Executives from the Port of Montreal and representatives of industries such as construction say they are already starting to see significant volumes of cargo being redirected to other ports as the clock ticks down on a seven-month truce between the longshoremen and their employer that expires on March 21. The two sides were scheduled to meet with mediators on Wednesday. The Canadian Union of Public Employees-led Syndicat des Débardeurs, which represents some 1,125 workers at the port, agreed on the truce with the Maritime Employers Association, which represents ship owners and operators, last summer to negotiate a new labour agreement.
Global Container Terminal’s alternative to the Port of Vancouver’s (VFPA) Roberts Bank Terminal 2 is advancing to the next stage as GCT has been asked to respond to Indigenous concerns about shipping effects on fishing and harvesting among other issues. The federal government is on the verge of making a decision on Terminal 2 which is a three-berth container terminal on a new man-made island adjacent to Deltaport operated by GCT. After receiving feedback on GCT’s initial project description, including comments from Indigenous groups and the City of Delta, the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada and the BC Environmental Assessment Office prepared a joint Summary of Issues. GCT has one year to complete a Detailed Project Description which responds to the issues and concerns identified in the Summary of Issues report. The government agencies will determine whether to proceed to an environmental assessment after reviewing GCT’s responses.
The eight-year-old Canadian Coast Guard vessel, CCGS G. Peddle, has been out of service for months due to complete engine failure. The 42-metre, mid-shore patrol vessel, based in Halifax, has been out of service since June 2020 and is expected back in service later this year. It is one of nine mid-shore patrol vessels built by the Irving Shipyard in Halifax at a cost of $227 million. The two main diesel-propulsion engines will be replaced when the vessel is lifted from the water this spring for maintenance in dry dock. As the engines are beyond warranty, the repair cost will be covered by the Canadian Coast Guard.
The Biden administration is moving closer to a final approval of Vineyard Wind LLC’s $2.8 billion offshore wind farm planned near the coast of Massachusetts. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is has published a favorable final environmental review of the 800-megawatt project. The project could be formally authorized as soon as April. The venture is poised to become the first major offshore wind farm in federal waters. President Joe Biden, who is aggressively pursuing a clean-energy agenda, signed an executive order to double wind generation in U.S. waters by 2030. The Vineyard project alone would satisfy that commitment. The project is a joint venture of Avangrid Inc. and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, and would ship power to Massachusetts and have enough capacity to supply about 400,000 homes. Expected to go into service in late 2023, it would be the first of several massive wind farms planned off the East Coast, as states such as Massachusetts, New York, Maine and New Jersey count on power from offshore renewable projects to help them satisfy clean-energy mandates.
Several countries are backing the shipping industry’s call for a $5 billion research and development fund to help decarbonize. The fund will enable industry to work together to solve the problem before regulators make their own emissions plans. The proposal has been backed by member states including Greece, Japan, Liberia and Singapore and would establish the IMO Maritime Research Fund from a $2 per tonne of bunker fuel surcharge. The Fund would support a new International Maritime Research and Development Board (IMRB) to commission collaborative programs for the applied research and development R&D of zero-carbon maritime technologies, including development of working prototypes. It will also assist CO2 reduction projects in developing countries, including Pacific island nations. Upping the stakes ahead of June's MEPC session, the Marshall Islands and the Solomon Islands have put forward a proposal to establish a universal, mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) levy with an entry price of $100 per tonne/CO2e with regular upward ratchets following review.
15o shipowners are pooling resources to share information to get real-time benchmarks on bunker prices and fuel quality around the world via ENGINE, an online application. Shipowners share their information either by trading on the platform, or by submitting bunker delivery notes when they fix stems. If they transact through the platform, the information will automatically be anonymized and displayed on the platform for others to see.
Construction of the world’s first shipping tunnel has been given the go ahead with state funding coming in for the highly debated engineering work. The 1.7 km Stad tunnel is located on a treacherous part of Norway’s west coast where a number of ships have foundered over the years. The Norwegian Coastal Administration (Kystverket) will compete a tender process this year with construction to start on the Stad Ship Tunnel in 2022 ahead of a planned opening in 2025 or 2026. The tunnel will allow vessels to transit directly between the Norwegian Sea to the north and the North Sea to the south while remaining within fjord waters, which will ensure year-round safe passage for ships transiting between Bergen and Alesund. The 45 m high, 36 m wide tunnel will traverse under a 645 m mountain and will be able to accommodate ships with a draft of 12 m. Video
The Tokyo MOU secretariat has issued guidance on remote Port State Control inspection in view of on-going restrictions to ship-shore interaction during the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance in support of a common approach for inspection activities focusses on preventative measures related to halt the spread of COVID-19, ship certification issues and crew related issues.
For the first time in maritime history, A tanker commanded and managed by an all-women crew has set sail. The vessel, the MT Swarna Krishna left from the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), the biggest container handling port in India. The journey coincides with International Women’s Day 2021 and marks SCI’s diamond jubilee as India works to encourage more women to seafaring career. The 2010-built LR1 tanker named MT Swarna Krishna is owned by the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI).