On March 18, 2013, the Government of Canada announced the formation of a Panel to conduct a pan-Canadian review and assessment of Canada’s regulated ship-source oil spill preparedness and response regime, as it pertains to oil handling facilities and ship-source spills. The Panel is now ready to focus their work on Phase II of their review. Phase II will encompass a national examination of the requirements for a hazardous and noxious substances framework, including liquefied natural gas as well as a review of the requirements for oil spill preparedness and response in the Arctic.
The Panel would like to invite stakeholders, interested groups and Canadians across the country to provide input. Lines of Inquiry have been posted on the Panel’s web site to support the work for Phase II. Interested parties are encouraged to provide a written submission, via e-mail or mail, to the Panel. Submissions on HNS will be received until March 28, 2014 and submissions on the Arctic will be received until May 16th, 2014. A link is provided to the Consultation Guidance section which will help interested parties provide input on key issues.
The Tanker Safety Expert Panel welcome’s your submission.
The BC government has signed another agreement to develop a site on Grassy Point to the north of Prince Rupert. The latest agreement is with Australia’s Woodside Petroleum Ltd. It was only in November that the province signed a similar deal with Nexen Energy ULC for the Aurora LNG plant which is to be located just to the north of the Woodside project. The province and Woodside have signed a so called “sole proponent agreement” which provides Woodside with the comfort of an exclusive right to negotiate a long-term tenure in the location where a similar project was cancelled nearly three decades ago.
Effective January 19, 2014, Port Metro Vancouver implemented the International Safety Guide for Oil Tankers and Terminal’s (ISGOTT) Ship/Shore Safety Check-List for all bulk liquid terminals (including vegetable oil marine terminals) and vessels calling on theses terminals within Port Metro Vancouver’s navigational jurisdiction. The checklist and the accompanying procedures are to be included in the Harbour Operations Manual. Representatives from the ship (Responsible Officer) and terminal (Terminal Representative) must complete the Ship/Shore Safety Check-List prior to the start of liquid bulk transfer operations. For more information see the attached letter from PMV.
Canada Border Services Agency has released its first edition of the Advance Commercial Information (ACI) newsletter from the policy group. The attached newsletter contains several answers to several frequently asked questions on the Conveyance Arrival Certification Message and other key changes affecting the advance reporting of goods and conveyance.
GULFPORT, Miss. – Mississippi State Port Authority officials voted Friday to join Green
Marine, a sustainability program developed for the marine transportation industry that
provides a framework for ports, terminals, shipping companies and shipyards to improve
their environmental performance.
With this action the Port of Gulfport could become the second coastal port in the nation
to successfully achieve the green designation, following the Port of Seattle.
The cornerstone of the Green Marine initiative is its far-reaching environmental program,
which makes it possible for any marine company operating in Canada or the U.S. to
voluntarily improve its environmental performance by undertaking concrete and
measurable actions. The Port of Gulfport is only the second U.S. port outside the Great
Lakes to join Green Marine, which has rapidly gained a reputation for challenging
participant companies to improve their environmental performance beyond regulatory
“Green Marine’s mission is to make the marine transportation industry greener, which
ties in with our efforts to make the Port of Gulfport a more environmentally efficient port,”
said MSPA Executive Director and CEO Jonathan Daniels.
“We pride ourselves in the transparency and rigor of our environmental program,”
explained Green Marine Management Corporation President, Raymond Johnston. “Port
of Gulfport joining Green Marine clearly reflects a strong commitment towards the
greening of their operations. It also demonstrates that the Green Marine environmental
program is valid, applicable, and scalable for all sizes of ports.”
The Port of Gulfport and Green Marine will work together to strengthen the Port’s
environmental performance through a process of continuous improvement; build strong
relations with marine waterway stakeholders; and heighten understanding of the marine
industry’s activities and environmental benefits.
More information about the Green Marine program can be found at www.green-marine.org.
