Friday, 09 March 2018 12:07

New Super Eco Fuel being developed

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Oshima Shipbuilding is developing a new fuel which aims to meet all air emission regulations while simplifying the fuel system and reducing investment costs. The fuel would be compliant with SOx and NOx regulations without requiring spacious and costly equipment to be installed on board and can be blended to meet the 2020 0.5% global sulphur cap. The new fuel type Super Eco Fuel is produced by mixing lightcycle oil (LCO), a secondary refinery product, with gas-to-liquid (GTL), a liquid fuel made from natural gas, and water.  DNV GL has estimated the costs of the new fuel to be higher than standard HFO but lower than other LFSO options.

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At this week’s TPM conference in Long Beach, World Shipping Council (WSC) vice president Bryan Wood-Thomas noted that the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee meets next month to discuss curbs on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping and expects mandatory speed reductions to be in the spotlight.  It has been suggested by some that the impact of a 10 to 30 percent reduction in speed could result in freight rate increases of 25 to 30 percent and bunker adjustment factors rising 50%. The ability to quickly implement a speed reduction in an effort to reach GHG reduction targets appeals to key governments. A recent article in the Lancet Planetary Health journal projected it would cost US$22.1 trillion to US$41.6 trillion between 2020 and 2050 for the world to hold average global warming under two degrees Celsius.

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The provincial government has released its intentions paper and is seeking input from British Columbians on its next steps to defend BC’s land, coast and waters from oil spills at http://engage.gov.bc.ca/spillsregulation. The Province is looking for feedback in four policy areas:

  • Response times, which ensure timely responses following a spill;
  • Geographic response plans, which ensure resources are available to support an immediate response, which consider the unique characteristics of a given sensitive area;
  • Compensation for loss of public use from spills, including economic, cultural and recreational impacts; and
  • Maximizing application of regulations to marine spills.


Friday, 02 March 2018 14:47

Record volumes for Port of Vancouver

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The Port of Vancouver has published its 2017 year-end statistics for cargo and reported on record volumes through the port, reaching a record high of 142.1 million tonnes, up five per cent from 2016. Nearly all sectors experienced growth from 2016 and some hit new records in 2017. Overall container units increased by 11.0 per cent in 2017, setting a new record of 3.3 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). 2017 saw an 6.6 per cent increase in cargo-filled containers, setting a new record of 2.8 million TEUs. Bulk grain saw another record year in 2017 at 23.6 million metric tonnes an eight per cent increase over 2016, making this the Port of Vancouver’s fourth consecutive year of record grain volumes. 

Friday, 02 March 2018 14:24

Rail service continues to suffer

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CN and CP rail services continue to struggle this winter causing a significant backlog of cargo throughout the supply chain and creating a heavy demand on anchorages throughout the west coast.  The excessive delays to shipments is preventing prairie growers from getting their crops to market.  The current Ag Transport Coalition reports indicate that CN and CP combined only supplied 32 percent of the hopper cars ordered last week.  CN supplied 17% while CP supplied 50%.  All commodities and container movements are impacted and fluidity of the gateway is challenged. CN is hopeful that an additional130 short-term leased locomotives and a 400 qualified conductors to be hired and trained during the first quarter will provide some relief.

Friday, 02 March 2018 14:15

HMCS Calgary spills fuel

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Last weekend the HMCS Calgary spilled 30,000 litres of fuel in the Strait of Georgia between Nanaimo and Parksville. The spill happened while crews aboard the vessel were transferring F-76 fuel internally. F-76 is a naval fuel used in compression ignition engines, naval gas turbines and ships' boilers for steam raising and is similar to kerosene, lighter than water and quickly evaporates.  Canadian Coast Guard has conducted air, sea and land-based searches and have found no evidence of the fuel on the shorelines. The spill was likely caused by human error, but a full investigation is underway.

Friday, 02 March 2018 14:08

Victoria approves new dry dock

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Victoria city council has given unanimous final approval for a new graving dock that will be capable of servicing vessels up to 170 metres in length. The $50-plus million project at Victoria Harbour's Point Hope Maritime shipyards still requires a lengthy federal review.  The economic spinoffs expect to bring 200 new jobs at wages that start near $100,000. 

Friday, 02 March 2018 13:59

Reach Foundation honours Norman Stark

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Lois E. Jackson Kinsmen Centre for Children was officially opened this week with Reach Foundation chair Dennis Horgan, who served as master of ceremonies.  The three-storey, 20,000-square-foot-centre on 47th Avenue adjacent to the Ladner Pioneer Library will allow the Reach Child and Youth Development Society to help even more children and their families. An inclusive playground was officially opened and a special memorial plaque was unveiled in the community room in honour of late Reach Foundation director Norman Stark.


The memorial plaque includes a carved oar. Painted on the oar is an orca whale with abalone inset by
Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Bryce Williams. The paddle signifies Stark’s extensive involvement in the port and the shipping community. The paddle also represents both a journey and moving forward towards a common goal. A paddle goes hand-in-hand with a canoe, which symbolizes teamwork. In addition, the painted captain’s wheel signifies the skipper or in this case Stark’s leadership. The orca symbolizes family, community and protection and his connection to Reach.

Friday, 02 March 2018 13:49

Capt. Marshall appointed to PPA Board

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The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport has filled the last position on the Pacific Pilotage Authority Board of Directors.  We are pleased to announce that Captain Jamie Marshall, Vice President of Business Developent & Innovation for BC Ferries, has been appointed for a four year term.

Friday, 02 March 2018 13:35

Federal Budget 2018

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The federal budget released this week saw more than $1 billion dedicated to buying up and protecting private land over the next five years, alongside other conservation efforts. The Government of Canada has committed $500 million to a nature fund to protect sensitive ecosystems, expand species protection and help Indigenous groups play a role in conservation efforts. An additional $167 million over five years will go toward the research and preservation of endangered whale species, including Southern Resident Killer Whales, North Atlantic right whales and belugas in the St. Lawrence estuary.


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The US has announced hefty new tariffs for imports of steel, at 25 per cent, and 10 per cent for aluminum that are to be implemented next week in his attempt to boost US manufacturers.  Details on whether all countries, including Canada, will face the steep tariffs on steel and aluminum have not yet been released. The European Union could be ready to present a response next week to the US' planned tariffs on aluminum and steel. Steel manufacturers expect that exports to the US could be cut in half. Transport stocks such as Maersk and DSV are down following the announcement.

Friday, 02 March 2018 13:18

Tacoma installs four new cranes

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The first set of four cranes arrived from China earlier in the week and have been offloaded at the Port of Tacoma’s Pier 4 terminal on the Blair Waterway. The 295-foot tall cranes along with changes along South Harbour will create one contiguous berth that could simultaneously serve two, super-post-Panamax container ships that have the capacity of 18,000 containers each. The new cranes can lift containers 165 feet above the pier and reach out to a span of 24 containers. The current cranes only have an outreach of 18 containers.

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