COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 20 May 2022
First Mover partners explore ‘Green Corridor’
The Port of Seattle, City and Borough of Juneau, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, leading global cruise lines, as well as the Global Maritime Forum, Blue Sky Maritime Coalition, and Washington Maritime Blue commit to exploring the feasibility of the world’s first cruise-led ‘green corridor.’ The collaborative effort is hoping to accelerate the deployment of zero greenhouse gas emission ships and operations between Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington. Nearly 300 ships leave Seattle for Alaska in a six-month cruise season; in total Alaska hosts more than 600 cruise sailings per year. Included in the scope of work is defining the green corridor concept, providing a testbed for low and zero greenhouse gas technologies and ships, and developing governance structures, terms and frameworks needed to guide this regional effort.
While initially formed by cruise ports in the Pacific Northwest, with input from the cruise industry, this initiative welcomes participation from all sectors of the maritime industry and other regional ports. Domestic cargo lines, ferries, commercial fishing, tug and barges, and other ports have a strong interest and shared goals around climate action which may require an expanded agreement to reflect new participants or corridors in the region.
$1M Indigenous Career Pivot Program launched
Together with four program partners, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announced the Indigenous Career Pivot Program. The program will facilitate and support meaningful work placements for up to 17 Indigenous People wishing to explore new careers options in Canada’s ocean economy. Following the successful pilot program which saw 11 mid-career Indigenous People pivot to careers in the ocean economy, the program represents a total investment of more than $1 million of which $750,000 is funded by the Ocean Supercluster.
Led by Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping with their project partners of British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), the College of the North Atlantic (CNA), and the Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society (ACCESS), the program will provide Indigenous Peoples with 12-month employment placements where they will gain valuable experience in the ocean sector and enhance their knowledge through work experiences that complement their existing skillset and natural aptitudes.
The program offers learning and support opportunities for both participants and employers through career mentoring support provided by Canada’s Ocean Supercluster and employers, a Peer Support Network for Indigenous participants, and cultural awareness training provided to employers. For more info, visit Clear Seas' website
Seaspan signs contract for new LNG bunker vessels
Seaspan ULC has signed a shipbuilding contract for the construction of two 7600m3 LNG bunker vessels, with the option for a third vessel. This contract demonstrates Seaspan’s commitment to bringing a safe and innovative LNG bunkering solution to the West Coast of North America but also shows leadership in supporting the transition to cleaner, lower-emission marine fuels in British Columbia, Canada, and the world. Seaspan is also actively looking at decreasing the carbon intensity of LNG and considering solutions such as accessing renewable natural gas (RNG) to create a lower-carbon option.
With its existing LNG-powered ferries, Escort DF (LNG and Diesel) tugs for HaiSea Marine and LNG-fueled vessel conversion program at Seaspan Shipyards in Victoria, Seaspan is positioned as an industry-leading Canadian marine company with advanced LNG capabilities and expertise. Seaspan is the first Canadian company to order LNG Bunker tonnage for the Pacific Northwest. The first vessel is expected to be delivered and in operation in 2024.
Retirements at Council of Marine Carriers
Last weekend at the 24th Tugboat Conference in Whistler, BC hosted by the Council of Marine Carriers (CMC), the association and participants celebrated the retirements of some long-standing members of the team. Teresa Ledesma retired after 33 years serving as the CMC's executive assistant, Leo Stradiotti steps down from the Board after serving as the CMC Chair since 2006 and Board since 1989, and Phill Nelson retires after 19 years as President of the CMC after joining from Transport Canada. Pictured is Leo (partner Judy), Teresa (partner Victor), surprise guest Bill Nash (partner Francine), and Phill (partner Bonnie).
China ends ban on Canadian canola
China ended a three-year ban on Canadian canola and the Government of Canada issued a statement
welcoming the decision to remove restrictions and reinstate the two companies affected by the ban. In March 2019, China suspended two Canadian companies, alleging the detection of quarantine pests in canola shipments. The timing of the decision likely coincides wth extreme shortages for cooking oils.
Indonesia, the world’s top palm oil exporter, banned exports last month, though the country signalled on May 19 that it will ease the ban toward the end of the month. On top of the issues in palm oil supply, the war in Ukraine has squelched access to the region’s crucial source of sunflower oil. Meanwhile, canola oil supply is tight due to last summer’s drought on the Prairies, which choked Canada’s canola production. A drought in South America is doing the same to soy.
New rail safety measures
Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced the approval of revisions to the Canadian Rail Operating Rules
and the Locomotive Inspection and Safety Rules
to reduce the risk of uncontrolled movements of trains. To help ensure that trains are properly secured, revisions will establish performance standards for locomotives equipped with rollaway protection; safety procedures and requirements that must be met before leaving a locomotive; and testing procedures to ensure that the rollaway protection system is operating properly. The new rules build on measures in place to secure trains and reduce the risk of uncontrolled movement, such as requiring handbrakes be applied in specific circumstances and will further help keep communities and workers safe.