Still with piracy, latest figures indicate that the problem is at its lowest level in six years, with 264 attacks recorded in 2013, a 40% drop since the peak in 2011. In the case of Somali piracy, there were only 15 incidents recorded in 2013 compared to 75 in 2012, and 237 in 2011. The International Maritime Bureau's annual global report estimates that 300 seafarers were taken hostage in 2013 of whom 21 were injured. Almost 50% of attacks occurred in Indonesian waters whist attacks off West Africa accounted for 19% of the total – see map. Sadly, around 30 seamen remain unaccounted for but are believe to be held somewhere in Somalia.
Also of interest, the attack on the container ship Maersk Alabama as portrayed in the movie Captain Phillips played by Tom Hanks has received six Oscar Nominations including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for the first-time Somali actor who played the pirate leader, Muse.
A court in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadhu, granted conditional bail on December 26 to the 25 guards and 10 crew members of the Seaman Guard Ohio who have been held in prison by Indian authorities since last October. The vessel is used by U.S.-based maritime security firm AdvanFort International as an accommodation platform for counter-piracy guards between transits on client commercial vessels transiting high risk areas in the Indian Ocean.The 35 guards and crew were arrested on charges on entering Indian waters illegally with arms and ammunition. Unfortunately, the conditional bail was cancelled on December 30 when another court ruled that the guards and crew must remain in custody until it has reached a decision. The international law firm Ince & Co has been retained to work for their release.
The recent diplomatic spats between the U.S. and India are clearly not helping this sad state of affairs. India also continues to hold two Italian marines, part of a security team on the tanker Enrica Lexie accused of murdering two Indian fishermen who were mistaken for pirates in February 2012.
In a coals to Newcastle type development, Saudi-Aramco will for the first time ship diesel oil from the new state of the art, 400,000 barrels/day capacity, Jubail refinery in Saudi Arabia to Europe this month. This is about as welcome as a cold bath in January for hard pressed European refineries. Several cargoes of jet fuel, gasoline and diesel have already been shipped to Asia since the refinery opened for business last year.
The Hong Kong government has announced that it will make switching to low sulphur fuel mandatory for vessels at berth from 2015 — the first Asian port to do so. A draft Bill that requires sulphur content to be no more than 0.5% will be tabled at the Legislative Council for a vote in mid-2014 after Hong Kong’s local marine called for a leveling of the playing field. Under the so called Fair Winds Charter, for the past three years, some ship owners have been voluntarily switching to low sulphur fuel but this was by no means universal – hence the decision to legislate.
Loading nickel ore in Pomalaa, Indonesia
Following weeks of last minute lobbying by national and international mining companies, the Indonesian government last weekend enacted a new law banning the export of some unprocessed minerals. The main targets are nickel ore and bauxite under a law passed by Indonesia’s parliament in 2009 under which says mineral ores are required to be processed at domestic smelters from 12 January, 2014. Indonesia’s Ministry for Mines and Energy had proposed a three-year exemption that would allow companies to export unprocessed minerals until 2017 provided they make a commitment to build domestic smelters. Jakarta modified its proposals at the last minute to allow exports of iron ore, copper and some other concentrates to continue. Last week a number of Chinese owned and chartered vessels were reported as having been prevented from leaving Indonesian ports, just two days before the ban came into force. China imported around 65 million tons of nickel for the first 10 months of 2013, nearly all of it from Indonesia and the Philippines.
Nickel ore exports from Indonesia have long been controversial on account of mis-declaration of Transportable Moisture Limits (TML) which has resulted in the loss of at least six vessels, namely:
October 2010: Jian Fu Star, 13 fatalities
November 2010: Nasco Diamond, 21 fatalities
December 2010 Hong Wei, 10 fatalities
December, 2011: Vinalines Queen, 22 fatalities
February 2012: Harita Bauxite, 15 fatalities
August 2012: Trans Summer sank off Hong Kong, but all 21 crew were rescued by helicopters.
