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According to American Shipper, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) has expressed concern over declines in various federally funded, port-related programs in President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget request, which was transmitted to Congress Tuesday.  The budget proposal for next year includes the elimination of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program, and a 52 percent reduction in funding for the Department of Homeland Security’s Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) to $47.8 million. In fiscal 2017, the PSGP provided 35 port security related grants, and the TIGER grants program awarded $61.8 million in multimodal infrastructure grants to US ports.  The AAPA is calling for $66 billion in federal funds for port-related infrastructure over the next decade to ensure U.S. job creation, economic growth, safe and secure ports, and tax fairness.

In addition, President Trump has proposed cutting the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget by 31 percent, while the EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grants would see an 83 percent cut.

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A new study commissioned by Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping (Clear Seas), and conducted by the Council of Canadian Academies, concludes that marine shipping is of great value to Canadians in all regions. The study, The Value of Commercial Marine Shipping to Canada, demonstrates that no Canadians’ life is untouched by marine shipping. Whether you are buying imported consumer goods, working in an auto plant in Ontario, or live in the Arctic, marine shipping has imparted value to your well-being.

Among the report’s key findings:

  • The national impact of marine shipping is equal to approximately 1.8% of the Canadian economy, or about $30 billion – which is roughly the equivalent of New Brunswick’s economy
  • Nationally, marine shipping transports about 20% of Canadian exports and imports by dollar value
  • By carrying more than $200 billion of goods to and from global markets annually marine shipping is essential to international trade

The Chamber of Shipping issued a media release titled, Chamber of Shipping calls for Federal Government Triage on Coastal Management, to initially welcome the report and emphasize the need for a balanced approach to coastal management. 

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Kinder Morgan says it will proceed with the $7.4 billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion as long as it secures satisfactory financing for the project through its initial public offering.  Kinder Morgan is pricing its initial public offering of 102.9 million shares of common stock at a price to the public of C$17.00 per share for total gross proceeds of C$1.75 billion. The final investment decision is conditioned on the successful completion of the IPO, which is expected to take place by no later than May 31, 2017.

Friday, 26 May 2017 12:57

CN Rail negotiation update

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CN Rail and the Teamster’s Canada Rail Conference union representing 3000 CN’s conductors in Canada have been in negotiations and CN has advised that TCRC may announce the results of a strike vote in the next week. The union cannot initiate strike action unless 72 hour’s advance notice is given to the Company. Based on our discussions to date, CN is optimistic that the company and union still have time to reach a mutually satisfactory collective agreement without a labour disruption. Nonetheless, if the union does provide such a 72 hour notice, the TCRC will be in a legal strike position as of 00:01 hours on Tuesday May 30, 2017.

Friday, 26 May 2017 12:50

G3 provides construction update

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Construction has been underway at our North Vancouver G3 Terminal Vancouver site at Lynnterm West Gate since March 7, 2017. Peter Kiewit Sons ULC has been selected as the design-build construction contractor for the project.  Activities since the start have included the demolition of old buildings/structures, site clean-up, relocating underground utilities, digging foundations, and dock panel removal (involving no in water works). We will manage dust on site using water trucks and expect minimal traffic impacts in the non-industrial area during this time.  Regular updates can be found www.g3terminalvancouver.ca.  

Industrial traffic requiring access to Lynnterm West Gate will be rerouted to a temporary detour starting in June this year. The temporary detour will be on the east side of Lynn Creek accessed via Mountain Highway, Dominion road and Harbour avenue, then along a temporary road built over the rail line and bridge to the G3 and Vancouver Pile Driving sites. We will monitor traffic and adjust to minimize traffic disruptions to local businesses located in the industrial area. There will be a small and temporary realignment of access to the Harbourview Dog Park and while we have made considerable efforts to ensure a safe and timely route be maintained to the parking lot, we suggest that dog owners may wish to access the park via the trail via access points to the north. 

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The Prince Rupert Port Authority has welcomed to its Board of Directors Frans Tjallingii, MSc, MBA, co-founder of Global Data Chain and past president of Saam Smit Towage.  Mr. Tjallingii was appointed on the recommendation of the Minister of Transport in consultation with the Coast Tsimshian First Nations. Mr. Tjallingii is the co-founder and Chairman of the New Leaf Project, a not-for-profit that is pioneering new approaches to homelessness. Mr. Tjallingii also chairs the First Nations Housing Foundation, which strives to develop innovative housing solutions through a global incentive prize.

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Last week Desgagnés christened and launched the M/T Damia Desgagnés, the first dual-fuel asphalt bitumen-chemical tanker in the world and the first Canadian-flagged dual-fuel tanker vessel and the only Canadian-flagged asphalt tanker.  The vessel was named Damia Desgagnés, in honour of Mr. Louis-Marie Beaulieu's younger brother, Mr. Damien Beaulieu, who died prematurely in 2015. 

