COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 25 March 2022

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 25 March 2022

‍COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 25 March 2022

‍Local News

Port of Vancouver saw steady volumes in 2021

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority released their 2021 year-end statistics for goods moving through the Port of Vancouver. Despite the ongoing pandemic and global supply chain challenges, as well as extreme weather events in B.C., 2021 cargo volumes through the Port of Vancouver increased by 1% from 145 to 146 million metric tonnes (MMT) over 2020. The Port saw record container and foreign bulk volumes in the first half of 2021. Grain volumes overall declined by 13% over 2020 but a record 3.7 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) moved through the gateway, an increase of 6% compared to the previous year, however this includes a 54% increase in the export of empty TEUs that added to congestion within the supply chain. 

Fraser Grain Terminal fully operational

Parrish & Heimbecker, together with GrainsConnect Canada, celebrated the Grand Opening of Fraser Grain Terminal (FGT) earlier this week.  With a throughput of 4 million tonnes per year, the new facility at Fraser Surrey Docks brings much-needed capacity and efficient infrastructure for grain exports to Canada’s western gateway. GrainsConnect Canada, a joint venture between GrainCorp and Japan’s Zen-Noh Grain Corporation, will connect historically important growing regions in Western Canada to new export markets.  Inland terminals include two in Saskatchewan at Maymont and Reford, and two in Alberta at Vegreville and Huxley.

ECHO Program releases annual report

The Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation progam has released its 2021 annual report, which provides an overview of its accomplishments. 2021 marked the program's fifth year of coordinating voluntary initiatives for at-risk whales in our region.  The report highlights key achievements – from organizing the longest-running season of voluntary initiatives to advancing globally-reaching research and education activities.

Woodfibre LNG getting closer to FID

Woodfibre LNG and FortisBC delegations presented District of Squamish council members with an update on their associated projects on March 22 at Municipal Hall. The update included an expansion of the temporary work camp in view of the lack of additional housing in Squamish.  FortisBC expects to house approximately 600 non-local workers during peak periods in a lodge, or camp. The anticipated peak of work, and thus the number of workers at the camp, would be between June 1, 2023, and Dec. 20, 2025. While there has been no final investment decision (FID), this update together with news of a $500 million investment by an energy company backed by Indonesian tycoon Sukanto Tanoto reported by Bloomberg indicates that the FID might happen soon.

BC Ferries warns of crewing challenges

As experienced throughout the fall and winter of 2021/22, the impact of crew shortages at BC Ferries is expected to continue through the spring and into summer, affecting sailing times and plans to provide additional service on some routes. BC Ferries is not alone in facing recruitment challenges. The states of Washington and Alaska, along with New Zealand and interior ferries here in BC have announced the impact crew shortages are having on sailings and the level of service they can provide. Higher than expected retirements in key shipboard positions, the impact of vaccination policies and difficulties recruiting international candidates due to COVID-19, as well as the 25-year global shortage of professional mariners are expected to pose ongoing challenges to hiring sufficient employees for what is expected to be a busier than usual peak summer season.


National Supply Chain Task Force Co-Chairs announced

The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced that Jean Gattuso and Louise Yako have agreed to co-chair the National Supply Chain Task Force. The Task Force will consult broadly with industry, associations and experts to examine the key pressures and make recommendations regarding short and long-term actions to strengthen the efficiency, fluidity and resiliency of transportation infrastructure and reliability of Canada’s supply chain. Mr. Gattuso and Ms. Yako are active members in their communities and bring a wide array of knowledge and expertise to their positions. Additional members of the Task Force will be announced shortly and in the meantime, Transport Canada is gathering input via its Let's Talk Supply Chain portal.

