BC Ferries is poised to spend $57M in British Columbia with various marine service suppliers to support its fleet during the current refit cycle this fiscal year. Over the past decade, BC Ferries spent more than $1B at BC shipyards by sourcing local suppliers to complete necessary upgrades on its fleet of 36 vessels including repairs, dry-docking, and life extension projects. Recognized as a significant contributor to the BC economy, the company spends $200M annually on ships, terminals and information technology infrastructure in BC and generates $100M in annual government tax revenue.
Exxon Mobil says it will not proceed with its planned $25-billion LNG export facility in Tuck Inlet, in the Prince Rupert area and has withdrawn its environmental assessment application. Though they say they are committed to their Canadian operations, they have not specified they have withdrawn their application. The apparent shelving of the WCC LNG project is the latest blow to the West Coast LNG export industry which at one time featured about 20 proposals, but has resulted in only one firm commitment to build.
On December 11th, the Senate of Canada welcomed a delegation of 15 First Nations Chiefs from the National Chiefs Coalition, the Indian Resource Council, and the Eagle Spirit Chiefs Council who, together, represent some 200 First Nations communities, to speak about the Eagle Spirit Energy Corridor Project. Eagle Spirit, a First Nations business consortium, proposes to build the ‘greenest pipeline energy corridor on the planet’, running from Bruderheim, Alta. to Grassy Point, BC. Bill C-48 imposes an oil tanker moratorium stretching from the northern tip of Vancouver Island to the Alaska border which would make the Eagle Spirit Project impossible since the prospective port at Grassy Point falls within the moratorium zone. The Chamber of Shipping receives a special mention in their press conference.
Canadian National Railway has submitted a bid to buy Halterm, Eastern Canada's largest intermodal container terminal. If successful, they plan on upgrading the Halifax container terminal. CN owns the only rail line in Atlantic Canada and owning the terminal would give them greater control over container movement in the region. Container traffic in Halifax is on the rise and Halterm reports handling about 250,000 containers a year at its 30-hectare facility in the city's south end. CN president Jean Jacques Ruest said that the railway is looking for an East Coast gateway equivalent to Prince Rupert.
This week both Stephen Pyne, General Manager, and Karen Barre, Manager Operations and Customer Service – Western Canada, retired from Montship. In 2005 Karen was the first woman to join the Chamber of Shipping Board of Directors, serving as Chair of the Liner Committee for five years, and retires from Montship after 34 years with the company. Stephen joined Montship in 2005 as General Manager of our Marine department after a few years with a breakbulk shipping company. Stephen is one of the founding members and speakers of our successful Business of Shipping program. Upon Stephen’s retirement Peter Ng and Teddy Trica will assume management responsibilities for marine operations and commercial services. We thank them both for their contributions to the shipping industry and wish them well in their retirement years.
Over the past week we have undergone a couple of notable staffing changes at Chamber of Shipping of BC, which we would like to share with you. Janet Kelly has joined the team as Communications Specialist. As a communications generalist, Janet has hands on experience in all facets of communications. Her skills and experience will help to round out our team’s expertise and we are very excited to welcome her on board.
Dennis Li has left the organization to take on a new role on the accounting team with one of our member companies. Since he joined the COS in 2014, Dennis has been a valuable member of the COS team. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours.
Coastal communities warn potential closures could have devastating effects on local economies. Following the federal government’s designation of a 5,025-square kilometer Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whale critical habitat (CH) zone off the southwest coast of Vancouver Island, 17 Island Chambers of Commerce have united to protect the marine-based tourism on which they depend and urge the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to carefully weigh potential management measures that could harm their coastal communities, destroy thousands of business and jobs, and impact tourism revenue across Vancouver Island. Collectively, the Chambers’ coalition represents more than three thousand businesses across Vancouver Island that depend directly or indirectly on marine-based tourism and the induced spending around these activities. As communities that have only recently battled back from forestry and commercial fishing closures to reach a level of economic viability, primarily through marine-based tourism, they now see themselves as critical habitats.
Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping, in partnership with the Angus Reid Institute, has found a majority of Canadians believe transporting goods by sea is safe, and most say marine shipping is growing in importance in this era of heightened trade uncertainty between Canada and the United States. However, the risk of oil and fuel spills and water pollution from marine shipping remain Canadians’ top concerns. The new public opinion poll builds on a benchmark study on public attitudes about the shipping industry first conducted in March 2016. Today, the Canadian public places a higher degree of importance on marine shipping than it did back then. Greater numbers now say the industry is “critically important” to the Canadian economy. The 2018 poll addresses the value of shipping in Canada and to Canadians, safety concerns and environmental risks, and the degree of confidence Canadians have in shipping industry regulations and oversight.
