COS Weekly News - 22 January 2021

COS Weekly News - 22 January 2021

‍COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 22 January 2021  

‍Local News

Port of Prince Rupert Delivers Record Year in the Midst of Pandemic

The Port of Prince Rupert set a record for annual cargo volumes in 2020. The port moved 32.4 million tonnes of cargo, up nine per cent from 2019. The highest volumes were seen in coal, propane, and wood pellets. The port attributes the growth is attributed to diversification of cargoes and dedication to maintaining a safe work environment through the pandemic. The Port’s highest total volume to date was led by a rise in exports of coal, propane, and wood pellets. Ridley Terminal saw a year-over-year increase of 26 percent, driven by demand for thermal coal. AltaGas’ Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal marked its first full year of operation in May 2020 and ended the year with 1,159,207 tonnes loaded onto 27 vessels bound for Asia. Pinnacle Renewable Energy’s Westview Terminal had a record year, exporting 1,474,301 tonnes of wood pellets, an increase of 33 percent over 2019. Factory shutdowns in Asia and locked down economies in North America caused a 19 percent drop in container traffic in the second quarter. However, volumes rebounded and DP World’s Fairview Container Terminal finished a mere six percent down with 1,141,390 TEUs moving through the Port for the year, attributed mostly to a decline in the volume of empty containers being shipped through Prince Rupert back to Asia.

SIU Canada Call for Marine Workers to be in Phase 2 Vaccinations

The Seafarers’ International Union of Canada (SIU) and other marine sector labour organizations have issued a joint letter calling on officials across the country to include marine sector workers in their ‘Phase 2’ plans to vaccinate essential workers against the COVID-19 virus. To date, plans have not made direct mention of seafarers and marine sector workers in any list of essential workers set to be getting the COVID-19 vaccine once the second phase of the vaccine rollout takes place.

Government News

Australian seafarers can now seek Canadian recognition

At the end of 2020, Transport Canada issued Ship Safety Bulletin No. 29/2020 advising that Canada has signed a reciprocal agreement with Australia that allows Australian seafarers holding a valid STCW certificate of competency to apply online for a Canadian endorsement. This is similar to agreements Canada signed earlier this year with France and Norway.

CFIA receives $162.6M for additional resources

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is receiving $162.6 million in much needed funding over the next five years and $40 million per year on an ongoing basis to maintain the integrity of Canada's food safety system, protect the health of plants and animals to safeguard the food supply, and provide ongoing support to Canadian businesses in their export and import activities to overcome pandemic interruptions and global trade volatility. This funding will increase the CFIA's inspection, surveillance and oversight programs within Canada to respond to the detection of new food pathogens, invasive species and animal diseases that threaten Canada's agricultural and natural resources. CFIA digital services will also be expanded so that more Canadian exporters and importers can benefit from efficient and automated tools for risk management and inspection.

US News

LA Ports ports hit hard by COVID-19

Nearly 700 dockworkers at the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have contracted COVID-19 and hundreds more are taking virus-related leaves, raising concerns on the potential for a severe slowdown in the movement of goods through the region. Port executives, union leaders and elected officials are mounting an urgent campaign to initiate dockworker vaccinations, fearing that a labor shortage could force terminal shutdowns. In the first months of the pandemic, container volume at the Port of Los Angeles plunged nearly 19%, but in the second half of 2020 it rose nearly 50% causing significant backlog. In California, healthcare workers, first responders and residents and staff in skilled nursing facilities have been prioritized for vaccination. With about 450,000 individuals in those groups still to be vaccinated, other groups are not expected to take priority until early February. Port executives, union leaders and local elected officials want dockworkers to be eligible for vaccines after medical and other front-line workers.

President Joe Biden cancels Keystone XL pipeline

Within hours of the 59th inauguration of the President of the United State on Wednesday, President Joe Biden revoked the presidential permit issued for the Keystone XL pipeline expansion by his predecessor, deeming the project not in the US national interest.   TC Energy's US $8 billon project was expected to see the 1,930 kilometre pipeline transport up to 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to Nebraska.   The company has since announced plans to eliminate more than 1,000 construction jobs in the coming weeks. Transportation Secretary nominee Pete Buttigieg is optimistic that these losses will be offset by new positions created as the new administration shifts towards climate-conscious goals.

LA terminals offered $7.5 million in incentives

The Port of Los Angeles has announced that next month it will begin rewarding terminals with 'incentive awards' totaling $7.5 million. The marine terminals are being encouraged to meet certain metrics for truck turn times and dual transactions as the clogged gateway continues to struggle with record imports from Asia. Beginning Feb. 1, marine terminals that improve truck turn times by 5 to 20 percent can earn between 50 cents and $2.75 per laden or empty TEU. The rate of reward for terminals will be on a sliding scale, increasing as turn times improve. Under a related award program for dual transactions, terminals can earn between 40 cents and $1.40 per laden TEU when at least half of all trucks calling at a facility drop off one container and depart with another on the same trip. The rate of reward increases as the terminal’s percentage of dual transactions grows.

