CN Rail has announced plans to invest approximately $340 million across BC in 2018 to expand and strengthen the Company's rail network throughout the province. The investments in BC are part of CN's planned $3.4 billion capital program for 2018 and include track expansion projects that will boost capacity for better service to forest products, grain, intermodal and industrial customers. Other elements will focus on key track infrastructure to improve safety and effeciency. Planned expansion projects include:
Western Canada Marine Response has launched Sential 30, a new oil spill response vessel. The 26-foot vessel and landing craft was built in Prince Rupert by Broadwater Industries. The Sentinel 30 will be undergoing spill response trials in Prince Rupert and will utlimately be transited to the new response base in Saanich on Vancouver Island.
On June 14, the Honourable Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade, introduced legislation in the House of Commons for the implementation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The CPTPP will provide Canadian exporters and investors across a broad range of sectors with preferential access to fast-growing markets in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam. This willl set a new standard for free trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region by including robust and enforceable provisions in areas such as labour and the environment. The CPTPP Agreement will enter into force 60 days after at least six of the partner countries complete their respective ratification procedures. Once in force the CPTPP is expected to boost Canada's GDP by 4.2 billion.
China’s largest container ship, COSCO Shipping Universe, was delivered by state-owned enterprise China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) to China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited on Tuesday. The vessel, which has a capacity of 21,237 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), is 400 metres in length, 58.6 metres wide, with travel speed of 22 nautical miles per hour (25.3 miles per hour). Another five 21,000 TEU containerships, as well as a further four 22,000 TEU cargo ships, will be delivered to COSCO Shipping between the final few months of 2019 and the beginning of 2020. The vessel is set to sail along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which links China’s coast to Europe and Africa through the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean. The ship will both become a flagship vessel for this route and help to implement China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which was proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 to promote China’s trade with around 70 countries in Asia, Europe and Africa.
The US Coast Guard has issued Marine Safety Alert 10-18: U.S. Gulf Coast Bunker Contamination. The alert raises awareness of an emerging problem in the US Gulf Coast Region regarding contaminated vessel fuel oil bunkers. The notice states "The Coast Guard recommends that vessel owners and managers ensure vessel operators are made aware of this potential hazardous condition, closely monitor fuel oil system components and consult their bunker suppliers and other technical service providers regarding this issue." Fuel tester VPS has indientified the presence of 4-Cumyl-Phenol which is used in the manufacture of epoxy resins and as emulsifier in pesticides. Whle the source of contaminiation remains unknown, it is presumed to be associated with the use of fuel oil cutter stocks. The standard fuel oil tests for the ISO 8217 specification will not detect these underlying problems.
Photo Credit: BCCL
On June 13 the SSL Kolkata, caught fire when an explosion occurred on the vessel’s deck while in en route from Krishnapattinam to Kolkata. According to the Indian Coast Guard there were no reports of an oil spill in the area and there were no any injuries to the ship’s 22 crewmembers, who were safely evacuated from the vessel.
The results of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) Program's Vessel Slow Down Trial that took place in Haro Strait last summer are in. The voluntary Vessel Slow Down Trial was initiated to study the relationship between slower ship speed, underwater noise levels, and effects on the endangered southern resident killer whales. More than 60 marine shipping organzitions participated in reducing vessel speeds to 11 knots, when safe and feasible to do so. The results from the trial demonstrate that reducing vessel speeds is an effective way of reducing noise generated by the vessel, as well as reducing total underwater noise in nearby habitats. This summer, another volunary vessel slowdown initiative will take place in Haro Strait. This measure will test levels of participation when the vessel slowdown speed is optimized based by vessel class, and will take effect when there are confirmed sightings of southern resident killer whales in the area. The final report from the 2017 trial is now available on the ECHO Program slowdown trial webpage.
On June 8th GCT Deltaport welcomed the first Ocean Network Express (ONE) vessel to Canada. The ONE Commitment arrived at Deltaport on June 8th and is the first magenta vessel to arrive in the Southeast China-South China-Taiwan-Tacoma-Vancouver-Japan rotation, following the merger of the Japanese lines, NYK Line, Mitsui OSK, and “K” Line on April 1, 2018.
