At a recent groundbreaking ceremony for a liquefied natural gas terminal on India’s east coast, a minister in that country’s government said Canada will be a source of the facility’s LNG. The announcement comes amid long-standing frustrations among those who want to see Canadian natural gas reach new international markets with an LNG export industry, which has failed to materialize. The state-owned Indian Oil Corp. and two partners are building the terminal at India’s Dhamra port to bring in LNG from overseas markets and process it into gas to meet domestic demand. A specific Canadian project was not named, but only Woodfibre LNG has been sanctioned to move ahead.
The Port of Vancouver issued a press release this week confirming that 53 shipping lines and agencies have committed to a voluntary study to better understand the relationship of slower vessel speeds, underwater noise levels and southern resident killer whales. Between August 7 and October 6, 2017, the speed of participating vessels will be reduced through the water in Haro Strait, when it is feasible and safe to do so. The trial is fully supported by the Chamber of Shipping members representing cruise lines, container, tanker, bulk, auto and breakbulk carriers as announced in our statement to the media.
US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has introduced the Open America’s Waters Act of 2017, legislation that would repeal the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, or the Jones Act. The Jones Act requires that all goods shipped between waterborne ports of the United States be carried by vessels built in the United States and owned and operated by Americans. In his press release, he states “The protectionist mentality embodied by the Jones Act directly contradicts the lessons we have learned about the benefits of a free and open market. Free trade expands economic growth, creates jobs, and lowers costs for consumers. I urge my colleagues to support this bill and finally repeal the outdated and protectionist Jones Act.” McCain first introduced legislation to repeal the Jones Act in the Senate in 2010 and later in January 2016 to waive Jones Act requirements for oil and gasoline tankers.
The California State Lands Commission has issued a letter confirming that the use of US Coast Guard type approved Ballast Water Management System (BWMS) is accepted for the management of ballast water prior to discharge within California waters and therefore may be used in lieu of ballast water exchange.
Yesteday Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) closed the Snow Crab Fishing Area 12 in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. This quick decision was made in reaction to the discovery of the eighth North Atlantic Right whale found dead in the Gulf of St. Lawrence on July 19th. Another Right whale was found entangled in fishing gear in the same area later that day. The recent whale mortalities in the area are unprecedented and this closure is an important measure to address the situation. In light of last week’s tragic incident, DFO has paused Right whale disentanglements.
The investigation on damages caused to Yamachiche residences by the vessel EM KEA travelling on Lake Saint-Pierre on April 26, 2017 has concluded that the vessel contravened the Notice to Mariners in effect. The Notice to Mariners issued earlier that month requested mariners to navigate at safe speed in order to avoid damages to shore properties and to pay particular attention when meeting or overtaking. AIS data has confirmed that the vessel was transiting at a speed of 17.6 knots and the investigation confirmed that at the time of the incident, a licensed pilot, a member of the Corporation des pilotes du Saint-Laurent Central (CPSLC), was on board the EM KEA and that there was no critical situation requiring the vessel to travel at such a speed on Lake Saint-Pierre. The Minister of Transport has stated that he intends under the Pilotage Act review to address the need for greater accountability and penalties for actions deemed to be negligent on the part of pilots performing their duties on behalf of recognized pilotage organizations.
Transport Canada issued a news release announcing a five-year extension to the Government's agreement with the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation to manage, maintain, and operate the Seaway. This extends the agreement until 31 March 2023.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced the seizure of over 4,000 litres of MDP-2-P at the Vancouver Container Examination Facility (CEF). In May 2017 the CEF border services officers (BSOs) processed a commercial container arriving from Vietnam. The shipment was targeted for inspection based on an intelligence analysis and was referred for an in-depth examination upon arrival. The contents were declared as “dishwashing liquid”; however, when officers inspected the containers they noticed inconsistencies between the liquid inside the jugs. Over 2,800 jugs were tested and sent for chemical analysis. More than 800 jugs tested positive for MDP‑2‑P, a Class A precursor chemical listed in Schedule VI of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. MDP‑2‑P is a substance used in the final stage of manufacturing MDMA and ecstasy. The amount of MDP-2 seized would have contributed to the production of up to 38 million doses of ecstasy depending on the synthesis method utilized to produce the narcotic.
