Two years after the grounding of the articulated tug and barge, Nathan E. Stewart, in Gale Pass, the Heiltsuk Nation has filed a claim against the federal and provincial governments, as well as the operator, Kirby Corporation. The 110,000 litres spill impacted an important Heiltsuk food harvesting, village and cultural site. The lawsuit alleges that government agencies and the operator were too slow to respond to the emergency, failing to address the impacts on the health and safety of the Heiltsuk people and their way of life. The Heiltsuk Nation is seeking compensation for the considerable financial and administrative burden of essential traditional and scientific testing of the scope and impact of the spill. The civil claim is also asking the court to clarify whether Aboriginal title, a legal term that is used to describe the inherent Indigenous right to land or territory, also applies to the seabed and foreshore, the part of a shore between the water and developed land. Transport Canada has laid three charges against the Kirby Corporation, including two pollution-related counts.
British Columbia-based Catalyst Paper Corp. has reached an agreement to sell three coastal mills to Paper Excellence Canada of Richmond, B.C. The mills are located at Crofton and Port Alberni on Vancouver Island and Powell River. The jobs and livelihoods of 1,500 British Columbia forestry workers will be secured by the acquisition which is still subject to regulatory review and final approvals. Catalyst Paper manufactures 1.3 million tonnes of pulp and paper products. These products include industrial packaging, food service, coated ground-wood, newsprint and directory papers. Customers include retailers, publishers and commercial printers in North America, Latin America, the Pacific Rim and Europe.
Greenpeace protesters who dangled from the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge in August won't face charges. Seven protesters were arrested after hanging from the Vancouver bridge for 36 hours, preventing an oil tanker from leaving Burrard Inlet. Five more were arrested for helping organize the stunt. North Vancouver RCMP recommended mischief charges against all 12, but the BC Prosecution Service said Tuesday it won't be approving the charges as it was not convinced there was a substantial likelihood of conviction and that laying a charge would be in the public interest.
Investors have given final approval for a massive $40 billion liquefied natural gas project in Kitimat, BC. The five partners have agreed to the joint venture that includes a gas liquefaction plant on the coast and a 670-kilometre pipeline delivering natural gas from the northeast corner of the province. The necessary approvals, including those from the National Energy Board, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, BC Hydro as well as 25 First Nations, are in place. The project is expected to generate about $23 bilion in public revenue over 40 years, and create up to 10,000 jobs during construction and 950 permanent jobs once operational. This project is expected to be the world's cleanest in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.
Island Tug and Barge’s (ITB) christened its newest articulated tug, Island Raider, last Friday, September 28, during an afternoon ceremony at ITB’s headquarters in Burnaby, BC. The Island Raider, along with its sister the Island Regent (scheduled for delivery February, 2019), was designed by Robert Allan Limited to be paired with ITB’s double-hulled oil tank barge, the ITB Resolution. Constructed on-site at ITB’s Annacis Island facility, the Island Raider was designed with considerable emphasis on crew comfort and endurance. By incorporating Sika vibration and sound dampening floors, and Norac wall and ceiling paneling, noise levels register at less than 59 decibels in the wheelhouse during vessel. In addition, fully heated and air-conditioned accommodations can house up to eight persons in six cabins. The standard crew is four – master, mate and two deck hands. For optimal situational awareness, the wheelhouse incorporates floor to ceiling windows, as well as a full walk-around catwalk. Facilities include a stainless-steel finished galley and large mess deck, exercise room, laundry room, and office.
As now required under section 151.0(2) of the Canada Transportation Act, Canadian Pacific (CP) has released its 2018-2019 Winter Contingency Plan. CP’s plan is driven by sophisticated weather prediction modelling, sustainable volume targets, robust contingency plans, significant investments in track infrastructure and rolling stock, and proactive coordination and planning with our customers and the broader supply chain.
Seaspan Corp., which charters a fleet of 112 containerships, is diversifying into the energy business with a potential investment of up to $200 million in the restructured Swiber Holdings Limited. Singapore-based Swiber is a publicly traded Singaporean offshore engineering, procurement and construction business that owns five vessels. Seaspan said the deal is expected to be funded in two steps. Seaspan will provide $20 million in exchange for an 80 percent economic interest in the restructured Swiber Group. In the second step, it would provide $180 million to be invested in a $1 billion LNG-to-power project under development in Vietnam in exchange for economic interests in the project.
