Corvus Energy has reached an agreement with Seaspan Ferries Corporation for the first delivery of Corvus’ Blue Whale ESS, to be installed onboard one of their cargo ferries. Blue Whale is a new large-scale energy storage system (ESS)—a groundbreaking battery system designed for large ships with high zero-emission energy demand, such as cruise ships, large Ro-Pax and Ro-Ro ferries, and cargo ships. Its unique rack-free design of stacking modular blocks provides the industry’s highest volumetric battery room energy density and, consequently, maximizes a ship owner’s passenger or payload opportunities. With three and a half times the previous energy capacity, Seaspan will be able to expand the use of battery power beyond spinning reserve to also provide fuel-efficient peak shaving, load balancing, and even zero-emission operation on battery power only.
For its inaugural field trial, the Blue Whale battery system will be installed on board Seaspan Reliant, a roll-on/roll-off drop-trailer cargo ferry built in 2016 with service between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. VARD Marine, BC Hydro and the University of British Columbia will provide integration design, shore charging from the grid infrastructure, and emissions reduction studies respectively. The Blue Whale field trial and all key maritime authority certifications are expected to be completed by Spring 2022, at which time commercial deliveries will commence.
Three orca pods gathered in the waters off Vancouver Island on Wednesday to celebrate the birth of a new southern resident killer whale (SRKW) calf. Members of the J pod, K pod and L pod were in the waters of the Haro Strait for the calf which marks the fourth calf for 30-year-old L86. The calf, now dubbed L125, is estimated to be between one to one-and-a-half months old, based on its size and the fetal folds still visible in pictures of the animal. This calf is the fourth calf born within the last two years for this endangered species. It is unusual and exciting for the separate pods of the endangered species to gather in one area, and it is rare for southern resident killer whales to be in this region at all during the winter season. The Center for Whale Research is now monitoring the orcas in the area, and is interested in seeing if the three pods stick together or separate in the near future.
This week, the Chamber participated in the 3-day Winter 2021 Oceans Protection Plan Forum. The Chamber’s President joined senior representatives from the Council of the Haida Nation and Transport Canada to speak about the planning, implementation and collaboration associated with the trial Voluntary Protection Zone (VPZ) for shipping. This trial aims to increase the distance commercial ships transit west of Haida Gwaii, providing for an adequate response time to a disabled vessel. The project represents a significant and unprecedented collaboration between the Council of the Haida Nation, the Government of Canada, and the maritime shipping industry, along with other advisors and partners, and supports commitments made by the Government of Canada and the Council of the Haida Nation to advance collaboration in the spirit of reconciliation. The VPZ trial is co-led by the Council of the Haida Nation (CHN) and Transport Canada (TC), operating under the collaborative governance structure established in the Reconciliation Framework Agreement for Bioregional Oceans Management and Protection (RFA) and has been developed as part of the Proactive Vessel Management (PVM) initiative of Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan (OPP). Industry participation includes the Chamber of Shipping, the Shipping Federation of Canada, Cruise Lines International Association, the International Shipowners Alliance of Canada, and the Council of Marine Carriers. For more information, please visit this website.
Western Group and BST Transportation Group (BST) have announced that Western has acquired BST’s warehousing and transload business located in Richmond, BC., effective February 16th, 2021. The acquisition serves as the foundation for Western’s newest wholly owned subsidiary, Interhold Distribution Ltd. (Interhold).
The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced the most recent initiatives to receive funding for the assessment, removal and disposal of abandoned boats in British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador. In this round of funding under the Abandoned Boats Program, $1,692,079 is being provided and will support the assessment of 44 boat removal projects and the removal of 51 abandoned boats.
Through the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), the Government of Canada has taken steps towards construction of an offshore oceanographic science vessel (OOSV). A contract of $453.8 million has been awarded to Seaspan's Vancouver Shipyards for design to full construction. Construction of the OOSV will begin in spring 2021, with delivery expected in 2024. The OOSV will replace the CCGS Hudson, the Canadian Coast Guard's oldest and largest science vessel. The vessel will be capable of performing multiple tasks, including oceanographic, geological and hydrographic survey missions. This work will contribute to Canada's understanding of oceans and the impacts of climate change.
The Government of Canada has announced the 2021 measures to help protect North Atlantic right whales (NARW) from interactions with fishing gear and vessels in Canadian waters. To help prevent entanglements with fishing gear, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is building on last year’s measures by continuing to close fishing areas wherever and whenever North Atlantic right whales are present in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Bay of Fundy, and Roseway Basin Critical Habitat. The Department will determine if NARW remain present in the closed area before deciding to extend a closure. To help prevent collisions with vessels, Transport Canada will be re-implementing its 2020 measures, including a restriction on vessel speed throughout much of the Gulf of St. Lawrence to protect areas where NARW are detected, and issuing fines to those who are not compliant with these measures. Transport Canada will also introduce a mandatory restricted area in and near the Shediac Valley and expand a speed limit exemption in waters of less than 20 fathoms to all commercial fishing vessels.
The Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi, has issued a statement regarding the collective bargaining negotiations between the Syndicat des débardeurs, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 375 and the Maritime Employers Association. The statement indicates two senior mediators that were recently added to the negotiations concluded after seven days of meetings that the gap between the parties is too significant at this time to conclude a collective agreement. The mediators will remain in close contact with the parties and will reconvene the parties if positions change. Read the Minister's statement here. The 19-day strike in August 2020 ended with a seven month truce to negotiate a new contract by March 20, 2021. As any strike mandate needs to be renewed every 60 days to ensure working conditions are respected, a strike vote was carried out this week and the results are yet to be announced. The Port of Montreal states that the strike last summer cost wholesalers $600 million in sales over a two-month period.
