A virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony was held by Pembina Prince Rupert Terminal on April 12 to celebrate the opening of operations and the inaugural shipment of liquified petroleum gas from the Watson Island terminal. Pembina spent approximately $12 million on the remediation process that was instrumental in transforming Watson Island to a new industrial development site. President and CEO of Pembina, Mick Dilger indicated that the terminal with the potential to load 25,000 barrels a day using 100 car-unit trains will be a key export location for propane in Western Canada. The first load of liquified petroleum gas was exported out of the facility on April 9.
The first short-sea service between DP World's Fraser Surrey and Nanaimo terminal in Duke Point started this week as part of the new 50-year lease agreement finalized in February 2021 between the Port of Nanaimo and DP World. The Duke Point agreement provides a long-term port-to-port solution for short-sea shipping and expands direct access from Nanaimo to global import/export markets via direct calls to Asia. The signed agreement is an important first step in the planned terminal expansion, currently estimated at $105 million. It is funded through a mix of public and private investment, including a $46.2 million federal contribution through the National Trade Corridors Fund (NTCF) and a $15 million provincial contribution as a part of British Columbia’s Economic Recovery Plan.
The Port of Montreal has noted that it has suffered a substantial 11%-volume drop in March as a result of uncertainty and anxiety triggered by the on-going labour negotiations. On Saturday, the Maritime Employers Association (MEA) exercised its right and gave 72-hour notice to the union executive of the longshoremen that they would be removing the income guarantee and stop paying the hours that are not worked in order to mitigate the adverse effects of this volume drop. CUPE Local has responded with its own notice advising that employees will no longer work overtime or participate in training activities. Martin Imbleau, President and CEO for the Port of Montreal, issued a statement expressing concern with the resulting drop in capacity by close to 30% and noted that current volumes pale in comparison to its competitors on the US East Coast who are enjoying significant growth. Despite this latest development, both parties indicated that they will continue to work with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
After a decade reviving the Mackenzie pulp mill with new investment, Paper Excellence is closing it permanently and putting its investment focus on other operations in British Columbia with better economic prospects. The company is making a $13 million capital investment in its Port Alberni mill to produce higher-value paper products, and is “working towards making a significant capital investment in its Crofton facility,” Paper Excellence said in a statement April 15. It is also restarting one of two paper machines at its Powell River mill in early May. Paper Excellence has extensive holdings in Canada and Brazil, where it grows and processes eucalyptus pulp. Its BC operations include a distribution centre in Surrey and mills at Skookumchuck in the East Kootenay as well as Port Alberni, Crofton, Powell River and Howe Sound, which has operated since 1909.
Frank Butzelaar, who most recently served as Chief Executive Officer of Seaspan Marine Transportation (a Washington Company), has assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer of the Washington Companies. Frank will work closely with Larry Simkins, CEO of the Washington Companies, and oversee the strategic direction of Montana Rail Link (MRL), Seaspan Marine Transportation (SMT) and Southern Railway of British Columbia (SRY). Ian McIver has been appointed President, Seaspan Marine Transportation and will be accountable for the overall operations and performance of SMT, with a strong focus on safety, stakeholder relations and customer service excellence. Gord Miller will move from his current role of Vice President, Seaspan Ferries to become Chief Operating Officer, SMT. Gord will be responsible for the safety and management of the day-to-day operations of Seaspan Ferries and Seaspan Marine. He will focus on establishing long-term plans for the business in line with the company’s strategic plan, fulfilling revenue targets and maintaining stakeholder relationships.
The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) is supporting the North Coast Health Improvement Society’s (NCHIS) Cancer Care Unit Upgrade Project in the amount of $100,000. The $200,000 project includes an increase in space and capacity, improved privacy and comfort for patients and their families, and enhanced treatment technology and tools. The upgrade project will address limitations of the previous space like poor sight lines, isolation of physician from patients and staff, an unwelcoming chemotherapy room, and limited space to accommodate accompanying family and friends. With the number of cancer patients increasing each year, the need for access to local primary care is a priority in the region.
Transport Canada has issued Ship Safety Bulletin 06/2021 to cover new fees for Marine Cargo, Port State Control, Prewash and Marine Insurance Certification Services that have been implemented as part of the department's Fee Modernization Initiative . While the fees came into effect April 1, 2021 the regulatory amendments to the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 were just published in the Canada Gazette Part II - April 14, 2021 to amend the Cargo, Fumigation and Tackle Regulations, Administrative Monetary Penalties and Notices Regulations, Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemicals Regulations.