ECCC reminds of export controls on waste

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) would like to remind all exporters of controls and permit requirements that can apply to exports of plastic, paper and metal scrap/ waste from Canada to many countries. Canada implements its responsibilities for various International Agreements on waste through the Cross-border Movement of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Materials Regulations (XBR). It is important to note that the definition of a hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable material in the XBR captures many scrap/ waste commodities that are not commonly considered hazardous in Canada.  Scrap plastic, paper, and metal shipments moving between Canada and the USA, are only considered hazardous if they exhibit hazardous properties or contain hazardous materials. However, wastes controlled by the Basel Convention that transit through the USA to a Basel Convention Party are subject to export permit requirements. For more information please visit the ECCC website on the XBR at


Ocean Shipping Reform Act gets Senate Committee approval

The US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has given bipartisan approval to the Ocean Shipping Reform Act.  The bill seeks to update federal regulations for the global shipping industry and intends to level the playing field for American exporters by making it harder for ocean carriers to unreasonably refuse goods ready to export at ports, and it would give the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) greater rulemaking authority to regulate harmful practices by carriers. To advance the bill, full Senate approval is now required.  The World Shipping Council reiterated that this does nothing to address the root cause of the US landside congestion keeping ships at bay.


Grave situation for seafarers impacted by war in the Ukraine

More than 1,000 merchant sailors in some 140 ships representing 20 different nationalities are stranded in the Sea of Azov as Russia’s war in Ukraine rages around them. Shipowners, managers, unions and charities have been working around the clock to get crews off ships and out of Ukraine. While Russia announced it was creating a humanitarian corridor for ships to leave Ukrainian waters, many companies and ships view this as infeasible due to the amount of mines laid in positions around the Black Sea and most densely in front of Ukraine’s largest port, Odessa.

Ukraine forces strike major blow to Russian Navy

Ukrainian armed forces dealt a major blow this week with a successful attack of a large Russian landing ship at the port of Berdiansk in southern Ukraine. The port, which had recently been occupied by Russian forces with several Russian warships in dock, was rocked by a series of heavy explosions soon after dawn on Thursday. Several Russian ships had been unloading military equipment at Berdiansk in recent days, according to reports from the port by Russian media outlets. The successful attack demonstrates Ukraine's increasing and sophisticated capability to attack Russian supply lines.



Mar 30 - WMCC PACMAR/NANS Meeting @ 1000
Apr 21 - The Plimsoll Club Pub Night - Bodega on Main

Apr 25 - May 5 - National Canadian Marine Advisory Council Meetings 

May 11-13 - Nautical Institute BC Branch 2022 Conference - Victoria, BC
May 12-14 - 24th BC Tugboat Conference - Whistler, BC
May 16-18 – IAPH World Ports Conference 2022 – Vancouver, BC
Jun 2 - The Plimsoll Golf Tournament

Jun 17 – Vancouver Grain Exchange Golf Tournament
Jun 23 – ISSC Peak Challenge – Grouse Mountain


Ship of the Week

Mar 25 - With Orca

A Norwegian project emerging from a competition to develop the world’s first zero-emission bulk carrier is proceeding toward its goal of launching service in 2024 after having received design approval.  Incorporating hydrogen for its fuel with wind power and batteries for energy storage, the vessel known as With Orca is being called a milestone in the journey towards a zero-emission future for the shipping industry.

The project began in late 2020, and after a six-month competition, with more than 31 shipowners bidding, the With Orca project was selected. The vessel is being designed by Norwegian Ship Design and the hydrogen will be supplied by Statkraft. The Green Shipping Program, a public-private partnership for the development of environmentally advanced shipping projects, facilitated the competition where Felleskjøpet Agri and Heidelberg Cement joined forces in the competition to develop, build, and operate a hydrogen-powered zero-emission bulk carrier. The team selected Egil Ulvan Rederi, a family-owned shipowner based in Trondheim, Norway, to develop, build, and operate a zero-emission cargo ship.

The design calls for a 5,500 ton vessel that will be approximately 289 feet in length. With Orca will be powered by hydrogen, stored onboard in compressed form, and the hydrogen combustion engine will be optimized for increased efficiency. The vessel will also have a fuel cell system for energy production in low-load conditions.

The self-discharging hydrogen-fueled bulk carrier is expected to enter service in 2024 demonstrating the capabilities of hydrogen and wind propulsion. With Orca will be transporting cargoes for Heidelberg Cement and Felleskjøpet. It will be carrying aggregates from western to eastern Norway and grain in the opposite direction.

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