Today we celebrate World Oceans Day, a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future. This year's theme focusses on ocean plastics and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean. The Chamber of Shipping's President, Robert Lewis-Manning, is featured with an op-ed in today's Vancouver Sun, titled Sustainable oceans key to British Columbia's prosperity
A new report by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Death by 130,000 Cuts: Improving Canada’s Regulatory Competitiveness, calls on governments to modernize their regulatory frameworks and give businesses in Canada room to thrive. Canada’s regulatory system is smothering business in Canada, thanks to a growing mix of complex, costly and overlapping rules from all levels of government. The report is available at https://regulatesmarter.com/.
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority board of directors announces Judy Rogers as its incoming chair effective August 30, 2018 for a two-year term. Ms. Rogers joined the port authority board of directors on December 19, 2017. Ms. Rogers replaces outgoing chair, Craig Neeser, whose term of office expires on August 29, 2018. Mr. Neeser has served as chair since 2011 and was originally appointed to the board of directors in August 2009.
Ms. Rogers operates her own consulting firm, advising private, public and Crown corporations in government affairs and communications. She held the role of city manager of the City of Vancouver from 1999 to 2008. Ms. Rogers is chair of the board of directors of the B.C. Assessment Authority. She is past chair of the B.C. Housing Commission and the UBC Alumni Association, past president of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada, and served on the board for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Ms. Rogers received the Order of Canada in 2017, and is the recipient of two United Nations public service awards. She has a Masters degree in Public Administration from the University of Victoria and an honourary Doctorate of Laws from Capilano University.
Malaysian state-owned energy company Petronas says one of its wholly-owned entities has signed an agreement for an equity position in the LNG Canada project in Kitimat, BC. The Petronas-owned North Montney LNG Limited Partnership would hold a 25 per cent stake in the LNG Canada project. Shell Canada Energy would hold 40 per cent, PetroChina Canada Ltd., would have a 15 per cent stake, Mitsubishi Corp., subsidiary Diamond LNG Canada Ltd., would also hold 15 per cent, and Kogas Canada LNG Ltd., would have the remaining five per cent. Petronas says the proposed project includes the design, construction and operation of a gas liquefaction plant and facilities for the storage and export of liquefied natural gas, including marine facilities.
The Government of Canada has provided the Raincoast Conservation Foundation with $2.6M over five years for a project to help restore coastal habitats in the Fraser River Estuary of British Columbia. The Raincoast Conservation Foundation’s estuary connectivity project will improve connectivity and natural processes on the banks of the Fraser River Estuary for the benefit of juvenile chinook, pink and chum salmon, as well as other fish species, and the species which rely on them. The work will involve the collaborative efforts of many people working and living on the lower Fraser River. The funding comes from the $75 million Coastal Restoration Fund commited to help rehabilitate some of the most vulnerable coastlines and protect marine life and ecosystems.
The Government of Canada has launched WhaleMap, a new interactive mapping tool that displays the recent known locations of the whales as they travel in Canadian waters. The map displays near real-time whale detection information provided by various partners who contribute airborne, vessel and acoustic glider detections of the North Atlantic right whale. By providing this information on the web, partners will be better able to work together and ocean industries and members of the public will have rapid access to the most comprehensive information available. Users will be able to view recent right whale detections and also customize the map to display various surveillance efforts and protection measures. The project received $57, 500 in funding support from the Oceans Protection Plan.
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has approved changes that will relieve regulatory burdens on Ocean Transportation Intermediaries (OTI) and simplify requirements for using non-vessel-operating common carrier (NVOCC) Negotiated Rate Arrangements (NRAs) and NVOCC Service Arrangements (NSAs). NSAs and NRAs are instruments created by the Commission, at the request of shipper and carrier stakeholders, respectively in 2004 and 2010. They provide shippers and OTIs with a more efficient way to comply with Shipping Act reporting requirements while relieving them from the tariff filing process. The vote came during a public meeting of the Commission that also included a briefing on staff practices and procedures for monitoring ocean carrier and Marine Terminal Operator agreements.
The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners has approved a $1.3 billion budget for the Port of Los Angeles for the ensuing year. The budget focuses on priorities set out earlier this year in the Port’s revised 2018-2022 Strategic Plan, which calls for a focus on growth-supporting infrastructure; security, supply chain efficiency and sustainability; improved financial performance of port assets; and building strong relationships with port stakeholders. In the approved budget, $91.0 million is dedicated to Capital Improvement Projects (CIP), a 6.9% decrease over the previous fiscal year. Of that amount, $31.6 million will go toward terminal improvements, primarily focused on upgrades to better accommodate larger vessels and facilitate more efficient cargo-handling processes.