Singapore-based port operator PSA International has completed the acquisition of Halterm Container Terminal in the Port of Halifax from Macquarie Infrastructure Partners. This will be PSA’s first coastal terminal in Canada. The terminal is currently undergoing further berth expansion, including the delivery of a fifth Super Post-Panamax Quay Crane, which will enable Halterm to handle two mega container vessels concurrently in 2020.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has begun an assessment on the proposed marine shipping terminal to be built in Mine Cove, Little Lawn Harbour by Canada Fluorspar (NL) Inc. The facility, which will be built on the western municipal border of St. Lawrence, will include a waste-rock crushing plant, aggregate stockpiles, concentrate storage buildings, access and haul roads, a wharf, a conveyor, a ship-loader and a 350-metre long rock-filled breakwater. The proposed development would ship approximately 200,000 tonnes of acid-grade fluorspar concentrate and two-million tonnes of construction aggregate per year. The deadline for public comments on the project is Aug.29.
The Association of Pacific Ports (APP) has names Ian Marr, CEO of the Port of Nanaimo, as their new President. The APP is a trade and information association founded in 1913 as the Pacific Coast Association of Port Authorities (PCAPA) for the purpose of promoting increased efficiency and effectiveness of the ports of the Pacific. There are currently 27 members of the APP and 47 associate members in Canada and around the globe.
FortisBC Energy has signed a two-year agreement with China's Top Speed Energy Corp for 53,000 tonnes of LNG to be shipped from its Tilbury facility by summer 20201. FortisBC's recently completed $400-million expansion project took capacity from about 35,000 to 250,000 tonnes per year, allowing a facility that had been used mainly for natural gas storage to become a commercial LNG production plant. The FortisBC shipments to China are to be delivered in 60 specialized shipping containers per week. The company has been selling small shipments of LNG in China on a spot basis since 2017.
Canada’s arctic port of Churchill is due to start up its first grain shipments since 2015 after a group backed by investor Prem Watsa stepped in last year to buy the facility and a related rail line linking the northern town with the rest of Manitoba. The relaunch of the 88-year-old ports grain shipments will reduce the shipping time to deliver grains to Europe and the Middle East across the Atlantic Ocean by several days. Arctic Gateway will be targeting durum, wheat, canola and lentil and pea crops from Manitoba and Saskatchewan for shipment to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, with shipments running until early November, pending agreeable weather. Additionally, Arctic Gateway is looking at shipping other commodities out of the port including forestry products, mineral concentrates, fracking sand and potash.
This week Richmond City Council narrowly approved the permits that would give the Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities Corporation access to the right-of-way need to upgrade the 52 year-old pipeline that currently runs from Westridge terminals through north Richmond. This approval along with the servicing agreement for a marine off-loading terminal are last piece of the puzzle for the proposed jet fuel facilty that would service Vancouver airport. The airport currently gets 80 per cent of its fuel from the existing pipeline and 20 per cent from tanker truck deliveries. Without the upgrade to the pipeline another 70 truck deliveries per day of fuel would be needed during peak times to keep up with the growing demand at the airport.
The Richmond Maritime Festival is taking place this Saturday and Sunday, July 27 and 28 at the Britannia Shipyards and Imperial Landing. The docks will be lined with a gathering of wooden boats from up and down the Pacific coast, open for boarding and viewing. On land, local musicians and roving performers will be interspersed with the activities. This year, the Festival will be bookended by a high-seas adventure, the Sunset Battle of the Tall Ships. Featuring booming cannons, close-quarters manoeuvres and a taste of 18th century life aboard tall ships.
Chevron, the lead of the Kitimat LNG venture is seeking a 40-year export licence. Co-owned with Australia’s Woodside Petroleum Ltd., the facility currently has a 20-year license in place. Last week, Chevron submitted a plan to BC and federal regulators aiming to start terminal construction by 2023. The new plan calls for electric-motor-driven technology to supercool natural gas into liquid form, relying on hydroelectricity from BC Hydro instead of using natural gas-powered turbines. The site is on Haisla Nation reserve land near Kitimat, and the elected Haisla band council supports their project, along with the Royal Dutch Shell PLC-led LNG Canada project. Chevron and Woodside are also proposing construction of the Pacific Trail Pipeline (PTP) to transport natural gas from the Summit Lake area in the B.C. interior to Bish Cove. Chevron became a co-owner of the project in 2013, with Woodside joining 2015. The companies suspended most construction work by late 2015 after prices in Asia for LNG plunged.
The next series of meetings dates have been scheduled with Local 514 Ship and Dock Foremen. The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services (FMCS) has scheduled bargaining to resume on September 30, 2019 to and including October 4, 2019. The goal is to reach a new collective agreement with Local 514 Ship and Dock Foremen.
