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Wärtsilä has unveiled a global initiative that aims to transform the world’s marine and energy industry into one supremely efficient, ecologically sound and digitally connected ecosystem. The initiative, which Wärtsilä calls “An Oceanic Awakening”, was announced at the SMM maritime trade fair in Hamburg. Oceanic Awakening will activate a fully-integrated smart ecosystem that will improve operational efficiencies that will lead to greater profitability and sustainability.  The initiative will include improving fuel efficiency, reducing port congestion, and leveraging real-time communication between stakeholders.  Wärtsilä plans to connect 20 of the most influential marine cities by 2020 into a network that will inspire cooperation and support the adoption and deployment of best practices, embrace digitalization and legislate new environmentally friendlier, sustainable and smarter ways of doing business across our oceans. Under the auspices of SEA20, an assembly of key influencers from five marine cities have already been brought together to determine how these cities can best take advantage of a Smart Ecosystem and all its cascading benefits to society at large. 

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The third phase of Greece's port privatization efforts will start this fall with 10 ports identified, including four in Northern Greece, three in Attica as well as ports in Patra, Volos and Heraklio. Greece’s public assets management fund (TAIPED) is assessing each port’s potential and proceed with the necessary actions for use. Study results are expected in the coming days and TAIPED is expected to seek public-private partnership opportunities “encourage the advent of investors who have specific knowhow and experience, while at the same time ensuring the public’s best interests.”  This third phase follows the sale of the Thessaloniki Port Authority to South Europe Gateway Thessaloniki Limited (SEGT) for €231,926m earlier this year, reported GTP Headlines.

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The Federal Court of Appeal ruled on Thursday that Canada’s regulatory review of Trans Mountain’s pipeline expansion project was flawed and that the government must re-submit its project plans to the National Energy Board. The decision means the National Energy Board must conduct a new review of the impacts of increased tanker traffic on the marine environment and that the government must consult more meaningfully with First Nations.  Perhaps a good reminder to us all is the Federal Court’s interpretation of consultation which must involve “responsive, considered, and meaningful dialogue” between parties, and “is not simply a process of exchanging information.” Shortly after the court ruling Thursday, company shareholders voted more than 99 per cent in favour of the sale.

Friday, 31 August 2018 14:53

Mission to Seafarers thanks you!

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The 11th annual Cycling for Seafarers fundraiser held this past weekend was a tremendous success despite the wet weather.  The senior chaplain, Reverend Peter Smyth expresses, “On behalf of everyone at the Mission to Seafarers in Vancouver, BC a big thank you goes to all the corporate sponsors and individuals for your support. This financial support will enable the Mission to continue the work of caring for the seafarers in the Port of Vancouver. The good food and good company made it a fun event with cyclists able to stretch their legs for a good cause.  Already looking forward to 2019.” Photos from the event, courtesy of Jane McIvor of BC Shipping News, are available on Flickr.

Friday, 31 August 2018 14:52

Port of Halifax unveils expansion plan

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The Halifax Port Authority has unveiled its expansion plans to accommodate larger container vessels.  Phase one of the project will include a temporary expansion of Halterm that will take the existing pier 42 and extend it to the south about 135 metres in length and 63 metres wide to allow two ultra-class container ships to tie up by 2020.  Phase two would be a more permanent expansion of Halterm to the north, expanding the terminal’s capacity to 800,000TEU.  The port authority is will cover the $35 million cost for the temporary expansion. 

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The Government of Québec is providing a total of $185 million in financial assistance to BlackRock Metals to support the construction of an open pit mine of iron, vanadium and titanium near Chibougamau, in the Nord-du-Québec region.  In addition, a further $63 million will go to the Saguenay Port Authority for energy infrastructure that will include a secondary processing plant in the Grande-Anse sector of the industrial port area. The project represents investments valued at nearly $1.3 billion and will create more than 800 jobs during the construction of the mine and mill. Some 200 jobs will also be created during the operation of the mine, while the operation of the processing plant will result in the creation of about 300 jobs.  The Québec Maritime Strategy aims for an optimal and responsible use of Quebec's maritime potential. It will generate, by 2030, billions of dollars in investments and support the creation of 30,000 direct jobs in all regions of Quebec.

Friday, 31 August 2018 14:48

Canada's new Spaceport?

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Environmental concerns over a proposal to open Canada's only commercial spaceport near the small community of Canso, NS have been raised.  While not for Canada’s “space force,” the Canso Spaceport Facility is a proposed 20-hectare site aimed at attracting firms that want to put satellites into orbit.  The project's backer, Maritime Launch Services, was recently informed by Nova Scotia's environment minister it must address a number of concerns before it can proceed with the project, including a response to any accidental discharge of unsymmetrical dimenthyl hydrazine (UDH) on the land or surface water.  Nova Scotia's Environment Minister Margaret Miller has determined that the environmental assessment requires further work and the company has one year to provide additional information and studies.  The $155M spaceport plans to have 8 launches by 2022.

Friday, 31 August 2018 14:45

Giaschi appointed to BC Supreme Court

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Congratulations to Christopher J. Giaschi, partner at Giaschi & Margolis, for his appointment as judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver. He replaces Justice S.A. Griffin, who was appointed to the Court of Appeal effective February 6, 2018.

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The Québec Port Authority (QPA) has appointed Don Krusel as the new managing director of the Port of Québec's $190M container terminal project.  The Port of Québec has expansion plans in the Beauport sector that would see 17 hectares of graded land added to adjacent available lands, for an additional 610 metre wharf line with a depth of 16 meters. The Port of Québec would use the new land to build a new deepwater container terminal with direct intermodal access to major rail and highway networks. With the new container terminal and its 15 metre draft, the St. Lawrence River will finally boast a real alternative to the deepwater ports of the Eastern Seaboard.

Friday, 31 August 2018 14:41

Passenger ship aground in Arctic

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One Ocean Expeditions’ ship, Akademik Ioffe, ran aground in the western Gulf of Boothia near Kugaaruk, Nunavut, last Friday. None of the 160 passengers and crew were injured aboard the Russian-owned 1989-built passenger ship and no pollution was detected from the damaged hull.  One Ocean Expeditions sent the sister ship, Akademik Sergey Vavilov, to transfer and transport the passengers to Kugaaruk. The CCGS Amundsen and its helicopter were on scene assisting in the safe transfer. The Akademik Ioffe was refloated and the owners are awaiting confirmation of the next port of call to effect repairs. 

Friday, 31 August 2018 14:38

New CCG icebreakers arrive in Quebec

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Great video with Mario Pelletier, Canadian Coast Guard Deputy Commissioner of Operations, reporting on the arrival of new icebreakers.  After travelling more than 3400 nautical miles and 14 days from Landskrona, Sweden, the three medium icebreakers arrived in Quebec and will soon join the Canadian Coast Guard fleet. The first of three icebreakers is expected to be operational this winter. 

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The Canadian Grain Commission’s grain safety certification programs are now recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).  The Canadian Grain Commission programs has met internationally accepted science-based standards in food safety management putting Canada in a stronger position to help grain handling companies meet both international regulatory and market-driven food safety demands.

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