Transport Canada issued a news release stating that it will be investing $175 millions of dollars under the Oceans Protection Plan to protect Canada's Arctic waters. Investments will be made in safety equipment and basic marine infrastructure in northern communities, while low impact shipping corridors will be identified in coastal waters. Investments include:
These new measures will allow Canada’s Northern territories to be better equipped, better regulated, and better prepared to protect their marine environment and coastal communities.
The Port Houston has partly resumed business after category 4 Hurricane Harvey slammed into Texas a week ago. The captain of the port for Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston opened the ports of Houston, Texas City, Galveston, and Freeport with restrictions.
As of this morning the Barbours Cut Terminal, Bayport Container Terminal and Turning Basin Terminal – resumed operations at 7 a.m., receiving trucks ready to haul cargo from containers being unloaded. But the Houston Ship Channel, the port's waterways that connect the port to the Gulf of Mexico, is still closed. Swift current in the channel continues to restrict vessel movements.
The Port of Corpus Christi is open with the following restrictions (Aug 31):
Earlier this week 22 tankers carrying 15.3 million barrels of crude oil were waiting off of Texas.
Ray-Mont Logistics has launched its new facility in Prince Rupert with an opening ceremony held on August 28th. The facility will help expand export business through the Port of Prince Rupert by loading empty containers with Canadian grains, pulses and cereals. Located on Ridley Island it will be the first facility on the west coast of Canada that can handle a 100 car-unit train in three to four days. Minister of International Trade François-Philippe Champagne also attended the ceremony along with Chief councilor of Metlakatla Harold Leighton.
Tuesday, August 29th - DP World celebrated the completion of the Phase 2 North expansion of Fairview Terminal in Prince Rupert with an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony. The event was attended by more than 1,000 community members, employees, First Nations, customers and supply chain partners, and government. As one of the fatest growing container terminals in North America, by adding a second berth the expansion increases the terminals annual throughput from 850,000 to 1.35 Million TEU annually. The Malacca-max cranes will allow 20,000+ TEU vessels to access the terminal through one of the deepest port harbour terminals in the world. The facility currently supports over 800 jobs, and an additional 200 new jobs are expected to be created as cargo volume grows. High profile attendees included the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade, John Helin, Mayor of Lax Kw'alaams, Harold Leighton, Chief Councillor of Metlakatla, and Bruce Ralston, B.C. Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology.
K+S Potash Canada (KSPC) and Pacific Coast Terminals (PCT) celebrated the opening of a state-of-the-art potash handling and storage facility at PCT’s Port Moody terminal on Monday. The facility will be the export outlet for KSPC’s new multibillion dollar Bethune mine in southern Saskatchewan with potash destined for China, Southeast Asia, India, Brazil and other international locations. KSPC, a subsidiary of the K+S Group, an international resources company headquartered in Germany, celebrated the Grand Opening of the mine in May of this year and commenced production the following month. Modifications to the site include a railcar unloading facility; underground and above ground conveyor belts; new transfer towers; and a 263 metre-long storage warehouse with capacity for 160,000 tonnes of product. The facility is able to unload a 18,000-tonne train in just four and a half hours.
BC Ferries has taken delivery of its latest addition to the fleet in Greece on August 30th. The Northern Sea Wolf will provide a new direct service between Port Hardy and Bella Coola starting in the summer of 2018. The name is inspired by a First Nations legend in which the Sea Wolf is a manifestation of the Orca and symbolizes family and loyalty. The spirit of the Sea Wolf protects those travelling their waters. Northern Sea Wolf is a secondhand vessel built in 2000 and is able to accommodate a minimum of 35 vehicles and 150 passengers and crew. The vessel is scheduled to arrive in British Columbia this fall, where it will undergo upgrades.
The Federal Court of Appeal has granted the BC provincial government the right to be an intervenor in a legal battle over the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The approval comes with a tight turnaround, and several conditions, including a deadline for the government to file its submission by today, September 1st. As part of the decision, the judge ruled that BC may not introduce any new issues and must pay $7,500 to Trans Mountain which will have to to prepare a late response to the arguments.
This year's Mission to Seafarers cycling event in Vancouver was a great success with nearly 90 riders and several local organizations taking part in this annual fundraiser. The Chair of the Mission to Seafarers Board of Directors, Stephen Brown, says "On behalf of the Board and management team at the Mission to Seafarers, may I offer thanks to everyone involved in making the August 26 Cycling for Seafarers event a resounding success. A very special thanks to the organizing committee, our volunteer helpers, corporate and individual sponsors, our rest station teams and last, but not least, to our many riders."
