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Ahead of next week’s meeting of the IMO’s “Marine Environmental Protection Committee”, the International Chamber of Shipping(ICS) has issued a paper in support of the IMO's proposed global GHG emissions reporting system but with stated opposition to the development of a mandatory global energy indexing system. The ICS position is one of “support for the reporting system as long as it would be simple to administer, be primarily based on fuel consumption and will not be used in the development of a full blown Market Based Measure”. The timing of the ICS paper is also designed to head off unilateral measures under consideration by the EU.

The federal government has given final approval to four LNG export licences.  The following facilities have been authorized to export a total of up to 73.38 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG.  

  • Woodfibre LNG in Squamish, BC (2016)
  • Pacific Northwest LNG on Lelu Island, near Prince Rupert (2018)
  • WCC LNG, undefined site on the BC's north coast (2021-2023)
  • Prince Rupert LNG on Ridley Island in Prince Rupert (2021)

Subsequently, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has announced a 30-day public comment period for the Pacific NorthWest LNG project will begin April 2 and end May 1. 

Tuesday, 25 March 2014 11:21

CBSA releases Code of Conduct statistics

Canada Border Services agency has for the first time released its Code of Conduct statistics which summarizes at a high level the number of professional standards investigation and disciplinary measures taken in 2013.

Monday, 24 March 2014 11:05

CBSA update on break-bulk exemption

Canada Border Services Agency has released Customs Notice 14-006 to provide an update on changes to the Advance Commerical Information timeframes for pre-arrival reporting of breakbulk cargo in the marine mode.   Amendments proposed to the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations published in the Canada Gazette Part I, when enacted, will allow all breakbulk cargo to be reported at least 24 hours before estimated time of arrival in Canada.  The amendments eliminate the annual application process that breakbulk carriers must currently follow.  As the regulations expect to be finalized later in 2014, CBSA has automatically extended all breakbulk authorizations for the 2013-14 year to 2014-15 to facilitate the transition.

Monday, 24 March 2014 10:09

25 years after the Exxon Valdez

25 years ago the Exxon Valdez deviated off-course and ran aground in Prince William Sound. Rupture of the single-hulled vessel resulted in an oilspill affecting 1,300 miles of shoreline.  The lessons learned from the Exxon Valdez incident resulted in profound changes to how tankers operate today.  As British Columbians and professional mariners, the responsibility to protect our coast is our first priority. Watch our video to understand how spill response measures have evolved and how technology has been used to advance safety over the last 25 years following the Exxon Valdez.

Friday, 21 March 2014 08:52

Trucking disruption continues

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Following rejection of last week’s 14 point action-plan by the UTA and Unifor driver groups, the Federal and Provincial Governments along with Port Metro Vancouver appealed for a full return to work on Thursday under threat of drivers losing Truck Licensing System (TLS) permits should they fail to do so. It was simultaneously announced that the Province will introduce “Back to Work” legislation on the Unifor drivers in the legislature on March 24. PMV also sent out a number of advisory notices to TLS permit holders advising of non-renewal of licenses and permits expiring in March, April or May 2014. The initial reaction was an approximate 40% of normal daily truck activity on Thursday which was 66 more than on Wednesday. The drivers’ primary demands are standardized rates of pay across the trucking sector, an end to undercutting and an end to long wait times for around 8% of truck traffic at the port. Please see last night global news clip: http://globalnews.ca/video/1221136/port-strike-latest

On a more positive note, Prince Rupert’s Maher Container Terminal is back to normal operations after several weeks of struggling with reduced rail service. However, rail service continues to be a serious issue elsewhere in the province with all bulk commodities impacted and the backlog of vessels at anchor still a major issue. By order in council, the railways are required to move one million tons a week of grain by early April or face fines of $100,000 per day.

The second tentative agreement reached between CN and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC), representing 3,300 conductors, baggae persons, car retarder operators, yard operations employees, switch tenders, traffic coordinators and assistant traffic coordinators, was not ratified by the union membership.  This was the second time that a tentative agreement has been rejected by the union membership. 

With 64.2% of the union opposed to the deal, CN is now proposing binding arbitration to settle the outstanding issues.  CN News Release

302 crew

All 23 crew members were airlifted to safety from a Handymax bulk carrier John 1 after the ship ran aground last weekend off the south coast of Newfoundland. The Joint Rescue Coordination Center Halifax dispatched a Cormorant helicopter from 103 Squadron in Gander to the scene approximately 1.6 km from Rose Blanche at about 1:30 pm on Saturday afternoon.The vessel was on passage from Montreal to Spain when she lost power on Friday morning. The CCGS Earl Grey attempted several times to connect a tow line to the vessel to prevent it from running aground.

302 crew2 302 crew3 302 crew4

Overnight Sunday/Monday, shifting winds freed the vessel from her grounded position and she was taken to a safe anchorage where a salvage team boarded to help decide on next steps.

302 valero

The recently incorporated tanker company, Transport Maritime St-Laurent Inc. is to buy two Ice Class 1A Panamax tankers, Stena Poseidon and Stena Palva.  The largest shareholder in this new company is Valero, which owns a 230,000-barrel-per-day refinery  in Quebec City.  Last year the refinery received a one-year, renewable permit from the U.S. Commerce Department to export Texas crude to its refinery on the St. Lawrence River. In addition, pipeline operator Enbridge received approval from the National Energy Board on March 6, 2014 to reverse the flow of their 639-kilometer pipeline between North Westover, Ontario to Montreal.  The speculation is that the two vessels will be used to ship oil from Montreal to the Quebec City refinery.

302 Malaysian1 302 Malaysian2 302 Malaysian3

The search for missing Malaysian Air Flight 370 continues with the search now centered on an area SW of Australia following satellite detection of possible wreckage. The U.S. Navy has sent its most advanced surveillance plane, a P8-A Poseidon, to join planes from Australia and New Zealand in scanning the area. Seafarers transiting the Indian Ocean and South China Sea have also been urged by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) to listen to maritime satellite safety messages as part of a huge international effort to locate any sign of the missing airliner. Yesterday, the Hoegh St. Petersburg (above right), a car carrier on passage from Europe to Australia via the Cape of Good Hope was called on to scan an area where satellite images suggest there may be wreckage. 

Friday, 21 March 2014 08:41

P3 Alliance gains US regulatory approval

302 P3

The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has approved the so called P3 Alliance between the world’s largest container lines, Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co and CMA CGM but with stricter monitoring than is usual for a standard alliance. The FMC’s five commissioners voted four to one in favor of approval with former chairman Richard Lidinsky voting against.

302 Navy

US Navy Seals boarded the tanker Morning Glory off the coast of Cyprus last weekend. Flying the North Korean flag, the vessel loaded oil off the eastern Libyan port of Sidra in defiance of a naval blockade since the region is under the control of a militia seeking autonomy for the east of the country. The guided missile destroyer USS Roosevelt provided helicopter support and served as a command and control platform  for the mission, which will see the vessel returned to Libya under the escort of USS Stout. Perhaps somewhat embarrassed by the incident, North Korea chose to de-register the vessel when the attempt to load illegal cargo was first publicized. For good measure, the Libyan Prime Minister also lost his job. Oil is normally supplied to North Korea by China so there are many question marks as to who was behind this vessel. 

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