Also just released, the Montreal CEF seized 57 kilos of cocaine hidden inside an industrial pipe imported from Trinidad and Tobago following a more in-depth examination on January 17, 2017. CBSA officers used specialized tools to cut the pipe open. Upon opening the pipe, they found 57.4 kg of cocaine hidden in its walls.
Four men in their 30s believed to be from the Soviet republic of Georgia were discovered in a container that also contained a vehicle and some food at the Port of Montreal. The container arrived on OOCL Montreal after calling ports in Hamburg and Antwerp. The men are being treated for dehydration and OOCL is assisting Canada Border Services Agency with an internal investigation.
Northern Biomass Consulting Ltd., currently located in Prince George is moving its operations to Nanaimo adding 45 full-time and 200 contractor jobs to Central Vancouver Island. Talby McKay, President & owner of the company has a clear vision in renewable energy and resources. McKay has indicated that plans are in the works for a $20 million plant at Duke Point with a $50 million annual operating budget. Northern Biomass will occupy the Port Authority's original administration building located at 104 Front Street.
David Emerson, P.C., O.B.C., Chair of the Board for GCT Global Container Terminals Inc. (GCT)announced the appointment of Doron Grosman as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Doron replaces Stephen Edwards, who served in the position since 2012. On behalf of the entire organization, Mr. Emerson extends GCT’s sincere thanks to Stephen for his service leading the company, and wishes him well. Doron is a seasoned, multi-industry executive with with more than 30 years of leadership experience including in a variety of C-suite roles at global Fortune 1000 companies as well as middle market private equity-owned companies. Doron holds a MBA from the Harvard Business School as well as a Masters of Science in Engineering from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa.
The Trump administration has approved its first offshore drilling plan and gave Italian oil company Eni a quick green light on Wednesday to drill exploratory wells off the coast of Alaska. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) issued a press release stating that it has approved the Eni Beaufort Sea Exploration Plan. The plan calls for drilling into a federal outer continental shelf (OCS) reservoir from a pre-existing gravel island. Eni US is a subsidiary of Italian multinational oil and gas company Eni S.p.A. In its plan, Eni describes its intent to drill four exploration wells into the federal submerged lands of the Beaufort Sea from its Spy Island Drillsite, a pre-existing facility located in Alaska state waters. Drilling will be conducted during the winter months only and is scheduled to begin in December 2017.
Snuneymuxw First Nation has informed the federal government that it expects to have Nation-to-Nation discussions on the future of Nanaimo harbour in order to bring alternative harbour governance models forward to replace the Nanaimo Port Authority (NPA). In a letter written to Ministers Marc Garneau (Transport Canada), Jody Wilson-Raybould (Department of Justice) and Carolyn Bennett (Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs), Chief John Wesley of the Snuneymuxw First Nation said that Snuneymuxw and the surrounding community is united in its desire to work with the federal government on a new harbour governance model. This past April, both Snuneymuxw First Nation and the City of Nanaimo resolved to work with the marine industry and undertake innovative work to explore and develop a new harbour governance model. That work continues, and forms the basis of the upcoming public dialogue The Future of Nanaimo Harbour, to be hosted in September.
Dave Bedwell is officially retiring from his position as Executive Vice President of China Ocean Shipping (Canada) Inc. on September 1st. Dave was part of the management team that established China Ocean Shipping (Canada) Inc. in Canada in 1994 and is well know throughout industry as he has been a true champion for the ocean carriers. He will be retiring from his position as Vice Chair of the Chamber of Shipping, after serving 13 on its Board of Directors and he will also be stepping down from the BC Maritime Employers Association's Board of Directors where he has served for several years. His presence will be missed at the boardroom table and of course at our local golf tournaments, but no doubt the grass will be greener in Kelowna. Congratulations!
Following the recent deaths of seven North Atlantic Right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has highlighted work underway, including:
There has been an increased presence of right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence this year and more frequent sightings near shipping lanes. The population of endangered North Atlantic righ whales is around 500. Earlier this week, DFO and partners responded to a whale entanglement in the area. Tragically, one of the partners, Mr. Joe Howlett of the Campobello Whale Rescue, lost his life while attempting to free the whale.
The Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on July 13, 2016 set out new requirements for safety equipment, written safety procedures and vessel stability for small commercial fishing vessels operating in Canada.