Friday, 09 May 2014 10:06

Centerm expansion plan announced

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PMV has announced plans to increase the capacity at Centerm Container Terminal, from approximately 900,000 TEU to between 1.5-to-1.8 million TEU by in 2018. The proposed project includes extending the Centerm berth to the west, filling in the land behind the berth, and a number of changes within the existing terminal footprint including reconfiguration of the container yard, extension of the intermodal rail yard, new terminal truck in-gates and a multi-storey parking structure. The project is designed to addresses near-term capacity constraints within PMV and does not impact the proposed Roberts Bank Container Terminal 2 Project which, if approved, will come on line in the 2020’s. Latest forecast data continues to indicate that container capacity demand through Canada’s west coast will more than double over the next 10 to 15 years. 

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Tesoro is facing a delay to the start up of their joint-venture project at the Port of Vancouver in Washington State as the company waits for the State to provide detailed requirements for an environmental impact study. The project is seeking permits to handle up to 380,000 barrels per day but growing opposition to the movement of crude-by-rail appears to be at the heart of the problem. Tesoro and its partner, Savage Services, submitted environmental permit requests for the rail-port in August 2013, and had expected the railport to start up in late 2014 or early 2015. The estimated cost of the project has also risen from $100 million to a range of $150 to $190 million.

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Whilst no stranger to Victoria where last summer she made weekly calls on account of being home ported in Seattle for the Alaska season, the 2,850 passenger capacity Celebrity Solstice arrived from Honolulu to make her maiden call in Vancouver yesterday after spending the northern winter plying the coasts of sunny Australia and New Zealand. The Solstice is the lead ship in a series of five sisters – Eclipse, Equinox, Silhouette and Reflection. In order to pass under the Lions Gate Bridge, she was recently modified with a telescopic mast.

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The Canadian Lifeboat Institution has announced that the dedication Ceremony of their new lifeboat to be named “Fraser Lifeboat (1A-04)” is to  be held at Imperial Landing, off Bayview Street, Steveston on Saturday, May 17, 2014, at 11:00 AM. The boat was originally built by the RNLI as “The Famous Grouse (47-021)”. Shipment to Canada was made possible by the generosity of Grieg Star Shipping courtesy of Star Lima which arrived with her much anticipated cargo in late July 2013.  See the attached details for those who may have an interest to attend next weekend’s ceremony.

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The US Air Force came to the aid of two seriously injured Chinese seafarers 1,100 nautical miles west of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico last weekend. U.S. medics parachuted into the ocean to treat the badly burned men who had been rescued by a Venezuelan fishing boat after their own boat sank. The operation involved multiple aircraft, including a refueling tanker, from their base in Arizona. Two Chinese seafarers are known to have died and six are unaccounted for in the so far unexplained incident.

In another incident this week, one crew member was rescued but 11 are missing from the Chinese cargo ship Zhong Xing 2 following a collision with the container ship MOL Motivator in the waters off Hong Kong. Rescue efforts were coordinated by the Guangdong Rescue Co-ordination Centre with the assistance of Hong Kong’s Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre. 

Friday, 09 May 2014 09:57

MH370 - Not giving up yet

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The search for the missing Malaysian airliner MH370 is increasingly looking to be a very long task. Last week a Malaysian government report revealed a four hour delay between MH370's disappearance and the start of a search operation. The preliminary report, from Malaysia's transport ministry, also revealed that air traffic controllers did not realise the plane was missing until 17 minutes after it disappeared off radar. The aerial search for floating wreckage has already been suspended but the search of the sea floor is being expanded using the Bluefin-21 robotic submersible in the area where all the evidence points to the end of the flight. Malaysia Airlines has meanwhile asked relatives of passengers to leave the hotel accommodation it has been providing in Kuala Lumpur and return home. 

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Sadly we have to report that the sunken Korean ferry Sewol has claimed yet another life, that of a 53 years old diver who lost consciousness and died on Tuesday this week during the continuing search operation for victims. It was also disclosed that another civilian diver, aged 31, fell unconscious last week after diving four times before daybreak but who later recovered.The confirmed death toll is now standing at 263 persons, with 39 still missing. President Park Geun-hye voiced further criticism of the ferry operators this week with strong words “Safety rules that must be observed were not followed because of worldly desires and irresponsible acts that tolerated those injustices have resulted in death”.

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Vietnam has strongly criticized the positioning last week of the submersible China National Offshore drill rig Haiyang Shiyou 98 in disputed waters 120 nautical miles off its central coast and which Vietnam claims as its exclusive economic zone. Matters further escalated this week when Vietnamese naval ships and Chinese vessels were reported to have collided as the Vietnamese navy attempted to intervene. Hanoi said it would do everything possible to protect its rights and does not rule out taking legal action against China at an international tribunal. Philippine police also seized a Chinese fishing boat and detained its 11 crew in another disputed part of the South China Sea this week. Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, China and Taiwan all have competing claims in the region.

Friday, 09 May 2014 09:53

Rotterdam in Brazilian port venture

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The Port of Rotterdam Authority, the leading European port handling trade with Brazil, has signed a joint venture agreement with a Brazilian consortium to develop a new deep-sea multi-purpose port. Rotterdam will initially provide technical support to Terminal Presidente Kennedy (TPK) Logistica, which is to be built on a greenfield site at the Port of Porto Central in the state of Espirito Santo to handle oil, gas, dry bulk, containers and general cargo. Rotterdam has also been advising the Brazilian government since 2010 on a strategic strategy to revamp the country’s 34 publicly owned ports. Rotterdam’s throughput was 441.5 million tons in 2013, dominated by Brazilian iron ore shipments, followed by oil products, basic chemicals and fruit juice, as well as meat, fruit and auto parts moved in containers.

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Royal Boskalis Westminster announced this week that it is considering to build a big sister to the revolutionary heavy lift vessel Dockwise Vanguard (above right). The company is developing anew ultra large “V-class” Heavy Marine Transport Vessel (HTV), which will dwarf the 117,000 tons carrying capacity Dockwise Vanguard which only entered service just over a year ago. 

310 SRB

The Chamber of Shipping's Stephen Brown was prominently featured in the provincial government's latest video series, Gateway to Prosperity.  You can view this on YouTube at  

Also copies of our new Safe Shipping brochure are available on-line and in hard copy upon request.


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Government's Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act (Bill C-30) passed third reading in the House of Commons and has been referred to the Senate. Through Bill C-30, the Government of Canada is taking immediate, concrete action to get grain moving faster through legislation and regulations designed to: 

  • Increase supply chain transparency;
  • Strengthen contracts between producers and shippers;
  • Better balance accountability in agreements and contracts between shippers and railways; and,
  • Help ensure the entire grain handling and transportation system is working efficiently and at top capacity.

Based on the feedback heard at Parliamentary committee, the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food passed an amendment to Bill C-30 which would also create the authority for the Canadian Transportation Agency to order a railway to compensate shippers for expenses incurred as a result of a railway's failure to fulfill its service obligations.

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