Councillors in the city of Delta have asked the federal government to reject or postpone the construction of a new marine container terminal, citing environmental concerns. They voted unanimously against the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project (RBT2) in a Monday meeting based on a report tabled by the federal review panel. The panel's report came with 71 recommendations to mitigate concerns about noise, pollution, marine mammals, migratory birds, local socio-economic conditions, quality of life impacts and more. The City of Delta's motion asks the federal government to either reject RBT2, or postpone a decision on it until the impacts of GCT’s Deltaport Berth 4 can be fully assessed. Meanwhile the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada is extending until March 15, 2022 the deadline to submit comments on the additional information submitted by the proponent and the potential environmental assessment conditions for the project.
The loose barge that grounded on Sunset Beach off Stanley Park in Vancouver during a severe storm in November will be removed in pieces. Engineers have determined that the barge cannot be refloated and a local firm, Vancouver Pile Driving Ltd., has been contracted for the deconstruction and removal. The process is expected to take 12 to 15 weeks and will be complex, involving site security, tides and measures to protect the sensitive marine environment around the barge. Environmental, archeological and structural assessments are underway, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada has advised the company to avoid affecting fish. Vancouver Pile Driving will lead the project with support from government agencies. including Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Parks Board.
Updates to the Port Information Guide take effect on March 1, 2022 and among other items relating to mooring plans and tug requirements, the amendments prevent the discharge of wash water from open-loop and closed-loop exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS). Vessels using hybrid systems must switch to the closed-loop mode and operate in a zero-discharge mode. If wash water cannot be recirculated or retained on board, vessels must switch over to compliant fuel or shore power (where available). The change-over occurs as soon as possible after arrival to anchorage or berth and as late as possible before departure. All vessels are required to electronically submit a 24-hour pre-arrival declaration through the Pacific Gateway Portal.
The Zim Kingston container ship left Canada on February 8th and is sailing west to Hong Kong where it is expected to arrive on the 21st. The ship lost 109 containers overboard while in rough weather offshore and suffered a fire on board while anchored at Constance Bank. The damaged containers on board the vessel were removed safely in the Port of Nanaimo before completing its discharge at Deltaport. Only 4 of the containers have been recovered and the Canadian Coast Guard will be using sonar to try and locate as many of the lost containers as possible. Lisa Marine Barron, MP Nanaimo-Ladysmith, and critic for Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, has put forward a private member’s motion (M-41) for the development of an Emergency Coastal Debris Spill Response Plan that includes shoreline cleanup and the public release of environmental impacts and the disclosure of manifests for all missing cargo.
SAAM Towage Canada and Coast Tsimshian Enterprises Ltd. have signed a strategic alliance agreement. Through this long-term alliance, SAAM Towage Canada will provide high-quality towage, ship-docking and ship escort services within the traditional territory of the Coast Tsimshian, including the Port of Prince Rupert and Port Edward. Additionally, the alliance will establish long-term sustainable benefits for Lax Kw’alaams and the Metlakatla First Nation and provide access to education, training, and employment opportunities for their members
The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) has served a Notice of Dispute to the Minister of Labour under the Canada Labour Code regarding its dispute with CP Rail. The main issues at hand include wages, benefits, and pensions. TCRC is conducting a strike vote among its more than 3,000 locomotive engineers, conductors, trainpersons, and yardpersons. The strike vote results will be tabulated in late February. A legal work stoppage can only take place 21 days after the conciliation process is complete. The Minister of Labour has appointed a conciliator/mediator to support the process. Representatives from the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference and CP Rail are currently meeting with the conciliator.
What started as a truck drivers’ protest of Canada’s mandatory vaccination mandate has now grown into a state of emergency declared for the Province of Ontario. The issue at hand affected an estimated 16,000 drivers according to the Canadian Trucking Alliance but since their arrival in Ottawa on January 29th, the movement has escalated to a much broader group of dissidents. Protestors with the “Freedom Convoy” have blocked a third US-Canada highway as part of their demonstrations. Entry ports disrupted so far include the Ambassador Bridge from Detroit to Windsor, the Coutts border crossing from Montana to Canada’s Alberta, and the Emerson community in Manitoba, Canada, with the US city of Pembina in North Dakota.