Seaspan has entered into a five-year contract worth $500 million to perform dry-dock maintenance on Canada’s navy frigates. The contract is estimated to support approximately 400 jobs a year at the shipyard, which employs about 1,100 workers in various trades. The contract is Seaspan Victoria Shipyards’ share of a $1-billion federal maintenance program for Canada’s 12 Halifax-class frigates. The ships were first launched in the 1990s and are considered the workhorses of the Royal Canadian Navy. The initial five years of the contract will see each of the yards perform maintenance work on three frigates, expected to begin in the early 2020s. A similar deal is now being finalized with Irving Shipyards in Nova Scotia.
Kirby Corp., a Texas based company deemed responsible for the fuel spill that contaminated the fishing territory of the Heiltsuk First Nation on BC’s central coast has been fined $2.9 million. Kirby Corp. pled guilty in May to three separate counts under the Fisheries Act, the Migratory Birds Convention Act and the Pilotage Act for the spill that damaged both fish and birds after the tug Nathan E. Stewart ran aground and sank, spilling 110,000 litres of diesel and heavy oils in October 2016. The Transportation Safety Board ruled last May that a crew member missed a planned course change because he fell asleep while alone on watch. Chief Marilyn Slett of the Heiltsuk Nation wants the company banned from its territorial waters until there is proper restitution in accordance with the nation’s traditional laws to respect the land and people who depend on the sea for sustenance and jobs.
The Ralmax Group of Companies has purchased the 21-year-old Esquimalt Drydock Co., bringing together two Victoria yards dedicated to the ship repair and maintenance business. The company will be a division within Point Hope Maritime. Esquimalt Drydock will keep its name and operations at the federally owned Esquimalt Graving Dock. The Esquimalt Drydock workers will be moving to the International Union of Operating Engineers from the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union.
Clear Seas has released a research report aiming to provide an enhanced understanding of some of the risks and potential mitigation strategies associated with shipping activity in Canada’s Pacific region. The report, the Availability of Tugs of Opportunity in Canada’s Pacific Region, indicates that Canada’s West Coast faces gaps in the availability of commercial tugs to serve as emergency towing vessels for ships in distress. Existing emergency towing uses a small number of dedicated high-powered emergency towing vessels or supported by tugs of opportunity or commercial tugs that are not dedicated to rescue services. Those tugs are occasionally contracted to provide aid in the event of a ship emergency due to loss of engine power, steering or other cause. However, many tugs of opportunity are not adequate for protection for the size and type of ships now transiting our coast. Read the report here: https://clearseas.org/en/research_project/availability-of-tugs-of-opportunity-in-canadas-pacific-region/
Several Environmental and Indigenous groups have filed lawsuits against the federal government in the aftermath of its decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline. Legal challenges have been filled by the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Squamish Nation, Ts’elxweyeqw tribes, Shxw’owhamel Nation, Coldwater Indian Band and Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation. The legal filings from the First Nations argues there were constitutional violations, primarily around the failure to satisfy the duty to consult, accommodate and seek consent from First Nations. The lawsuits also allege regulatory legal errors were made by the National Energy Board. First Nations communities are divided on the project. There are two groups led by Indigenous communities that want to purchase and operate the existing pipeline from the federal government, with the intention to expand it. Other First Nations are arguing that the pipeline would destroy significant spiritual and historic sites as well as important aquifers. Ecojustice has also launched a legal challenge on behalf of Raincoast Conservation Foundation and Living Oceans Society who argue that the approval will negatively impact many species at risk.
The Board of the Western Marine Community Coalition is accepting applications for scholarships from individuals intending to pursue marine related courses at a post secondary education institution in the 2019/20 academic year. The Selection Committee assessments are based on a combination of factors including financial need, academic standing, participation in extracurricular activities, and involvement in community affairs. Please pass this information along to anyone that may be elligible and interested in applying.
The ECHO Program team is pleased to share that southern resident killer whales have been confirmed as present in the slowdown trial area. Members of all three pods were seen and heard in Haro Strait this morning. The return of these endangered whales to the Salish Sea signals the start of the 2019 ECHO Program voluntary vessel slowdown trial.
Vehicle carriers, cruise and container vessels are asked to slow down to at least 14.5 knots and bulk carriers, tankers, ferries and government vessels will slow to at least 11.5 knots in Haro Strait and Boundary Pass.
Woodfibre LNG has finally received its facility permit from the British Columbia (BC) Oil and Gas Commission (OGC). The new LNG export facility planned for Howe Sound must comply the 35 conditions contained in the permit. The conditions exceed the regulatory requirements to address public, environmental and safety concerns. The conditions specify requirements for design, construction and operations, and include a tsunami hazard study, a flaring notification plan and reports on all emissions. Woodfibre LNG President, David Keane has indicated that a final decision to proceed with this project is expected this summer.