The Minister of Transport has appointed two directors to the Board of the Port of Nanaimo filling two outstanding vacancies. Jeet Manhas who has served as Past Chair of the port authority as the Provincial representative, is now appointed as the Federal representative for this term. Shiva Dean, who has 15 years of international and maritime experience with A.P. Moller-Maersk Group and previous board experience as the audit chair of a Federal Crown Corporation in the maritime sector, is appointed from a recommendation from the International Trade Group of Users.
Royal Canadian Air Force medevaced two injured sailors from a foreign ship last weekend in a mission that lasted several hours. Tasked by the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre (JRCC) in Halifax, the Air Force received information mid-last week that there had been an injury on a vessel coming across the Atlantic. The 184-metre oil tanker was located around 450 km from St. John’s at the time of the mission. The injured sailors were in stable condition when help arrived, but needed to be medivaced to receive medical care.
About 800 longshoremen from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach received the first COVID-19 vaccinations for dockworkers last week. The inoculations have brought peace of mind for those who received it, especially considering that many dockworkers jobs require interacting with dozens of people every day. The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services organized Friday’s clinic, the first of a series. It came as mass inoculation sites in other parts of Los Angeles County – including at Dodger Stadium – are temporarily closed due to a lack of vaccine doses.
On February 16th the International Maritime Organization announced that it is making 2021 a year of action for seafarers, who are facing unprecedented hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, despite their vital role as key workers for global supply chains. The World Maritime Theme for 2021, "Seafarers: at the core of shipping's future" seeks to increase the visibility of seafarers by drawing attention to the invaluable role they play now and will continue to play in the future. IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said more Governments must step up to end the crew change crisis.
Ocean Network Express (ONE) containership, MOL Experience, is trialing the use of sustainable marine biofuel as industry seeks to make supply chains more sustainable by reducing carbon emissions in the container shipping segment. The 4,803 TEU-capacity vessel was refueled with the biofuel at the Port of Rotterdam on November 22, 2020. The trial was organized by the sustainable cargo initiative GoodShipping, which claims the carbon-busting solution can deliver 80-90 percent well-to-exhaust carbon reduction compared to fossil fuel equivalents, and also eliminates virtually all SOx emissions. The biofuel was supplied by GoodShipping’s sister company GoodFuels.
Maersk has announced plans to launch the world’s first carbon-neutral liner vessel in 2023, seven years ahead of the initial 2030-ambition. The vessel will be a methanol feeder with a capacity of around 2,000 TEU and it would be deployed in one of Maersk’s intra-regional networks. While the vessel will be able to operate on standard VLSFO, the plan is to operate the vessel on carbon neutral e-methanol or sustainable bio-methanol from day one. In line with its decarbonization strategy, Maersk aims to have commercially viable, net-zero vessels on the water by 2030, and to deliver a 60% relative reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 compared to 2008 levels. However, with the latest announcement, the realization of these plans is likely to come even sooner.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Women's International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA International) have launched its first global survey on women in the maritime sector. The survey will inform and support the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that aim to increase the participation of women in maritime careers and promote a more diverse and and inclusive maritime sector. The survey is to be completed by organizations before June 30, 2021.
Wallenius Wilhelmsen has announced that they will be building, Orcelle Wind, the world’s first full-sized wind-powered pure car and truck carrier (PCTC). The vessel will have the capacity to carry 7,000 vehicles or a mix of cars and heavy machinery, and breakbulk cargo. Orcelle Wind could slash vessel emissions by as much as 90 percent compared with conventional vessels. The design is expected to be ready for contracting with a shipyard by mid-2022, with the finished vessel expected to set sail by 2025, subject to a comprehensive viability evaluation. The Orcelle Wind must meet regulatory standards relating to safety and expectations for technical and operational performance.
The crew of an oil tanker beached off UAE, MT Iba, will be repatriated after being abandoned and stranded at sea for four years. Alco Shipping, the owner of the vessel, hit financial problems and stopped paying salaries almost three years ago. The seafarers have been given a settlement for wages owed and they hope to be repatriated in March. Two cheques from a new buyer, Shark Power Marine Services, were handed over to the crew via the Mission to Seafarers charity, which has been negotiating on their behalf. They agreed to accept around 65% to 70% of the wages they were owed. Work is under way to assess the damage to the oil tanker when it broke anchor and drifted from the busy port, before beaching two and a half weeks ago. The seafarers have agreed to stay on to do essential work on the ship before it is towed to Dubai, where they will wait for the sale of the vessel to be completed.
The second EasyMax multipurpose cargo vessel has been delivered to Royal Wagenborg and affiliated owners and taken into service under her official name Máxima. With an installed power of less than 3,000 kilowatts, this ship has low fuel consumption and due to her design, she has an excellent sea keeping performance, according to Wagenborg. The ship is said to deliver more than 60% savings in CO2-emissions compared to her peer group. The EasyMax design features a limited amount of equipment in the hold. For example, there are no tweendecks, container fittings, securing eyes, or girders in the hatch package. For most of the cargoes that Wagenborg transports, these options are unnecessary. There are, however, separation bulkheads, dehumidifiers and hold lighting. It has a total cargo capacity of more than 14,000 tonnes and a hold capacity of 625,000 cubic feet.
Built at the Royal Niestern Sander shipyard, the vessel is 149.95 meters long, with 15.9-meter beam and 8.6-meter draft. The ship has two large rectangular holds – 13.5 meters wide, 12.1 meters high, and 47.36 meters and 64.38 meters long, respectively. The ship left for her maiden voyage to Antwerp from homeport Delfzijl, where the Delfsail 2021 event was planned to take place before being postponed due to COVID-19.