Several automakers, including Toyota, General Motors, Ford Motor, and Chrysler-parent Stellantis, said on Thursday that they had been forced to cancel or scale back some production at North American plants on Thursday as a fallout of the protests. While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has denounced the protests and urged demonstrators to retreat, the movement is starting to take hold in other countries.
The state of emergency measures to protect international border crossings, 400-series highways, airports, ports, bridges, and railways, and impose hefty fines and possible imprisonment for those that refuse to leave. Police forces will now have the authority to take away personal and commercial licences for anyone who fails to comply.
GNL Quebec's $14-billion project to construct a natural gas liquefaction plant and a wharf on the Saguenay fjord has been rejected by the Environment and Climate Change Canada. Minister Steven Guilbeault, signed off on a report by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC) on Monday evening that said the project should not go ahead. The major concerns outlined in the IAAC report were increased greenhouse gas emissions, negative effects on the cultural heritage of nearby Innu communities and the risks posed to St. Lawrence beluga whales and other marine mammals.
The project which would have moved fracked natural gas from northern British Columbia and Alberta to a liquefaction plant and export terminal at the Port of Saguenay, was hoping to export 11 million tonnes per year. GNL Québec said it would be a carbon-neutral facility by offsetting its “direct” greenhouse gas emissions, and that it would help offset dirtier pollutants.
On November 18, 2021, Canada Border Service Agency officers at the Halifax Container Examination Facility located over 65 kilograms of opium during an extensive search of shipping containers. Using a wide range of detection tools and technology, the search revealed 84 packages of opium concealed within a single shipping container that arrived from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Seven weeks later on January 7, 2022, CBSA officers at the same facility detected an additional 31 kilograms of opium in 14 packages within another shipping container that also arrived from the UAE. The examinations and seizures were led by the CBSA Atlantic Region’s Container Examination Team, with assistance from the Waterfront Cargo Inspection Unit and Marine Enforcement Team. In 2021, the CBSA seized over 1,206 kg of opium across the country.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced in April 2021 that a new shipborne dunnage program would be implemented, as detailed in the risk management document RMD 20-02. Proposed revisions to directive D-98-08 Entry requirements for wood packaging material into Canada have been shared by CFIA to include the new shipborne dunnage program, as well as to reflect recent amendments made to the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) 15 Regulation of wood packaging material in international trade. CFIA will be accepting feedback on the revised directive between February 1st to April 1st 2022. The Chamber of Shipping is hosting a discussion with CFIA on February 24th at 1100 on the revisions to the D-98-08 - please contact us if you are interested in participating.
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, launched a call for proposals for Indigenous-led projects to build new or expand existing clean fuel production capacity in Canada. As a component of the Clean Fuels Fund, this dedicated Indigenous Call for Project Proposals targets new production and feasibility projects at the commercial scale and in advanced states of readiness. Projects for the production of clean liquid or gaseous fuels — such as hydrogen, advanced ethanol and renewable diesel — are eligible for consideration.
Exports of US agricultural goods reached an all-time high in 2021 despite supply chain bottlenecks sparked by the pandemic. But American farmers say they should be doing even better. The American Farm Bureau Federation estimates that shipping issues at the West Coast ports suppressed agricultural exports by at least $4.2 billion. The World Shipping Council has expressed concerns that prioritizing exports will create further backlogs in the supply chain and feel that what is really needed is trade volumes to be normalized. At California’s Port of Oakland last month, state and federal agencies launched a pilot program that dedicates additional yard space and equipment specifically for agricultural exporters to help them expedite shipments and secure more containers on ships.
The queue of container ships waiting to berth at the dual Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on the US West Coast dropped to the lowest level in months amid a slowdown in export cargoes during Lunar New Year celebrations in Asia. There were 78 ships in the queue February 9, down from a record high 109 on January 9th. There were just three ships at anchor outside the ports, while the other 75 in the queue were slow steaming or drifting outside of the Safety and Air Quality Area. If the number of ships unloaded in port further exceeds the number of new arrivals, the count of ships at anchor off the coast could be reduced to zero for the first time since June 2020, when international trade was sharply curtailed near the start of the coronavirus pandemic before consumer demand fueled an unprecedented reversal.