With tanks offering a capacity of nearly 15,000 m³, and able to carry more than 13,500 tons of asphalt, this next-generation and state-of-the-art vessel was built at the Besiktas shipyard in Turkey, according to an original concept and specifications elaborated by Desgagnés in order to optimize its characteristics in terms of safety, environmental performance and operational efficiency. Built with a double-hull and Polar 7 certification confirming its capability to navigate in ice-laden waters, she is equipped with a variable pitch propeller as well as bow and stern thrusters, guaranteeing an exceptional manoeuvrability and an optimum safety level. Her generators' power output of more than 3 megawatts allows her, through her propulsion shaft generator/motor, to reach a speed of up to 7 knots without the use of the main engine. This operational capabilities and flexibility further and tangibly improve safety for the crewmembers, the environment and for the ship itself.

Following the christening ceremony Gaz Métro and the Port of Montreal also announced that an LNG supply solution for marine fuel will now be available at the Port of Montreal. Groupe Desgagnés, Gaz Métro and the Port of Montreal joined efforts in developing an LNG supply system that will be operated by a Gaz Métro subsidiary. This system will be available to all shipowners in Quebec, including the fleets passing through the Port of Montreal. In short, this is an important milestone for the entire maritime transport sector.

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Transport Canada has issued Ship Safety Bulletin 06/2017 Unmanned Air Vehicles / Drones in the Vicinity of Port Facilities and Marine Vessels in response to unauthorized drones recently spotted above our waters.  Last year Transport Canada lauched 118 investigations into the illegal use of drones, 18 of which were in BC.The purpose of the ship safety bulletin is to make the rules and regulations that apply to drones.  In most cases, commercial drones should not fly closer than 30 metres from any building, structure, vehicle, vessel, animal or person.  Restrictions increase for larger drones and recreational drones. To report a drone of concern, complete a submit on line the Drone Incident Report Form

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The Government of Canada has identified a portion of the Offshore Pacific Bioregion as an Area of Interest (AOI) for consideration as a Marine Protected Area (MPA) under Canada's Oceans Act.  The Offshore Pacific AOI is located in the southern portion of the OPB extending from the continental shelf break, west of Vancouver Island, to the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) boundary with an area of approximately 140,000 km2. At its closest point, the AOI is approximately 80 km from the west coast of Vancouver Island, but on average is 100-150 km off the coast and extends south to the Canada-United States border.  The AOI aims to protect ecologically and biologically significant areas, including underwater seamounts and a series of hydrothermal vents.  Designation of this area will contribute to Canada's commitment to protect 10% of Canada marine and coastal areas by 2020.  Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) will establish an Advisory Committee and as this process moves forward DFO will finalize the conservation objectives, determine the appropriate site boundaries and develop a management approach for the proposed Offshore Pacific MPA in consultation with partners and stakeholders.

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The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour met with industry and business leaders in Vancouver this week to discuss the June 12th launch of the Global Talent Stream.  The Global Talent Stream is a key part of the Global Skills Strategy and the Innovation Agenda, one of the ways in which the Government is positioning Canada at the leading edge of a changing economy. The initiative will help Canadian firms fill in-demand occupations where there is a demonstrated gap in the Canadian labour force by making the process to access global talent more responsive to their needs. The new Global Talent Occupations List of eligible high-demand occupations, developed in consultation with labour market experts and industry stakeholders, identifies existing shortages and allows for a faster application process that is reflective of the realities of the Canadian workforce.

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Scorpio Tankers announced that it has entered into definitive agreements to merge with Navig8 Product Tankers and acquire Navig8’s 27 operating (15 LR2 and 12 LR1) product tankers.  The consolidated entity will have a fleet of 105 vessels and will compete directly with carriers such as Torm, Ardmore, and Hafnia Tankers.  NYSE-listed Scorpio also announced the launch of an underwritten public offering of up to $200 million of its shares of common stock. Completion of the deal is scheduled for the second or third quarter of 2017.

Friday, 26 May 2017 11:29

Hapag-Lloyd and UASC merger complete

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The merger between Hapag-Lloyd and United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) completed on May 23rd. With 230 vessels and a shared fleet capacity of approximately 1.6 million TEU, Hapag-Lloyd is the fifth-largest liner shipping company in the world. UASC’s brings 58 vessels into the fleet and the combined fleet will be one of the youngest in the industry, with an average ship age of only 7.2 years. The average size of the combined fleet will be 6,840 TEU/vessel, approximately 30 percent larger than the average of the top 15 in the industry (5,280 TEU/vessel). Hapag-Lloyd will remain a publicly traded company registered in Germany with its headquarters in Hamburg and within six months Hapag-Lloyd plans to raise $400 million through a share issue in order to strengthen the company.

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