BC Ferries has issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEOI) for the procurement of five new major vessels. The competitive bidding process is open to local, national and international shipyards, including consortiums, and BC Ferries encourages local and national companies to bid on these projects. The five new major vessels will reflect capacity and levels of service consistent with the current Coastal and Spirit Class vessels in size, capabilities and passenger amenities. These vessels are anticipated to begin entering service in 2023 on BC Ferries’ major routes between Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island.
The acquisition of the vessels is a major capital expenditure that requires the approval of the BC Ferries Commissioner under Section 55 of the Coastal Ferry Act. BC Ferries will make its application to the Commissioner in 2019 and, subject to a favourable decision, award a contract for these ferries by the end of 2019.
Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping has published a new online summary of Air Pollution & Marine Shipping with the purpose of sharing objective information on the impacts of air pollution from the marine shipping industry – including the types of air pollution ships emit, how these emissions are harmful, and what’s being done to reduce them.
Captain Masoud Jahani has been appointed as the Manager of Cargo and Examination (TMC) in Marine Safety and Security - Pacific Region, effective September 24, 2018, replacing John Yeung who retired in August. Capt. Jahani will report to the new Regional Director, Diana Trager, and he will lead the TMC side of the recently-divided TMC/TME organization. Capt. Jahani joined Transport Canada in 2004 as a nautical inspector, and recently served as the Vancouver Island Manager.
Yesterday on World Maritime Day, the Chamber of Shipping issued a statement and held its annual members’ appreciation reception in Vancouver. The Deputy Minister of Transport, Mike Keenan, joined our event and recognized the International Maritime Organization’s 70th anniversary and this year’s World Maritime Day theme, Better Shipping for a Better Future. Photos by BC Shipping News are available on-line.
Two of Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Asian partners in the LNG venture in Kitimat, BC approved their share of the investment, pushing the multibillion-dollar development one step closer to a final approval. The board of PetroChina Co., the nation’s largest oil and gas company, approved its US$3.46 billion share of the LNG Canada project. Korea Gas Corp. made a similar announcement in Seoul about its stake. However, Petroliam Nasional, known as Petronas, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment and a Mitsubishi spokesman said Friday it hasn’t yet made a decision. Bloomberg News has speculated that that Shell and its partners are set to announce a final investment decision (FID) on the project as early as next week.
SAAM SMIT Towage Canada (SST Canada) has purchased two new world-class escort tugs, the SST Orca and SST Grizzly, both scheduled to arrive in Vancouver by mid-November. The tugs will measure 32 metres long and with 84 tonnes of static bollard pull, each tug will have the ability to safely produce steering forces of up to 82 tonnes and braking forces of up to 130 tonnes. Capt. Mark Bingham, Vice President, Operations of SST Canada says, “The addition of these two tugs expands our fleet to 25 vessels and brings our total investment to nearly $100 million since 2014.” The RAstar 3200 tugs are designed by Robert Allan Ltd. and will serve the south coast of BC and will further expand SST Canada’s fleet to provide safe and efficient services in all BC locations.
Small- and medium-sized enterprises from Port Hardy to Victoria will benefit from new jobs and business opportunities, thanks to Vancouver Island’s official designation as a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ), championed by the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA). With the new Foreign Trade Zone designation, VIEA will highlight the region’s network of trading centers and leverage its unique location with multiple deep-water ports and airports. These ports have the capacity to handle 10 times current volumes, serving North America, Latin America and Asia. This designation is an important element in strengthening traditional Island industries on the world stage while attracting new manufacturing opportunities. With Canada’s unmatched investment climate, duty-free manufacturing tariff regime and low corporate taxes, Vancouver Island will continue to play a key role as a strategic location for international trade.
Amazon has secured more than 450,000 square feet (10-acres) of space in Delta iPort, a new industrial park on Tsawwassen First Nation land. When opened in 2019 the new warehouse distribution centre will create 700 full-time jobs and will be Amazon’s 10th Canadian distribution centre. Delta iPort is being developed by GWL Realty Advisors for the project owner, the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan.
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has joined the World Ports Climate Action Program, along with the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Hamburg, and Barcelona. Under this new initiative the ports will collaborate on projects aimed at addressing global warming and focus on five specific actions:
After 38 years with Seaspan, Drew Connolly, Commercial Manager - Ship Assist & Harbour Services, will retire on October 5th. Lorri Stewart has been promoted to the new Manager, Ship Assist & Harbour Services.