Crystal Cruises is closing down its offices in the US and has let its employees go. The closure comes just days after Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity were seized by authorities in the Bahamas over unpaid fuel bills. The Crystal Symphony diverted to the Bahamas last month from its scheduled stop in Miami with 700 passengers on board after an arrest warrant was issued over a $1.2 million unpaid fuel bill. Earlier this month, the Crystal Serenity diverted to the Bahamas after it was denied entry to Aruba. The demise of Crystal Cruises had been rumored since the financial collapse last month of Genting Hong Kong, its parent company. Genting Hong Kong purchased the brand in 2016 in a transaction valued at $550 million with plans to expand it into a wide-reaching luxury operation spanning from ocean cruises to private jet charters, a 777-200 jet for air tours, residences at sea, expedition and river cruising.
The World Shipping Council (WSC) has identified six regulatory and economic pathways, all of which are critical for a successful maritime energy transition. In June this year, the 78th session of the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (IMO MEPC 78) will consider further development of IMO’s GHG Strategy. The reality will be a complex multi-technology, multi-stakeholder development process that needs to be driven and supported by an array of mutually reinforcing global regulations. Maritime actors, technology providers, fuel innovators, organizations, and regulators will need to work together to decarbonize shipping in line with the Paris agreement. The pathways include a global price on carbon, transparent well-to-wake life cycle analysis of fuels, integrated development of global production and supply of zero GHG fuels, green corridor programs, new build standards and applied R&D for shipboard and shoreside systems.
Spark Commodities reported its first ever negative spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) freight rate on Tuesday as a glut of tankers in the Atlantic Basin that are moving cargoes faster to Europe has dragged down rates. Spot freight rates in the Atlantic crashed to -$750 per day on Tuesday, down from $273,000 in early December, according to Spark Commodities, which tracks LNG shipping prices. Europe is importing record volumes of LNG as prices remain at a premium to those in Asia. Ships that are available for spot deliveries, mainly those with cargoes from the United States are freeing up tonnage at a quicker pace and dragged down spot rates
CMA CGM announced during the One Ocean Summit hosted by France that it will stop transporting plastic waste on its vessels from June 1 to help curb pollution. The container line currently carries the equivalent of about 50,000 standard containers of plastic waste per year. CMA CGM's decision will help curb flows to destinations where sorting and recycling are not guaranteed.
A group of environmental advocates have carried out a lab study on samples of the plastic debris from the wreck of the X-Press Pearl, which burned and sank off Colombo, Sri Lanka last year. The vessel was carrying nearly 1,700 tonnes of plastic pellets, or nurdles, and it released a substantial quantity into the environment when it sank. According to a UN assessment team, it was the largest plastic spill event in history.
A first-of-its-kind hybrid-electric tanker is due to arrive to the Port of Gothenburg, where it will emit no greenhouse gases or carbon particulates during port operations.
Swedish tanker operator Terntank's Tern Island is equipped with new electric power supply hybrid system, including a battery pack, on-shore power supply and a DC-Link system which is reported to be able to reduce its auxiliary energy consumption during port operations by -99%. The shore power connection has been developed together with the Port of Gothenburg, which is said to be the first port in the world that can connect tankers to electricity.
Furthermore, Tern Island, is 100% biofuel compatible. The main engine, boiler and auxiliary engine are designed to reduce the environmental impact and perform safe operations running on biofuels. By combining the optimized hull and rudder design with dual fuel capability, when utilizing 30% biogas, in comparison to a same sized conventional vessel, Tern Island reduces emission by: -70% of CO2 and almost eliminated the emissions of sulphur oxide (-99%), of particle emission, (-99%) and nitrogen oxide (-97%).
Tern Island has a cargo capacity of 16,500 cubic meters in 14 epoxy coated tanks. It will be commercially operated by the Finnish North European Oil Trade (NEOT) in the Baltic Sea area and will be included in a pool along with other vessels from Terntank.