304 Sailbot1 304 Sailbot2

UBC SailBot, the University of British Columbia student team designing, building, and racing fully robotic sailboats, is seeking to increase its corporate sponsorship. The team has had unique success in the robotic sailing world in achieving a perfect score to win the International Robotic Sailing Regatta competition in June 2013. Their 2 meters Thunderbird 2013 (above left) sailboat is considered one of the most advanced robotic sailboats in the world. Now their sights are set on a larger prize; to create the first robotic sailboat to cross the Atlantic Ocean. In 2015 they are aiming to sail an unmanned 5.5 meter robotic yacht from Canada’s East Coast to the coast of Ireland and are inviting those who wish to become involved to consider sponsorship on http://ubcsailbot.org/sponsor-us/. See also a time lapse recording of their time spent on building the new boat last weekend https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qre8exrdI_k

The Chamber is pleased to have a strong association through sponsorship of the team but the need to raise $50,000 for their 2015 endeavor needs a few others to pitch in. Jane McIvor has written a full article on UBC Sailbot for the next edition of BC Shipping News.

304 Seaway1 304 Seaway2

The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System opened for the Seaway’s 56th navigation season on March28 with the passage of the new build laker Algoma Equinox through the Welland Canal.The season is off to its latest start in five years as harsh winter weather created some of the worst ice conditions in decades and has further highlighted the shortage of ice-breaking capacity operated by the U.S. and Canada. Last week, Minister of Fisheries Gail Shea commented that "this year's frigid temperatures have led to ice conditions that have not been seen in the Great Lakes or Eastern Canada in decades, which are having a direct adverse impact on Canadian products reaching domestic and international markets”. The picture above left shows the Canadian ice-breaker Pierre Radisson operating in the St. Lawrence River last week.

Unusually, the Marine Atlantic ferry Blue Puttees (above right) with 350 passengers onboard was  stranded in ice off the coast of Cape Breton between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland for a while yesterday but was eventually freed up with the help of the ice strengthened ferry Atlantic Vision.

304 Chile

Chile has declared two northern regions hit by a magnitude 8.2 earthquake to be disaster areas with at least 6 people dead and many thousands evacuated from their homes. The quake epicenter was at sea, 86 kms northwest of the port city of Iquique. Waves of up to 6ft hit some coastal areas which also suffered power cuts, fires and landslides. The quake was also felt in Peru and in Bolivia's capital of La Paz 470km from Iquique. An initial tsunami warning was issued for the coastlines of Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Panama. In 2010, central and southern areas of Chile were hit by a magnitude 8.8 followed by a tsunami that devastated large areas with more than 700 people killed.

Friday, 04 April 2014 09:57

ICJ rules against research whaling

304 ICJ

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled this week that whaling as conducted by Japan in the Antarctic is not consistent with the requirements of scientific whaling under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. The court has agreed with the case presented by Australia in 2010 and Japan must now at least temporarily halt its program. In response, Japan said it would abide by the decision but added that it "regrets and is deeply disappointed by the decision". Japan signed on to a moratorium on whaling in 1986, but continued whaling in the north and south Pacific under provisions that allowed for scientific research however whale meat is very popular with Japanese consumers. Once common, whaling  is now conducted by only of only a handful of countries, including Japan Iceland and Norway.

304 IMO

The 66th session of the IMO’S Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) has this week given further consideration to deciding whether the global 0.50% sulphur limit can go ahead in 2020, or be deferred until 2025. The committee received four submissions with only one submission, that from the Clean Shipping Coalition (CSC), arguing against an early review of low sulphur fuel availability, a condition for implementation of the new global limits. Support for an early review came from the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and a joint submission from the UK and the Netherlands. However, the proposal finding most support was in a joint submission from the United States, BIMCO, INTERTANKO and CLIA. It seems likely that the outcome of all this will be agreement at MEPC 67 in October this year to authorize an early study in order to give the industry time to respond if the signals are that there will be problems. The study would also be broadened to include the status of development and availability of abatement technology and alternative fuels.