Building on actions taken in 2019 and 2020, the Government of Canada has announced the suite of 2021 management measures to further protect the Southern Resident Killer Whale (SRKW) population, including a minimum 400 metre approach distance (effective until May 31, 2022) in southern coastal waters, implementation of Interim Sanctuary Zones again off Pender Island, Saturna Island and at Swiftsure Bank (effective June 1 - November 30, 2021), and scheduled and dynamic fishery closures possibly as early as June 1st. For details on the management measures, visit 2021 management measures to protect Southern Resident killer whales.
Transport Canada has issued Ship Safety Bulletin 05/2021 with updated speed restriction measures in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to reduce the risk of vessel colliding with North Atlantic right whales (NARW). Changes to the speed restriction zones will be effective from April 28, 2021 while the restricted areas described in the bulletin will be implemented based on whale presence that will mark the beginning and end of the NARW season.
Coast Guard ships and a fleet of volunteer vessels were deployed to search for survivors after the commercial lift vessel, Seacor Power, capsized on Tuesday in an unexpectedly strong storm near Port Fourchon, about 160km (100 miles) south of New Orleans. Six survivors of the crew of 19 have been rescued, and two bodies have not been recovered while the search for the remaining 11 continues. US Coast Guard Capt. Will Watson said winds were 80 to 90 mph when the vessel overturned and seas were 7 to 9 feet. The Seacor Power had three extendible legs, and was equipped with two cranes and a helicopter pad and had a maximum working depth of 195 feet.
At present there is no single global format for exchanging information between ships and ports/terminals such as arrival and departure times. A common platform where all the key stakeholders such as port authorities, pilots, agents and terminal operators can share information using a common format on ship arrivals and departures will help improve berth utilisation and port call optimization. The BIMCO Port Call Data Exchange Clause 2021 complements the recently published BIMCO Just in Time Arrivals Clause. The two clauses should be used together. However, where Just in Time Arrivals cannot be implemented for commercial reasons, the Port Call Data Exchange Clause can still be used if the relevant port is using the IMO data model framework. BIMCO is hosting a webinar on Just in Time Arrivals during Singapore Maritime Week on 22 April.
Dubai’s DP World, one of the world’s largest port operators, is seeking $210.2 million in damages from Djibouti’s government in an ongoing legal battle over port concession rights. DP World and Djibouti have since 2012 been locked in the dispute over DP World’s concession to operate the Doraleh Container Terminal, which is located in the Horn of Africa along key trade routes at the southern entrance to the Red Sea. Djibouti seized the terminal from state-owned DP World in 2018. DP World said it remained the legal holder of the concession and alleged that Djibouti had acted illegally in seizing the terminal from the Dubai state-owned company. DP World is now seeking damages for the estimated loss of revenue and management fees from 2018 to March 31 this year through the same court while still seeking to restore the concession. If the concession is not restored, DP World estimates losses in excess of $1 billion, including future profits, one of the documents showed. A decision on DP World’s claim by the London court is expected on June 29.
Apr. 20 - Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers Board of Directors Meeting @ 1300
Apr. 22 - COS Vancouver Island Committee Meeting @ 1130
Apr. 27 - WMCC Meeting with Government of Canada @ 0700
Global resources company BHP, German shipping company Oldendorff Carriers, and Dutch advanced biofuels pioneer GoodFuels, with the support of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), conducted the first marine biofuel trial involving an ocean-going vessel bunkered in Singapore on April 4, 2021. The key objectives of the biofuel bunkering trial include understanding the behaviour of the fuel (such as emissions), assessing engine and vessel operational performance during the trial as well as exploring the technical and commercial merits and challenges of biofuels as a marine fuel. The 2020-built 81,290 deadweight tonne (DWT) dry bulk carrier Kira Oldendorff was bunkered with “drop-in” advanced biofuel blended with conventional fossil fuels. The advanced biofuel, supplied by GoodFuels, reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 80-90 percent on a “well-to-exhaust” compared with conventional heavy fuel oil (HFO) and very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) and uses sustainable waste and residue streams as feedstock.
Expansion of biofuel into Singapore represents a key step for the emerging alternative. Singapore is the world’s largest bunker market with the MPA reporting sales of more than 4.5 million metric tons per month at the beginning of 2021 used to fuel the more than 3,500 vessels calling in Singapore to bunker. Last year over 49 million metric tons of fuel were sold nearing the port’s record of over 50.6 million metric tons in 2017. If the pace of bunker sales in the first two months of 2021 continues for the year, Singapore could exceed its previous record by nearly 10 percent.