Canada faces vote on Antarctic Treaty Membership
The federal government has put in a request to become a full-fledged, voting member of the international treaty that governs the way states behave in Antarctica. Canada will find out whether it’s in, or out, next week. The Antarctic Treaty of 1959 committed 12 countries to keeping the continent free of military and nuclear activity, free of feuds over who owns which chunk of it, and open for scientific exploration: the United States, the Soviet Union (now Russia), Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., France, South Africa, Norway, Japan, and Belgium. Another 16 countries have since joined as full “consultative members.” Canada has been a “non-consultative” member of the treaty since 1988, which means that Canadian diplomats can attend meetings of the treaty partners, but cannot vote on decisions about what should and should not be allowed to take place on the continent.
The federal government has finally applied to become a full “consultative” member, and the other members will vote on its bid during an annual meeting of the treaty partners in Germany that begins May 23 and stretches until June 2.
MTS Resilience Guide webinar
The Marine Transportation System (MTS) Resilience Assessment Guide presents a process for organizing and understanding the complicated systems that comprise the MTS. The Guide introduces a framework for structuring a resilience assessment and assembles a variety of resources that make an assessment possible based on the goals of the Guide user. It also provides advice for assembling a diverse group of public and private stakeholders and agencies that manage these systems; a critical step in ensuring that an assessment is more than a report on a shelf. A webinar on the guide will be presented on June 15th at 1100 EDT - registration link
USCG Alert on Fuel Contamination
The US Coast Guard has issued Marine Safety Alert 06-22
noting that contaminants such as sediment and water in fuel tanks and fuel service systems can have detrimental impacts on equipment designed to operate on clean, water-free fuel. USCG encourages continuous vigilance in fuel procurement, as well as system operations and maintenance, to maintain a quality fuel program. Recommendations to vessel owners and operators include ensuring fuel suppliers meet the engine manufacturer's specifications, regular sampling and testing from service tanks, and that fuel filters are of the correct flow rate and filtration rating.
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IMO's first International Day for Women in Maritime
On May 18th, the world celebrated the first International Day for Women in Maritime intended to provide a platform to highlight and celebrate the achievements of women in maritime and identify areas of improvement for gender balance. An IMO Symposium (virtual) on "Training-Visibility-Recognition: Supporting a barrier-free working environment for Women in Maritime" heard from nine panelists - seven women and two male allies. They addressed: what type of training supports a barrier-free working environment for women in maritime; how to enhance visibility for women in the workplace/environment; and recognition in the work environment of women's contributions to maritime. Watch the symposium here
Single window for ship data mandatory under FAL
IMO’s Facilitation Committee has adopted amendments to the Facilitation (FAL) Convention which will make the single window for data exchange mandatory in ports around the world. The amendments to the annex of the Convention will make it mandatory for public authorities to establish, maintain and use single window (SW) systems for the electronic exchange of information required on arrival, stay and departure of ships in ports. In addition, public authorities will have to combine or coordinate the electronic transmission of the data to ensure that information is submitted or provided only once and re-used to the maximum extent possible. The amendments adopted at the session are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2024.
Global minimum wage deal for seafarers
The Joint Maritime Commission (JMC) of the International Labour Organization (ILO) has agreed to a three-year deal increasing the minimum wage of seafarers. The new minimum basic wage for an able seafarer increases to US$658 as of 1 January 2023. The rate will be increased to US$666 as of 1 January 2024 and to US$673 as of 1 January 2025. Maritime transport is the only sector with a formally recognized global minimum wage, which has existed for seafarers since 1958. The Joint Maritime Commission is the only permanent bipartite standing body of the ILO. It dates back to 1920 and is composed of shipowner and seafarer representatives from across the globe.
May 20 - Hydrotug
Demonstrating that fuel cells are not the only way to use hydrogen is a marine fuel, the world’s first hydrogen-powered tugboat, the Hydrotug was launched at the Navia, Spain, shipyard of Astilleros Armón on May 16. The 65-tons bollard pull vessel is powered by two BeHydro hydrogen dual-fuel medium speed V12 engines and is being built for the Port of Antwerp-Bruges and CMB Tech, an offshoot of Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB). The BeHydro engine is a joint venture between CMB and engine manufacturer ABC.
The Hydrotug is the first vessel to be powered by the new BeHydro engines, which have passed Lloyd’s Register factory acceptance tests (FAT) and are each rated at 2 MW. They incorporate the latest EU Stage V emissions after treatment.
Following the launch, outfitting of the vessel is continuing with sea trials set to follow later this year. The goal is to deliver the Hydrotug by the end of this year and to have it fully operational in the first quarter of 2023 in Antwerp.