Vancouver, BC from Wednesday, May 30th to Friday, June 1st. The event is open to everyone involved or interested in maritime transportation and its greater sustainability through greener technologies, innovation and best practices.
Green Marine welcomes proposals for presentations from marine transportation community members focusing on real-life experiences, case studies and/or leading edge research that show delegates how best practices, new technologies and insightful partnerships make a difference. Click here to submit a proposal.
Samsung Heavy Industries has completed delivery of the first of three Suzemax shuttle tankers destined for offshore operations in Canada. The 155,000 DWT Beothuk Spirit was delivered on 25 October to Teekay Offshore Partners, a division of the multi-national Teekay tanker, offshore and gas company, headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda. Beothuk Spirit is the first of Teekay's three newbuild shuttle tankers set to operate on Canada's east coast. Sister vessel Norse Spirit is scheduled for delivery in November 2017, followed by Dorset Spirit in early 2018.
Although generally classified as a crude oil tankers, shuttle tankers are to normal tankers like starships to skateboards; some differences are obvious, like higher superstructure to provide visibility over bow loading housing, but many more are hidden. In this case, there are no less than 6 propellers (plus extensive control system) taking care of the vessel's dynamic positioning capabilities: one variable pitch propulsion propeller, one tunnel thruster aft, one azimuth thruster aft, one tunnel thruster forward, and two azimuth thrusters forward.
On October 25th the first ship carrying product from K+S Potash Canada’s (KSPC) Bethune mine left its potash handling and storage facility at Pacific Coast Terminals (PCT) in Port Moody, BC. The MV Daiwan Champion operated by Pacific Basin Shipping was loaded with 30,000 tonnes of potash and will supply customers in Asia. KSPC’s potash handling and storage facility can receive trains carrying up to 18,000 tonnes of product, offer storage for 160,000 tonnes of potash and can dispatch ships carrying 70,000 tonnes from its own berth.
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) Board of Directors has approved the Port Authority’s proposed fee amendments that will take effect on January 1, 2018. In summary, the fee amendments for the auto, cargo and container sectors reflect a CPI increase for Berthage and Wharfage rates. Harbour Dues rates remain unchanged and include revised criteria to qualify for Harbour Dues discounts. The VFPA is accepting comments on the proposed fee amendments or any other matter in the prior to January 1, 2018.
At the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA) 65th Anniversary Conference & Exhibition in Las Palmas earlier this month, John Beckett, VP of Training at the BC Maritime Employers Association was introduced as the new Chair. The ICHCA, founded in 1952, is an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the safety, security, sustainability, productivity and efficiency of cargo handling and goods movement by all modes and through all phases of national and international supply chains.
Algoma Central Corporation advised earlier this week that Canadian Merchant Services Guild, which represents navigation and engineering officers on the company’s domestic product tanker fleet, has launched a strike against the company. The union represents 54 employees of Algoma Tankers Limited. The union has provided assurance that the vessels affected by the strike will sail to a safe berth and be secured before the employees leave their posts. Seafarers’ International Union of Canada (SIU) crews working aboard the vessels have been laid off; however, this is standard procedure due to collective agreements impacting the SIU members onboard the vessels.
CN and Norfolk Southern Corporation announced that a new joint interline service initiative is reducing transit times by one to two days for carload traffic between Western Canada and NS destinations in eastern United States. The interline service allows freight to bypass interchange points in Chicago for more efficient existing CN and NS routes.
In the meantime, CN is looking for 600 new conductors and crew members particularly in Western Canada. Fewer laid-off workers returned after a lengthy idle period. The Montreal-based company said it has ramped up hiring and training. It expects to have 250 people qualified in the fourth quarter and another 400 in the first quarter of 2018.
Transport Canada has charged Irving Oil, by way of summary conviction, with 34 counts of violation of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act. The investigation by Transport Canada and the RCMP following the Lac-Megantic trageday revealed that Irving Oil had not complied with all applicable safety requirements by not classifying the crude oil being carried by trains as a dangerous good or adequately training employees in the transportation of dangerous goods. While the misclassification did not directly cuase or contribute to the accident, Irving Oil has agreed to plead guilty to all counts. Under the court-ordered settlement, financial penalties assessed to Irving will include $400,320 in fines, as well as $3,599,680 to be invested in improving the safety of the transportation of dangerous goods in Canada. If you are in need of dangerous goods training, contact Denien Ford at the Chamber of Shipping.
Premier John Horgan toured the AltaGas Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal, and stated that it is an excellent model for the Province's vision of expanding sustainable resource production, creating long-term jobs and fuelling local economic development. Scheduled for opening in early 2019, the terminal is expected to be the first on Canada’s West Coast to export cleaner-burning propane from British Columbia and Alberta to Asia and other overseas markets. The export facility will be equipped to ship up to 1.2 million tonnes of processed propane annually.
Also on his tour was a visit to the Rio Tinto smelter in Kitimat on their one-year anniversary. The Rio Tinto BC Works smelter contributed $339 million to the British Columbia economy in its first full year of operation, including $190 million in annual salaries and pension plan benefits. “Rio Tinto is producing twice as much aluminum with one-third of the electricity and half of the emissions produced by their previous plant. This means they are now producing some of the lowest carbon aluminum in the world, giving them a competitive advantage at a time when consumers are looking for ways to reduce their impact on the climate,” said Premier Horgan.
Environmental and Climate Change Canada has announced fines issued this week to vessel operators under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 and the Fisheries Act. The Eyelander, a vessel owned by US company Bright Eye Fishing Corporation, has been fined $35,000 in the Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador after the company pleaded guilty to violations under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994. Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers conducted an investigation and found that the grounding of the Eyelander within the Witless Bay Seabird Ecological Reserve caused the ship to deposit diesel fuel in an area frequented by migratory birds. As part of the investigation, 16 murre-chick carcasses were recovered from the oil sheen on the water. A $100,000 fine was issued to PF Résolu Canada Inc. after pleading guilty to violating subsection 36(3) of the Fisheries Act, namely the deposit of a deleterious substance in waters frequented by fish.