US Coast Guard issues warning to mariners turning off AIS

The Coast Guard is issuing a warning to mariners and commercial fisherman about the dangers and legal consequences of disabling a vessel's Automated Identification System.  The Coast Guard has seen an alarming increase of commercial fishing and crabbing vessels disabling their AIS, purportedly in an attempt to keep their fishing spots secret from competition.  The regulation (33 CFR 164.46) in part states that all self-propelled vessels, at a length of 65-feet or more, engaged in commercial service and operating on the Territorial Seas (within 12-nautical miles of shore) must maintain AIS in effective operating condition, which includes the continual operation of AIS and its associated devices (e.g., positioning system, gyro, converters, displays) at all times while the vessel is underway or at anchor, and, if moored, at least 15 minutes prior to getting underway.  Violators of this regulation can expect to receive a civil penalty up to a maximum of $35,486 per violation.

Washington State rejects methanol plant

Officials in Washington state denied a key permit for a large proposed methanol plant in Kalama. The $2 billion Northwest Innovation Works plant would have taken natural gas from Canada and converted it into methanol. It then would be shipped to China to make compounds used in everything from fabrics to medical equipment. The Department of Ecology on Tuesday said the plant would increase greenhouse gas emissions and was inconsistent with the Shoreline Management Act. Developers said they would appeal, pointing to a state study released last year that found a “high likelihood” that the project would actually *slow* the rise in global greenhouse gas emissions in the methanol industry. Tanker operator, Hafnia, is a co-investor in the project.

International News

China gives Coast Guard fire power

China passed a law on Friday that for the first time explicitly allows its coast guard to fire on foreign vessels, a move that could make the contested waters around China more contentious.  China has maritime sovereignty disputes with Japan in the East China Sea and with several Southeast Asian countries in the South China Sea. It has sent its coast guard to chase away fishing vessels from other countries, sometimes resulting in the sinking of these vessels. China’s top legislative body, the National People’s Congress standing committee, passed the Coast Guard Law on Friday, according to state media reports. According to draft wording in the bill published earlier, the coast guard is allowed to use “all necessary means” to stop or prevent threats from foreign vessels. The bill specifies the circumstances under which different kind of weapons – hand-held, ship borne or airborne – can be used, empowers the coast guard to create temporary exclusion zones, demolish other countries' structures built on Chinese-claimed reefs, and inspect foreign vessels in waters claimed by China.

Singapore Maritime Workers Prioritized for Vaccine

The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a news release stating that Singapore became one of the first countries to prioritize COVID-19 vaccinations for frontline maritime personnel. These workers go onboard vessels at our port and come in contact with people from outside of Singapore.  Under the Sea – Air Vaccination Exercise (SAVE), over 10,000 frontline maritime personnel are expected to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by end January. These frontline personnel include port workers, harbor pilots, cargo officers, marine surveyors and marine superintendents who are required to work onboard ships in our port. They carry out essential works including navigation, refueling, ship repair and maintenance, as well as operations to transfer cargos. Harbour craft and ocean-going crew who are Singaporeans and long-term residents living in the community are also prioritized for vaccination. Together, these personnel play a major role in keeping the Port of Singapore open and ensuring the undisrupted flow of goods.

Oldendorff receives Azipod electric propulsion bulk carrier

China’s Chengxi Shipyard hands over to Oldendorff Carriers the first of two self-unloading transshipment newbuilds after the successful installation and commissioning of the new Azipod propulsion units that came as part of a package of electric, digital and connected solutions from ABB.  The delivery includes two 1.9-MW Azipod units installed on each of the 21,500-DWT capable of 360-degree rotation, improving maneuverability and operational efficiency.  The vessels also contains a diesel-electric power plant, drive systems complete with two bow thruster motors, power management systems for propulsion and cargo handling, as well as a 50/60-Hz connectors to draw on zero emission shore power when in port.


‍Jan. 26 - ISSC Board of Directors Meeting @ 12:00 

Jan. 26 - ISC Board of Directors Meeting @ 12:00 

Jan. 27 - WMCC PACMAR/NANS Meeting @ 10:00 

Jan. 28 - COS Port State Control Meeting @ 13:00
Jan. 29 - COS Liner Committee Meeting @ 09:00

Feb. 1 - Discussion on Cumulative Effects of Marine Shipping @ 10:00 

Feb. 3 - COS Board of Directors Meeting @ 13:00 

Feb. 15 - Office Closed - Family Day

Feb. 17 - COS Owners Committee Meeting @ 12:00

Ship of the Week

January 22 - SS Badger

The SS Badger is the last coal-powered car ferry providing regularly scheduled service on the Great Lakes. Ownership of the vessel was recently taken over by Interlake Holding Co., and it will continue to run its route across Lake Michigan. From 1953 and 1990, LOA Badger provided railway-car ferry service between Ludington and Manitowoc. SS Badger reemerged in 1992 after then new owners had it overhauled and converted into a passenger-car ferry. On its 62-mile, four hour cruise, Badger can accommodate as many as 600 passengers, traveling in 180 cars. In 2016, the National Park Service designated 69-year-old Badger a National Historic Landmark.

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