The SL Star, a 4,400 dwt cargo ship operated by Sea Link Shipping capsized earlier this week while berthed in Shahid Rajaei Port in Bandar Abbas, Iran. The ship was loaded with 153 containers. All fourteen crew members who were on board at the time of the incident were rescued. Initial reports point to the cause being a lack of coordination between the ship’s officer and the contractor charged with unloading the vessel. Preparations have been made to deal with possible pollution and container removal operations have begun.
Vitol will be expanding its global tanker fleet via a takeover of the VALT bitumen joint venture. The company will be acquiring the final 50 percent of the joint venture which it established with Sargeant Marine in 2016, giving Vitol 100 percent ownership of VALT. VALT operates a fleet of eleven asphalt/bitumen tankers and handles around 1.4 million metric tons of asphalt per annum.
HMM has signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a win-win fund for scrubber installation in preparation for IMO 2020 and to seek cooperation in the shipping-related industries. HMM plans to complete the scrubber installation on its 19 containerships currently operated by the first half of 2020. HMM is investing KRW 46 billion, with Hyundai Corporation, SKTI, Hyundai Global Service, DSEC, and PANASIA together contributing an additional KRW 62.3 billion. The total investment amount will be KRW 153.3 billion. The five companies invested in a win-win fund will get the first priority for the contract negotiation for long-term fuel supply, supply of scrubber equipment, and scrubber installation etc.
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Jonathan Wilkinson, announced more than $2.9 million in funding for the Southern Resident Killer Whales. The funding will go towards supporting researchers at the University of British Columbia, Dalhousie University and the Universite du Quebec a Montreal with the goal of leveraging financial and our scientific resources to help protects injured whales and inspiring the next generation of scientists. In addition to the southern resident killer whale, the funding will be used to further research on North Atlantic right whale and St. Lawrence estuary beluga.
At the Chamber of Shipping’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Monday, two new directors were elected. Vacancies on the Board opened following the resignation of the Chair, Kim Christensen of ACGI Shipping who retires after nearly 50 years in the marine industry, and Marc Fellis of Westward Shipping declined to seek another term. The Board of Directors for 2019 are as follows:
• Chair, Garth Mitcham, of CSL International
• Vice Chair, Peter Amat of Pacific Basin Shipping (Canada) Ltd.
• Treasurer, Oscar Pinto, of Valles Steamship (Canada) Ltd
• Director, Stan Bowles of MOL Chemical Tankers - America
• Director, Richard Chappell of Westwood Shipping Lines
• Director, Anthony Damron of G2 Ocean
• Director, Dave Hill of Wheelhouse Shipping Agency
• Director, Tony Pearkes, of Oldendorff Carriers – Vancouver
• Director, George Runyon of Evergreen Shipping Agency (America) Corporation
• Director (Associate), Donna Spalding of Cruise Line International Association
• Director (Associate), Peter Swanson of Bernard LLP
The AGM provided an opportunity to update members on pressures facing the industry with efforts focussed on increasing marine mammal and environmental protection, reducing supply chain congestion, and improving overall competitiveness. Wrapping up the AGM was our guest speaker, Andy Calitz, President & CEO of LNG Canada, who presented an exciting update on its $40B project in Kitimat, BC that will create approximately 10,000 jobs at peak construction and new opportunities for First Nations.
On March 8th the vehicle carrier, Tranquil Ace, delivered the first batch of Mercedes Benz cars to the Port of Nanaimo’s new Vehicle Processing Centre (VPC). Western Stevedoring together with the Auto Division of SSA Marine, developed the 60,000 square foot facility to provide the final detailing on European cars prior to their distribution to BC dealerships. The Tranquil Ace was the first vehicle carrier to ever arrive in the port. The expanded Panama Canal, together with Vancouver Island’s designation as a Foreign Trade Zone, is expects to be attractive for European car manufacturers to ship directly to Nanaimo for further detailing and distribution to west coast markets. Once fully operational, the VPC will be able to handle between 10,000 and 12,000 vehicles per year, expanding to a possible 40,000 each year by as early as 2024.