Also at the MEPC this week it was decided that the 2016 deadline for new ships to comply with nitrogen oxide (NOx) Tier III standard applicable in NOx emission control areas (NECAs) will likely be kept for existing NECAs, but theIMO will seek a different solution for new NECAs

Also of note, Hong Kong's demand that local bunker suppliers sell MGO with a sulphur content of no more than 0.05% has also passed into law. Companies selling non-compliant marine light diesel (MLD) may be liable to a fine of up to HK$50,000 (US $6,440) and imprisonment for up to three months.

Friday, 04 April 2014 09:55

UECC orders dual fuel LNG car carriers

304 UECC

United European Car Carriers (UECC) has contracted with Kawasaki Heavy Industries to build two dual-fuel LNG 3,800 unit capacity Pure Car and Truck Carriers (PCTCs) at the builder’s joint venture NACKS shipyard in Nantong, PRC. The vessels will be built to Finnish/Swedish ice class 1A Super standards thereby allowing for dedicated year round trading in the Baltic Sea. They will be the first PCTCs to be fitted with an LNG-fuel propulsion system. Established in 1990, UECC, jointly owned by NYK and Wallenius Lines is a leading short-sea ro-ro operator and logistics provider in Europe. 

Friday, 04 April 2014 09:55

Somali pirates active again

304 Somali

Three tankers have come under attack in the past week, two in the Red Sea and one in the Strait of Hormuz. In each case, the attackers were in a speedboat and were carrying machine guns and came very close to the vessel before being warned off by crew response. NATO is investigating.

Friday, 04 April 2014 08:55

Canpotex concludes agreement in India

304 canpotex

Canpotex Limited has agreed to an annual contract with its government and private sector partners in India to supply approximately 1 million tonnes of potash at a price of US$322 per tonne.  The agreement demonstrates Canpotex's commitment to India as the leading postah supplier in this market.

Thursday, 03 April 2014 10:55

HMCS Regina intercepts 132kg of heroin

304 hmcs regina

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Regina disrupted a narcotics shipment during a patrol in her designated area of operations in the Indian Ocean on March 31, as part of Operation ARTEMIS.  The crew boarded a dhow off the east coast of Africa and intercepted the narcotics which had an estimated street value of $26M. This was the first drug seizure for HMCS Regina under Operation ARTEMIS, which is a multinational effort with 29 other countries to deter terrorism and piracy in the region.

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 11:24

Marine sector benefits with LNG

A report on pdf Liquefied Natural Gas: A Marine Fuel for Canada's West Coast (1.23 MB)  highlights the benefits of using liquefied natural gas (LNG) as an affordable, lower emission fuel for Canada's marine sector. According to the report, all of the technologies needed to use LNG as a marine fuel are proven and commercially available.  In the near-term, coastal vessel operators serve to benefit with the potential reduction in fuels costs by more than 50%, estimating a payback on initial investment of less than six years. 

Jointly funded by Transport Canada and a broad group of industry and other participants, the report recommends changes to Canada's marine regulatory framework to allow for the review and approval of new LNG projects. These changes would support new projects moving forward including the use of three LNG ferries that BC Ferries plans to have in operation in 2017.

Tuesday, 01 April 2014 10:30

Tokyo MOU releases results of latest CIC

The Tokyo MOU secretariat has released the results of the Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) on ship propulsion and auxillary machinery carried out jointly with the Paris MOU between September 1 to November 30, 2013.  A total of 8,257 inspections were conducted and 72 of these resulted in detentions.

The most significant deficiencies found were related to emergency source of power and lighting, main and auxillary boilers and boiler feed systems, protective arrangements for machinery and cleanliness of the engine room.

Canada Border Services Agency has announced new  pdf Electronic Bay Plan Requirements (148 KB)  for mandatory electronic reporting of Bay Plan data for all vessels carrying one or more containers.   Carriers can now transmit their Bay Plan in the UN EDIFACT SMDG stow plan, i.e. BAPLIE versions 2.0.7, format. Recent proposed amendments to the Reporting of Imported Goods Regulations published in Part I of the Canada Gazette will, when passed, bring the mandatory reporting requirement into effect.

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