Four First Nations in northern British Columbia are banding together to support energy exports as they work to attract economic investment in the region despite opposition from other Indigenous groups. The elected leaders of the Haisla, Lax Kw’alaams, Metlakatla and Nisga’a signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on balancing their desire for economic growth with backing climate action. The four Indigenous leaders are taking a broader view that takes into account how exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) would displace coal-fired power plants in Asia and therefore help reduce air pollution overseas. The leaders are also backing the federal government’s plan to use a section in the Paris climate agreement that would allow Canada to gain emission credits for exporting LNG to Asia.
On October 2, 2019 the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) and Local 514 Ship and Dock Foremen reached a tentative agreement. The last Foremen’s agreement expired on March 31, 2019 and negotiations resumed shortly after the longshore collective agreement was ratified at the end of June. The parties have agreed that no details of the agreement will be released until the tentative agreement has been ratified by both parties.
Slow harvest due to rain and early snowfall in Western Canada is delaying the movement of grain to prairie elevators and export terminals on the West Coast and at Thunder Bay. Some are saying the harvest is behind as much as 30 percent and CP indicated that they have shipped about 1,000 cars fewer compared to the first three weeks of last season. The size of this year’s crop is estimated at 70 million metric tonnes plus.
Canola values remained sluggish with predicted canola production of around 19.358 million tonnes. Despite continued disinterest from China, increased demand from the European Union has provided support to values. Traders anticipate more demand from the European Union later in the year, totalling between one million and three million tonnes. If a deal with China were to come back into the mix, export sales would be considerably stronger.
The Port of Vancouver has joined the newly launched Getting to Zero 2030 Coalition. This coalition is an alliance of more than 70 public and private organization and calls on the shipping industry to make the transition to zero emission ships by 2030. The creation of an industry roadmap will engage stakeholders to identify technologies, investments and timelines for decarbonization of fuel and associated infrastructure.
The Government of Canada is investing $1.4 million in a project that will help the Port of Montreal reduce greenhouse gas emissions during container handling. Under the project, Termont Montreal, a LOGISTEC joint venture, will convert 57 terminal tractors into diesel-electric hybrid vehicles equipped with automatic stop-start technology. With this financial support, Termont will become the first port operator in the world to convert its entire fleet into hybrid vehicles and will help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the Port of Montreal. Montreal-based environmental technology company, Effenco, expects its hybrid propulsion system to improve air quality for port workers by burning 26 per cent less fuel and emitting 39 per cent less nitrogen oxide. It also reduces engine use by 46 per cent.
The Pacific Pilotage Authority has advised that the pilot launches will be undergoing major haul out maintenance services over the next six to eight weeks. Pilot transfer services at the Cape Beale pilot boarding station will not be available until the boats are back in service.
Melius Energy has successfully transported the first container of bitumen from Edmonton to Prince Rupert via CN Rail and with its safe delivery, the company has plans to grow its export market overseas. Melius is establishing relationships with refineries in Asia and is working to provide a long-term, stable supply of BitCrude™ for the products such as asphalt and low-sulphur diesel. BitCrude™ is transported as a semi-solid, and is a non-dangerous good and non-flammable for transportation purposes. It floats in both fresh and saltwater and is non-toxic to marine life. The BitCrude™ process uses a state-of-the-art electrically powered diluent recovery unit (DRU), avoiding further fossil fuel combustion and requires no chemicals, additives or diluent, creating both a safer product, and a facility with a reduced green house gas footprint. The DRUs are modular, stackable and scalable; all to reduce environmental impact and improve efficiencies. “BitCrude™ partnered with Melius Energy to commercialize and market the product.
TransLink’s newest seabus, the Burrard Chinook has arrived but unfortunately is not ready for service. The catamaran built by Damen Shipyards sits too low in the water compared to the rest of the fleet. The catamaran will need to have its dual hulls increased in size as the weight came in heavier than anticipated thanks to a larger onboard air conditioning system and an advanced emissions control system that puts the Chinook’s emissions at about 75 per cent lower than the Burrard Otter II. The modifications are expected to be completed by the end of the summer 2020.
The cargo ship MV Sun Sea is set to be demolished in Nanaimo, a process that is estimated to take three months. The ship was intercepted by the Canadian Navy in 2010, carrying 492 Sri Lankan asylum seekers to Canada. Canadian Maritime Engineering was awarded a $4.1-million contract to convert the vessel to scrap metal at Nanaimo Shipyard.
BCIT Marine Campus is hosting an open house on Friday, October 18 for potential students to explore how BCIT prepares mariners to navigate some of the largest ships or operate their sophisticated engine rooms. The open house will include bridge and navigation simulators, an engineering simulator, life raft and sea survival demonstrations, and more. Find more information here: https://www.bcit.ca/ppl/marineday/
The Port of Vancouver is hosting a family-friendly community event to celebrate World Maritime Day on Saturday September 28th at Canada Place. The event will run from 10:00am to 6:00pm and intends to recognize the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and the marine environment. The theme for this year is ‘Empowered Women in the Maritime Community’. The event will feature exhibitor’s booths and displays, on water demonstrations, performances with maritime flair, community activations, speaker presentations, public harbour tours, performances, and much more!
The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) is supporting the Marine Rescue Society (MMRS) by providing $116,121 from its Community Investment Fund towards a new, enclosed, fully equipped vessel for its Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue station. The vessel will significantly improve MMRS’s emergency response effectiveness and range off the coast of Haida Gwaii. Efforts to acquire a new vessel have been underway since 2015 when the MMRS’s existing RCM-SAR vessel surpassed its 10-year operating period. Faced with the decision between refitting the existing vessel or purchasing a new, modern vessel, it was decided that a new vessel would be safer for volunteers and more appropriate to the conditions of the North Coast.
In the wake of Hurricane Dorian, we are pleased to see that CN Rail is donating $25,000 to the Mission to Seafarers Halifax. CN’s donation recognizes to an organization that is doing impressive work with seafarers who come to the Port of Halifax.
A grain vessel has left the northern Manitoba port of Churchill for the first time in four years. The vessel arrived at the port on Aug. 25, but loading was delayed due to adverse weather. The hope is that this first shipment will re-establish the Port of Churchill as an important part of Canada’s position as an agricultural export leader in the world.
CN has recently extended its intermodal agreements with both Evergreen and COSCO Shipping. For Evergreen this is a continuation of a 27-year relationship, whereas with COSCO Shipping, CN will be its exclusive rail provider in the Ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, Montreal, and Halifax. By partnering with CN exclusively, COSCO hopes to be well positioned to benefit from tri-coastal access.
Jeanne Socrates has set the record for the oldest person to sail around the world alone, non-stop and unassisted. The 77-year-old grandmother left Victoria last October aboard the 11-metre S/V Nereida, and spent more than 330 days at sea before returning to Victoria last weekend. During the journey, the boat sustained damage to its radar dish and backup sail, the mainsail was ripped, and solar panels were washed overboard. Socrates already holds the record for the oldest woman to make such a trip around the world. She set that record in 2012 and 2013 with a 259-day journey that also started and finished in Victoria.
The Prince Rupert Port Authority has appointed Frans Tjallingii as the new chair of the board. Tjallingii has been a member of the board since 2017 and is replacing Bud Smith, who had held the role of chair since 2012, with John Farrell serving as the acting chair since Smith retired in June. Tjallingii is a businessman and entrepreneur, and co-founded and chairs the New Leaf Project, which works to find innovative solutions to homelessness. He has over two decades of experience in maritime, oil and gas and technology sectors, including with First Coin Capital, SAAM SMIT Canada and the government of the Netherlands.