Vessels calling the Port of Vancouver can received up to 47% off their harbour due fees through the Eco Action program, which rewards ships for performing above and beyond industry and environmental best practices. Vessels can receive discounts for voluntary measures such as obtaining third-party environmental designations and using technologies that reduce emissions, underwater noise, or mitigate other environmental impacts. As of January 1, 2021 there are three new ways that vessels can qualify for harbour due discounts outlined below. A complete list of EcoAction criteria is also available in the 2021 Brochure. Shipping companies are encouraged to review the list of criteria to see if their vessels are eligible to apply for additional harbour due fee reductions when calling the Port of Vancouver.
Lafarge Canada Inc.’s Richmond plant has reached a milestone in its goal of becoming the first cement plant in the world to have the technology to recycle carbon emissions from its cement production. They have now completed the second phase of its Project CO2MENT, the installation of the Svante CO2 capture unit. While the plant will only be capturing a small percentage of the CO2 it emits daily, the technology is a step in the right direction. The unit uses carbon capture technology to trap the CO2 – produced during the cement production and contained in its cement flue gas that’s connected to the kiln – and clean and filter it. This means the CO2 can be captured and, following the project’s next phase, re-used, creating the world’s first full-cycle solution to capture and reuse CO2 from a cement plant.
Canadian wheat exports are expected to remain strong in coming months. Canadian wheat exports excluding durum stood at more than 9.2 million tonnes through the first 24 weeks of the 2020-21 crop year, and increase of nearly 29 percent over last year. Through 24 weeks of the 2019-20 crop year, Canada’s non-durum wheat exports were a hair higher at 7.1 million tonnes. Canadian and American wheat is more competitive in world markets this year, especially with Russia limiting its wheat exports and slower exports from the European Union.
A crew member of a bulk carrier, MV Giulia, has died and three others injured after the ship was hit by a large wave several hundred miles off the coast of Nova Scotia. The vessel was about 320 nautical miles southeast of Nova Scotia when it was hit by the wave. The incident comes as NOAA’s Ocean Prediction Center was tracking a strong low pressure system off the northeast coast of the U.S. that was forecasted to produce significant wave heights up to 52 feet. Transport Canada is reportedly investigating the incident, including whether or not it was in compliance with Maritime Labour Convention obligations.
Green Marine has broadened the scope of its North American environmental certification program for the maritime industry by adding a performance indicator to assess community relations. Green Marine already has an indicator for landside operations involving community impacts, but it primarily focuses on nuisances, such as dust, light, and noise. Developing this particular indicator presented a unique challenge as community relations can be difficult to measure tangibly. Ultimately, the criteria was jointly developed by two workgroups, one holding discussions in English and the other in French, which facilitated a better understanding of the different linguistic, geographical, and societal realities of community relations across North North America. The new community relations performance indicator will be optional during the first year of assessment. It will subsequently be mandatory for ports to obtain Green Marine certification.
The Government of Canada has announced two new Interim Orders, which prohibit pleasure craft in Canadian Arctic waters and cruise vessels in all Canadian waters until February 28, 2022. As a result of the orders, adventure-seeking pleasure craft are still prohibited from entering Arctic waters, passenger vessels carrying more than 12 people are still prohibited from entering Arctic coastal waters, and cruise vessels carrying more than 100 people are still prohibited from operating in Canadian waters. Pleasure craft used by local Arctic residents are not affected.
Congestion at the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach has reached record highs, with queues of as many as 41 container ships waiting to go alongside. This does not include the 27 ships already at berth. When striking longshoremen repeatedly closed the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for 10 days and eight days in 2002 and 2004 respectively, ship queues never exceeded 30 vessels, and today's situation is notably worse. The total container fleet currently in the Los Angeles/Long Beach area represents a capacity of no less than 579,100 TEUs.
Through an open letter, the Federal Maritime Commissioners (FMC) is urging US president Joe Biden and his administration to emphasize the important role the maritime industry plays in maintaining the nation’s supply chain and expedite a vaccination program across the workforce. The letter highlights an upward trend in the number of cases of COVID-19 reported in the maritime sector, indicating that nearly nearly 2,000 US dockworkers have tested positive for Covid-19. In addition to being prioritized for vaccinations, they also ask the President to ensure that the maritime workforce is given access to rapid testing as another tool to help minimize workplace disruption.
The ongoing container crisis has had significant impact on global food trade. Shipping empty containers back to China has become so profitable that many food shippers are having to fight for containers. The core issue is that China, which has recovered faster from COVID-19, has revved up its export economy and is paying premiums for containers, making it far more profitable to send them back empty than to refill them. The high freight rates may now be affecting the cost of some foods, with white sugar prices surging to a three-year high last month as an example.
A new ferry for the Isle of Man is set to feature Wärtsilä’s hybrid solution. Wärtsilä will supply a range of solutions for a new diesel-electric hybrid roll-on/roll-off passenger (RoPax) ferry ordered by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company (IOMSPC). The vessel will be built at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in South Korea and will serve the Heysham to Douglas, Isle of Man route. Houlder, a London-based design & engineering consultancy, will act as a technical advisor in the design and build of the ship. Construction is due to start in the middle of next year, with delivery scheduled for spring 2023. The vessel will be 132m in length, with Wärtsilä 31 engines, electrical and automation including Wärtsilä’s Low Loss Concept (LLC), the energy storage system, and propulsion machinery including the transverse thrusters.