On August 22nd, the CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt, with a 14,855 teu capacity, became the first ultra large container vessel (ULVC) to transit the Panama Canal. The vessel is deployed on the new OCEAN Alliance’s weekly South Atlantic Express (SAX) service, which connects Asia and U.S. East Coast ports via the Panama Canal. By transiting through Panama, the vessel saved 29,561 tons of CO2 by bypassing the Cape of Good Hope. For this voyage the vessel will also call the Port of New York and New Jersey, which recently completed a four year, US 1.6 billion project to raise the Bayonne Bridge to 215 ft. in order to accommodate larger ships.
The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has now released its report on the May 24 2016 collision of two tugs near Gabriola Island. In the 6-8 seconds it took the master of the CT Titan to move from the flying bridge to the wheelhouse the tug veered to port and struck the bow of the Albern on the starboard side, causing the vessel to capsize and sink. The investigation determined that it was the vessel’s tendency to veer to port or to starboard when the steering controls were unattended, as well as the rudders’ misalignment to port, that likely led to the CT Titan veering to port. Following the occurrence the company sent 10 masters and 10 deckhands to attend a situational awareness and bridge resource management training course at a local training institute.
The second week of the Haro Strait Vessel Slowdown Trial (August 14-20, 2017), saw a total vessel participation rate of 68% with 65 of 96 piloted vessels reporting participation through the Haro Strait vessel slow down area. This represents an improvement of almost 10% over last week’s participation rates. In total, agents flagged 73 of 96 transits as potential candidates for participation and 65 of those participated, indicating that pilots were able to successfully carry out agent requests 89% of the time. As with last week, the primary reason recorded for non-participating vessels was a concern of not meeting schedule. Thanks again to all the agents, pilots, masters and owners who made efforts to participate this week. The ECHO Team is extremely encouraged to see the participation rates increase over the first week’s rates and look forward to reporting continued progress on a weekly basis going forward.
Starting September 30th Maersk Line will launch a new service between Montreal and ports on the Mediterranean Sea. The published ports of call will be Cagliari – Salerno – Leghorn – Genoa – Fos sur Mer – Algeciras – Tangiers – Vigo – Montreal – Tangiers – Valencia – Cagliari. With the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) being provisionally implemented in September, European tariffs will be eliminated on key Canadian exports and this service will tap into a new flow of goods. Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company currently calls at all four major ports in Canada, Prince Rupert, Vancouver, Halifax and Montreal.
Further to our August 11th newsletter item reporting that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is moving to expand the state's At-Berth Regulation to include 100% of commercial ships to use shore-side power by 2030, the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA) has released a statement citing concern. An analysis conducted by Starcrest Consulting Group, commissioned by PMSA demonstrates that greenhouse gas (GHG) may increase if cargo is diverted from West Coast ports if the regulations come into effect. Increased costs as a result of the proposed regulations may divert vessels and cargo to East and Gulf Coast Ports, resulting in longer transit times which could result in increased emissions. More details are available in the report and infographic.
BC Ferries has announced that in order to comply with Transport Canada regulations passengers will no longer be able to stay in their car on closed vehicle decks while the ferry is in motion. The ban will go into effect and October 11, and will apply to fully enclosed lower decks on many vessels including the Tswawwassen and Swartz Bay route. The company has also indicated that they will do their best to accommodate passengers with special circumstances by placing their vehicles on the upper deck. BC Ferries have also confirmed that they will be implementing a total smoking ban on all ferries as of January 22, 2018, in order to provide both customers and employees with a smoke-free environment.
Congratulations to Saga Shipholding for being recongnized by the US Coast Guard for excellent safety and environmental standards. The Tevnik-based owner had nine vessels listed as qualifying for the USCG's "E-Zero" programme, which recognizes ships for having zero detentions and zero deficiencies wordwide over a three year period. Qualified vessels must also have a US Coast Guard approved ballast trement system onboard.
The captain of a U.S. navy warship that lost seven sailors in a collision with a commercial container ship in June will be relieved of command and nearly a dozen others face punishment, the navy's second-ranking admiral said Thursday. Admiral William Moran, the vice-chief of naval operations, told reporters that the top three leaders aboard the USS Fitzgerald, which was badly damaged in the collision off the coast of Japan, will be removed from duty aboard the ship. They are the commanding officer, Cmdr. Bryce Benson; the executive officer, Cmdr. Sean Babbitt; and Master Chief Petty Officer Brice Baldwin, who as the ship's command master chief is its most senior enlisted sailor. The actions are being taken by Rear Admiral Joseph Aucoin, commander of the Navy's Seventh Fleet, based at Yokosuka, Japan, because he lost confidence in the three, Moran said.
A new speed record for reaching the North Pole has been set by Russia's nuclear icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy, making the journey from Murmansk to the North Pole in just 79 hours. During the transit, the vessel hosted a conference dedicated to Artic issues with a key topic being the economic worth of developing year-round navigation of the Northern Sea Route. In the past 40 years, 124 surface vessels have completed the journey, of which 111 of were done by Russian ships.