Longshoremen at the Port of Montreal plan to begin an indefinite general strike on Monday after their union issued a 72-hour notice to employers. The Canadian Union of Public Employees Local (CUPE) 375 announced the move on Friday, less than two weeks after beginning a partial strike after the Maritime Employers Association issued notice that it was suspending guaranteed minimum pay.
On Tuesday, CN Rail announced a cash-and-stock bid valued at US$33.7 billion for Kansas City Southern (KCS), topping one made last month by Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway valued at US$25 billion. The offer is said to represent a 21 per cent premium to CP's offer and more than double the cash per shares, giving KCS shareholders potentially greater value. However, the regulatory risk may be higher for KCS with CN as CP's network does not overlap with the KCS system. Any takeover of KCS will face close scrutiny by the US Surface Transportation Board (STB). It requires that rail takeovers foster competition and do not reduce choices for the companies that rely on the rails to reach markets. However, KCS is the smallest of the big railways that operate in the United States, and the STB has not said if it will apply this standard to any deal involving KCS.
In an effort to help manage the elevated risk of imported cases of COVID-19 and variants of concern into Canada during a time of increasing pressure on our health care system, Transport Canada has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) to suspend all commercial and private passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days, effective 23:30 EDT April 22, 2021.
The Minister of Transport will also amend the Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, whichmeans for passengers who depart India or Pakistan to Canada after 23:30 EDT April 22, 2021, via an indirect route, they will need to obtain a negative COVID-19 pre-departure test from a third country before continuing their journey to Canada.
The United States and other countries hiked their targets for slashing greenhouse gas emissions at a global leaders' climate summit hosted by President Joe Biden, an event meant to resurrect US leadership in the fight against global warming. Biden unveiled the goal to cut emissions by 50%-52% from 2005 levels at the start of a two-day climate summit kicked off on Earth Day and attended virtually by leaders of 40 countries. The new US target nearly doubles former President Barack Obama's pledge of an emissions cut of 26%-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. Canada's Prime Minster Justin Trudeau, announced that Canada's goal will be to cut 40%-45% by 2030 below 2005 levels, up from 30%. Other countries include the UK 78% (by 2035), Japan 46%, and the EU 40%. The US confirmed it will be pushing for the International Maritime Organization to ensure shipping is a zero emissions industry by 2050.
Cruise lines are slowly moving ship after ship abroad after more than a year without sailing in US waters due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "conditional sailing order" is keeping ships from sailing without a clear timeline for resumption, though the CDC has said that midsummer cruising could be feasible if cruise lines adhere to the agency's order and meet its requirements. Following the lawsuit brought by Florida and Alaska against the CDC, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Calif., sent a letter urging the CDC to maintain current restrictions on cruising.
Ahead of President Biden’s climate summit, shipping industry bodies representing the majority of maritime trade have called on world leaders to quickly commence deliberations on how mandatory market-based measures (MBMs) could be implemented for international shipping. BIMCO, CLIA, International Chamber of Shipping, World Shipping Council, along with other industry groups, have submitted a proposal to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), calling for the UN’s regulatory body to bring forward discussions around MBMs by several years. These measures will be critical to incentivize the transition of the global fleet to new fuels and technologies, which will be more expensive than those in use today. MBMs put a price on CO2 emissions to provide an economic incentive for a sector to reduce its emissions by narrowing the price gap between fossil fuels and zero-carbon fuels.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has signed a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) with BW Group, Sembcorp Marine, Eastern Pacific Shipping, Ocean Network Express, Foundation Det Norske Veritas and BHP to establish a fund for a maritime decarbonization centre to be set up in Singapore. Under the MoC, each private sector partner will contribute S$10 million to support the establishment of the centre, fund maritime-decarbonization-related research and technology development projects and collaborate with institutes of higher learning and research institutes. MPA will add S$60 million R&D funding to these contributions, bringing the fund to a total of S$120 million.
Wärtsilä has reported overwhelming response on its carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology that has the potential to upgrade current scrubber systems to tackle maritime carbon dioxide emissions. Initial findings by the company show that CCS on ships is technically viable for the sector to pursue. Last month Wärtsilä invested €1m in Soletair Power Oy, a Finnish CO2 direct air capture technology company that has developed a breakthrough solution for capturing CO2 from air in buildings that can be used when creating synthetic renewable fuel. Wärtsilä is installing a 1MW pilot plant at its test facility in Moss, Norway.
Apr. 27 - WMCC Meeting with Government of Canada @ 0700
Meet Manta, a giant, plastic-eating catamaran powered by renewable energy. The 185-foot hybrid sailboat will be the world’s first sea-cleaning vessel capable of collecting plastic waste on an industrial scale. Operating autonomously 75 percent of the time, it’s also a state-of-the-art scientific laboratory.
World-record sailor Yvan Bourgnon is the mastermind behind the venture. During 20 years of transatlantic competitions and various solo world tours (including the first person to sail solo from Alaska to Greenland), he witnessed a sharp increase in ocean pollution. In 2015, he was forced to abandon the Transat Jacques Vabre yacht race after his sailboat struck plastic debris in the Bay of Gascogne.
Bourgnon’s response was to set up The SeaCleaners NGO in 2016, a consortium of over 58 engineers, technicians and researchers comprising five research laboratories and 17 external partners to build a solution: The Manta.
Built from low-carbon steel, the Manta is a virtuous energy recovery unit wrapped up in a 185-foot sailboat design. It features a custom electric hybrid propulsion system enabling it to travel at controlled speeds of between two and three knots, the optimum speed for waste collection. Around 500kW of onboard renewable energy is generated via two wind turbines located at the stern, 500 square meters of photovoltaic solar panels at the bow, two hydro-generators under the boat and a Waste-to-Electricity Conversion Unit (WECU) used to power the hotel load, or what the captain and crew consume.
The Manta gets its name from a pair of retractable wings used to hold a third of the solar panels that mimic the shape of a manta ray. Despite being an oceangoing vessel, the Manta will primarily focus on coastal areas in and around the estuaries or mouths of the 10 most polluting rivers in the world. These include the Yangtze (the longest river in Asia), the Yellow River, which feeds into China’s Bohai Sea, and the Ganges, which runs through India and Bangladesh.
Three floatable collection systems give the Manta a plastic-eating span of 151 feet and a collection depth of three feet. Two cranes are used to extract large debris. Up to three tons of waste will be collected per hour and sorted on board by a crew of 22 working in two 12-hour shifts. Metal and glass are sent to shoreside recycling units, organic matter is returned to the sea, and plastic waste is fed into the WECU which vaporizes the plastic turning “syngas” into electricity. Operating for 300 days a year, the aim is to collect up to 10,000 tons per year. Two multi-purpose decontamination boats stored onboard—Mobula 8 and Mobula 10—will be deployed to access narrow and shallow areas. Both models will also be sold individually to encourage public and private initiatives.
A shipyard is yet to be confirmed, but Bourgnon anticipates a two year-build for the first model, with delivery scheduled for the end of 2024. Sea trials will take place in Europe before heading to southeast Asia in 2025 to begin the first clean-up. Up to 10 scientists are also accommodated on board. All the scientific research and data collected by the Manta will be made available on an open-source platform.