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) determined that certain steel components required for the Woodfibre LNG export terminal in Squamish will be subject to the 45.8 per cent anti-dumping tariffs. The CBSA argued that the fabricated industry steel components (FISC) of an LNG module are not transformed when non-FISC elements are connected. Woodfibre had argued that its modules should not be subject to the tariffs as they are not basic steel structures, but rather manufactured goods that include “a myriad of complex and specialized machinery.” Construction is expected to start on Woodfibre LNG early next year, with first shipments in 2023. The plant, located some 60 kilometres north of Vancouver, will liquefy and export some 2.1 million tonnes of supercooled gas each year.
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority commissioned Mercator International to provide a forecast of container ship traffic travelling through the Salish Sea and serving Pacific Northwest ports, with or without the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project. Key takeaways include:
More in the Business in Vancouver article Canada faces container terminal crunch.
IFM Investors (IFM) and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI) have become equity partners in GCT Global Container Terminals Inc. The Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan (OTPP) will continue to hold 37.5% of the North American terminal operator, with IFM acquiring and BCI acquiring at 37.5% and 25% holding respectively. As leading institutional investors with port assets around the world, OTPP, IFM, and BCI are all signatories to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment and manage a diversified portfolio valued at CAD$360.5 billion. GCT operates four terminals in the ports of Vancouver and New York/New Jersey, serving the all the industry’s top container carriers.
The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, joined Robin Silvester, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, at the Port of Vancouver to highlight the completion of a project supporting the Government of Canada's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and to embrace new technologies to improve Canadians' lives.Through the Shore Power Technology for Ports program, the Government of Canada and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority have each contributed $3.5 million to the Centerm project, for a total investment of $7 million. The completed project reduces greenhouse gas emissions by enabling ships to shut down their diesel engines and connect to an electrical grid supplied by renewable energy sources. For each large ship at berth for 60 hours, over 95 tonnes of air pollutants and greenhouse emissions will be eliminated from the port through the shore power facility. This amounts to taking 20 cars off the road for one year. Last month the Cosco Pacific was the first vessel to plug into shore power for the duration of its stay.
BC Ferries has filed with the BC Ferry Commission the largest capital plan in its history. The capital plan, which covers projected spending between 2019 and 2030, was one of five reports included in the corporation’s “Performance Term Five Submission” filed at the end of September. The plan says BC Ferries is in a solid financial position, and outlines intentions to invest more than $3.9 billion in upgrading the fleet and terminals, introducing alternative energy sources and investing in its fleet maintenance facility. Included in the plan $2.3 billion on vessels and $1.3 billion on its terminals, including a renovation of Swartz Bay and a complete overhaul of Horseshoe Bay. CEO Mark Collins will be presenting an update on its plans at the CILTNA lunch on Thursday, December 6th - for details visit: www.ciltna.org.
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has approved the permit application from Fraser Grain Terminal to develop a grain export facility at the former Bekaert steel site adjacent to Fraser Surry Docks. The proponent, Parrish & Heimbecker's approval is subject to 64 permit conditions following a thorough, robust and transparent project and environmental review of the application. All studies and materials related to the review are posted to the port authority’s website.
Design plans have been completed for the Port of Nanaimo’s new downtown boat basin marina that will increase available moorage by 50 per cent, using the same footprint. A request for funding has been provided to the federal government for the $15 million project, and once the funding is in place, construction will follow. The marina will be built in phases over a five-year period, beginning with the outside northerly floats.
The Gina 'Waadluxan KilGuhlGa Land-Sea-People Management Plan for Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site was tabled in Parliament on November 16th. The Gwaii Haanas Land-Sea-People Management Plan, signed by the Haida Nation, Parks Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, is a first of its kind – one that sets direction for how the land and sea of a protected area are managed, from mountain top to seafloor. The Land-Sea-People Management Plan strengthens marine protection by increasing areas of strict protection from the current level of 3 percent to 40 percent.
The industry-wide Haro Strait voluntary vessel slowdown and the Strait of Juan de Fuca lateral displacement trial concluded on October 31st under the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority's Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) program. These voluntary initiatives focussed on reducing underwater noise impacts in and around Southern Resident Killer Whale (SRKW) critical habitat saw a good level of participation. In its first year of the 11-week the lateral displacement trial in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, an overall average participation rate of 56% was recorded. The second year of the vessel slowdown in Haro Strait saw a cumulative vessel participation rate of 88% over the 16-week trial. Last week Washington State Governor Inslee's task force voted to recommend a three to five year ban on commercial and recreational whale watching specific to SRKW.