Mercedes-Benz Canada has welcomed its first official delivery of vehicles through the newly opened Vehicle Processing Centre (VPC) in Nanaimo. It is the first and only Western Canadian entry point for European automobiles. This new all water approach for importers establishes new cost-effective and environmentally responsible supply chain options for the West Coast of Canada. The processing centre was developed in partnership with Transport Canada, Western Stevedoring, the Auto Division of SSA Marine, and BCVPC.
The Laurentian Pilotage Authority (LPA) has joined Green Marine, notably, as the first marine pilotage authority in Canada to join the environmental certification program as a participant. The LPA was already a Green Marine partner but wanted to become a participant so that the Authority’s vessels could be certified.
The M/V Cape, a 30,000-ton bulk carrier carrying unrefined sugar from Guatemala, has arrived at the Port of Toronto, kicking off its 2019 season. The Captain was crowned with a 200-year-old ceremonial top hat made of silk and beaver fur and awarded, C$100 for captaining the first vessel to port in 2019 (a prize that has remained unchanged since 1861). The Port of Toronto has been handling growing volumes of cargo, hitting a record 2.2 million metric tons in 2018.
LNG Canada CEO Andy Calitz will be replaced by Peter Zebedee, effective July 1st, 2019.
Zebedee is currently Vice President Canada Manufacturing and GM Scotford at Shell. With more than 22 years’ industry experience, he is currently responsible for all elements of Shell’s downstream manufacturing portfolio in Canada, including all operations at the Shell Scotford complex and the operation of Quest carbon capture and storage facility, one of the most effective GHG-reduction technologies. Andy Calitz will be returning to Shell.
The Government of Canada has tabled amendments to the Pilotage Act, which establish several themes, including centralization of regulatory powers and standardization in Transport Canada, increased transparency, and increased powers of enforcement and monetary penalties. Overall the amendments have the potential to support improvements to safety, efficiency, and competitiveness. Items that should be of close interest to shipowners, operators, and agencies include:
There is still a great deal of analysis required of this draft legislation, especially as it is the most significant change to the Pilotage Act in years. We will continue to evaluate it as we prepare to provide feedback to Government through the legislative process. With only 29 sitting days remaining for the House of Commons, this bill will move rapidly through the legislative process.
The full Bill can be found here: http://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/42-1/bill/C-97/first-reading
President Trump has signed two executive orders that seek to speed up construction of pipelines and other projects, with the goal of enhancing the production and transport of oil and natural gas between states and across international borders. One order directs the Environmental Protection Agency to review and tighten rules to make it more difficult for states to stand in the way of pipelines being built by invoking provisions of the Clean Water Act. The other order would transfer authority for approving the construction of international pipelines from the secretary of state to the president, eliminating a lengthy State Department review process. The goal is to speed up projects like the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico.
CLIA has reported that the cruise industry continued to grow in 2018, with a 6.7 percent increase from 2017 to 2018. This reflects a total of 28.5 million passengers who traveled onboard cruise ships last year. Around 14.2 million passengers in 2018 were from North America, representing 49.9 percent of global ocean passengers. In addition, 25.1 percent of total passengers came from Europe, followed by Asia-Pacific and South America.
In a bid to slash the industry’s emissions, France is arguing for a global speed limit for the shipping industry around the globe through a submission to the International Maritime Organization. France believes that in order to meet the climate goals set out in the Paris Agreement, shipping needs to act faster than goals set out by IMO to get decarbonisation regulations moving by 2023. Reducing speed for most ship sectors is one option for a transitionary, temporary measure.
Home to the world’s largest refueling station, Singapore says it will have enough low-sulfur fuel next year to meet new demand tied to the required reduction in sulphur emissions. The country has been working with big oil refiners and shipowners and is confident that they will have enough fuel that is compliant with new industry rules for 2020. Large oil companies have been active in Singapore, testing new fuels to ensure that they are safe and usable on all ships. The new fuels are expected to cost 40% more than traditional bunker fuel, boosting operators’ annual fuel bill by as much as $15 billion.