All vessels were carrying nickel ore from Indonesia to China.
The Italian navy and relatives of the 32 people who lost their lives released a wreath on January 13 on the second anniversary of the Costa Concordia disaster. On Giglio island, the accident was commemorated with a mass in the church that housed survivors on the night of the tragedy. Judges and survivors stood in silence at the theatre turned courtroom where Captain Francesco Schettino is accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the vessel before all passengers had been evacuated. The trial has been postponed due to a strike by lawyers in Italy and has been rescheduled for January 27. A stone plaque bearing the names of those who lost their lives has been posted on the Island (above right).
Where the Costa Concorida will be scrapped has yet to be announced but for obvious reasons, given the precarious state of the vessel, her insurers are hoping that it will be somewhere in the Mediterranean. An announcement on the winning tender is expected in March and the vessel is being prepared for moving in June. It was revealed last week that after an extensive tender process, a total of 12 yards spread over Italy, the UK, France, Norway, Turkey, the Netherlands, and China are competing for the contract to dismantle and recycle the vessel. That’s quite a chunk of steel to cut up.
The Pacific Pilotage Authority is inviting expressions of interest from parties interested in providing a pilot boat service in Cape Beale (Port Alberni) area.
Parties wishing to find out more about this opportunity are asked to contact PPA by telephone at 604-666-8575 to obtain background documentation. Expressions of interest must be received no later than Friday, January 31st at 4:00 pm PST.
As previously advised through Canada Border Services Agency’s Customs Notice 13-020 – Marine Mode Carrier Codes – Transition Period Extension, marine agent carrier codes are set to expire now on January 30, 2014. This date is expected to remain unchanged, however we understand that CBSA will continue to work with agents to ensure that the applications are submitted and processed in a timely manner.
Please note that the following points have been clarified this week:
Further information on carrier code eligibility as it pertains to single agents is expected to be released next week.
Marcella Szel has been picked by the board to replace Nancy Olewiler, whose term as a director expired on December 31, 2013. Szel has been on the TransLink board since January 2012. A former CP Rail executive and Coal Association of Canada board member, Szel is also vice chair of Port Metro Vancouver. View news release. Brenda Eaton, who served as deputy minister to former premier Gordon Campbell, has joined the board for a three-year term. The other board members are Howard Nemtin (vice chair), Robin Chakrabarti, Rick Christiaanse, Lorraine Cunningham, W. John Dawson, Barry Forbes, and Don Rose.
site of proposed new Tesoro oil export terminal
On January 10, a Superior Court Judge ruled in favor of the Port of Vancouver, WA against three environmental groups that have been trying to stop development of a 42-acre oil-handling terminal for Tesoro. The three groups – Columbia Riverkeeper, the Northwest Environmental Defense Center and the Sierra Club jointly sued in October 2013 to stop the project on the basis that a 10-year, $45 million lease agreement was approved before an environmental study had been conducted. The project involves the development and operation of a new 120,000 barrels-per-daycrude-by-rail unloading and marine export facility.
The Chevron Apache LNG project, Kitimat LNG, is cautiously moving forward by engaging a joint venture between two international engineering firms Fluor Corporation and JGC Corp to undertake the engineering, procurement and construction for the proposed terminal at Bish Cove. JGC will be responsible for the liquefaction facilities and Fluor will oversee utilities and offsite facilities. Even so, the company has yet to announce a final investment decision (FID) on the $4.5 billion projectwhich has a license from the National Energy Board to export up to 10 million tonnes of LNG per year for 20 years. Both the provincial and federal governments have approved an environmental assessment of the project.
As if white-washing the Brits in the just completed Ashes Series (cricket) were not enough, the latest secret weapon employed by the Aussies is to bake the opposition at the Melbourne tennis open. South-East Australia has been hit with extreme hot weather with temperatures comfortably above 40C this week causing play in Melbourne to be suspended as players and spectators wilted under the sun.