The Port of Vancouver is seeking input to a survey on an international initiative to improve the collaboration of ports on incentive programs aimed at encouraging early adoption of GHG reduction measures. Responses will help to validate the approach and identify barriers or opportunities to inform next steps. The survey can be accessed at: https://erg.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6y5PMwSsKgysxz7
A two-day operation by Global Diving and Salvage successfully recovered the Samantha J from the site of Anchorage 1 in the Port of Nanaimo. The tug sank in Northumberland Channel in October 2014 and took only two hours to raise using divers and remotely operated underwater equipment at end of February. Anchorage 1 is finally available again.
BC Ferries is inviting communities to provide input on the next generations of vessels that will join their fleet. They are currently planning on building five new ferries to replace four existing vessels. New ships will deliver enhanced environmental sustainability and offer flexibility to meet changing travel demands into the future. Feedback can be provided online from March 12 to April 12, or customers can participate in customer engagement sessions on board the Metro Vancouver – Vancouver Island routes.
The Montreal Port Authority has announced that COSCO Shipping Lines will be expanding to the Port of Montreal in April. This marks the arrival of the seventh international shipping line to the port. The additional of COSCO will connect Montreal with several northern European cities, such as Antwerp, Bremerhaven, Le Havre and Liverpool, for the benefit of importers and exporters. COSCO containers will be handled at the terminals of Montreal Gateway Terminals Partnership.
Business in Vancouver awarded this year’s Influential Women in Business. This year’s winners include Susannah Pierce, Director of External Relations for LNG Canada, Sarah Morgan-Silvester, past director of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, and Kaity Arsoniadis-Stein, Executive Director of the Vancouver International Maritime Centre. We are thrilled to have so many women that have engaged with the marine industry recognized this year. Congratulations!
The Port of Seattle has issued an RFQ to secure a partner that will develop and operate a new, single berth cruise facility at Terminal 46. This RFQ is the first step in a partnership selection process that will support the completion of a new facility for the 2022 cruise season. The Port of Seattle is said to be the most environmentally progressive cruise homeport in North America, with the first cruise homeport in the United States with two shorepower berths, and possibly the only cruise homeport in the United States with three shorepower berths when Terminal 46 is completed. Early estimates are that a cruise terminal could be constructed for around USD 200 million. A public-private-partnership approach to build the terminal will have the port contributing half that cost. Responses to the RFQ are due April 18.
The Polar Star, suffered an electrical fire on 10 February, leaving the country facing a potential shortfall in its icebreaking ability. The ship was the US’ only functioning icebreaking vessel. The fire occurred in the incinerator room, more than 10,000 miles from Seattle. The crew fought the fire for over two hours. A new icebreaker isn’t due to enter the US fleet until 2023, when Polar Star’s service life is due to end, it will be the first time a heavy icebreaker has joined the US fleet for more than 20 years. Now under repair in Seattle, concerns remain about Polar Star’s ability to survive the next four years until its eventual replacement.
Utah Senior, Michael Lee, has introduced the Open America’s Water Act of 2019, a bill which would repeal the Jones Act and allow all qualified vessels to engage in domestic trade between US ports. Currently, the Jones Act requires all goods transported by water between US ports to be carried on a vessel constructed in the US, registered in the US, owned by US citizens, and crewed primarily by US citizens. The Open America’s Water Act would allow for increased trade with foreign vessels between US ports, potentially lowering prices on imported goods to Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.
A container arriving in Newark on the Carlotta, a container ship coming from Columbia, was found to contain 3,200 pounds of cocaine. The container was supposed to contain dried fruit. However, US CBP officers decided to investigate it after noticing that the pins holding the doors looked to have been tampered with. This was the largest drug shipment to be intercepted at Port Newark in a quarter-century, and the drugs have a street-value of $77 million. The bust comes as cocaine makes a comeback in New York City and elevates concerns that ports are a point of illegal entry for criminal activity.
DNV has rolled out remote surveys for some inspections on its classed vessels. This means that for a range of surveys, a DNV GL surveyor will not be required to travel to the vessel. Instead, a team of remote surveyors will be able to provide support to vessels around the world. The goal is to have faster response times, lower costs, and more operational up-time.
BP has developed a new very low sulphur fuel, with a maximum of 0.5% sulphur content. The product has been successfully trialled in both Europe and Singapore, and will soon be retailed in globally in cities including, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp, Singapore, Hong Kong, Salalah, and Seattle. China’s Sinopec announced recently that it will start supplying low sulphur fuel in 2019, with a full supply available from January 2020.