The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has announced that it will accept all types of approved exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS), or scrubbers, including both open loop and closed loop, for use in its territorial waters. These areas include Cape Town, Saldanha Bay, Port Nolloth, Port of Ngqura, East London, Durban, Mossel Bay, Port Elizabeth, and Richards Bay.
L-Pod, a group of 25 Southern resident killer whales have been spotted off the coast of Monterey, Calif. While the pod is typically in the waters off B.C. and Washington, researchers suggest that they have ventured more than 1,000 kilometres south in search of food. It is unknown if travelling south for food will become a trend for the whales, but according to researchers, the whales appeared to be in good health.
Congratulations to the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority team who received the Award for Conservation Leadership in Support of Corporate Responsibility for its work on the ECHO program at this week’s Ocean Awards gala held at the Vancouver Aquarium. The award recognized the progressive efforts of the ECHO Program and its ability to collaboratively advance meaningful ocean conservation work. Launched in 2014, the program has advanced a number of world-leading research projects on reducing underwater noise from vessels and has implemented several large-scale voluntary underwater noise reduction initiatives, made possible because of the collaborations of many partners and participants.
Prince Rupert has added Zim Integrated Shipping Services to its portfolio of shipping lines. The line is concentrating its presence in the Pacific Northwest operating out of Prince Rupert will allow it to expand its options for serving the US interior. Zim will be taking slots on a 2M Alliance trans-Pacific service operated by Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co., with most cargo directed to Chicago, Memphis, and New Orleans. Asian cargo destined for eastern Canada will be shipped mostly through Zim’s Vancouver service.
The regulatory package has published in Gazette I on March 30, 2019 to address a series of changes to the regulation of rail transportation following amendments to the Canada Transportation Act, and the Safe and Accountable Rail Act, and implementation of the new Transportation Modernization Act. The proposed amendments would update the Railway Interswitching Regulations to align with the introduction of long-haul interswitching (LHI) and with changes in how regulated (30 km) interswitching rates are calculated under the amended Act; prescribe filing and information requirements for freight railways concerning their minimum third party liability insurance requirements, also in line with the amended Act; and designate various rail-related provisions and Agency orders as subject to AMPs of up to $25,000 for non-compliance, including LHI orders. Overall, the proposed regulatory amendments would ensure that recent legislative amendments are smoothly implemented and can be properly enforced.
The Coast Guard published the Seafarers’ Access to Maritime Facilities Final Rule in the Federal Register April 1, 2019, requiring owners and operators of Maritime Transportation Security Act-regulated facilities to provide seafarers holding valid US visas and other covered individuals with the ability to transit through the facility in a timely manner and at no cost to the individuals. Under this rule, each owner or operator of a maritime facility regulated by the Coast Guard is required to implement a system providing seafarers, pilots, and representatives of seamen’s welfare and labor organizations access between vessels moored at the facility and the facility gate, in a timely manner and at no cost to the seafarer or other individuals. The final rule provides regulatory flexibility to owners and operators to determine the method of shore access that best suits the size and function of their facility. These methods may include, but are not limited to, providing regularly scheduled or on-call shuttle service, taxi service, arrangements with seafarers’ welfare organizations, or monitoring of pedestrian routes.
Legislation has been introduced to amend the Coastal Ferry Act that aims to put the needs of coastal communities at the heart of decision making. The amendments are based on the recommendations in Blair Redlin’s report on the Coastal Ferry review. Highlights include:
Starting April 1, 2019, sailings will be restored on the majority of ferry routes that were cut in 2014, making it easier for people in coastal communities to get around. This will result in over 2,700 additional round trips added to schedules on 10 minor and northern routes.
U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan has introduced a new bill that would modify and permanently reauthorize the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. The Spill Response and Prevention Surety Act will maintain the existing nine-cent-per-barrel tax while establishing a USD 7 billion tax collection ceiling and USD 5 billion collection floor. The single incident payout claim would be doubled to USD 2 billion, and the natural resource damage claim would also be doubled to USD 1 billion.