COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 3 June 2022
Vancouver's Blue Circle Award Recipients for 2022
Following the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority's Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, VFPA executives and Board members recognized this year's recipients of the Blue Circle Award. The Award is provided to those shipping companies that have invested in technologies and practices that meet or exceed regulatory requirements and have the greatest fleet-wide participation in the Eco-Action Program. Recipients in the shipping lines category included: CMA CGM, Evergreen Line, Fednav, G2 Ocean, Hapag-Lloyd, HMM, MOL Chemical Tankers, ONE, Pacific Basin Shipping, Westwood Shipping Lines and Yang Ming. In the coastal marine operators' category recipients included: BC Ferries, North Arm Transportation, SAAM Towage Canada and Seaspan ULC.
BC establishes guardianship with two coastal First Nations
A first-in-Canada agreement between the provincial government and two coastal First Nations recognizes thousands of years of stewardship authority and paves the way for a new management model for coastal protection. First Nations are the original stewards of their territories, the eyes and ears of their lands and waters, for thousands of years. The Coastal Guardian Watchmen are the modern version of that ancient tradition, they work together to monitor, protect and restore the cultural and natural resources of their Nations, upholding their Nation’s laws and the traditions passed down for their ancestors. On Wednesday the Kitasoo/Xai'xais and Nuxalk Nations inked a historic deal with the provincial government to launch a pilot project that gives them all the authority of park rangers under the BC Park Act and Ecological Reserve Act
Following the signing, the three Parties will establish a technical working group to develop mutually agreed to terms of reference to support the implementation of the Pilot Program. Various policies and procedures will also be collaboratively developed.
The Guiding Principles included in the MOU include advancing reconciliation between Nations and the province, recognizing the need for long-term, sustainable and collaborative arrangements, and incorporating traditional knowledge and Indigenous laws, policies and customs.
The Kitasoo/Xai'xais and Nuxalk Nations collaboratively manage more than 40 protected areas in their territories, including Tweedsmuir Park, the Fiordland Conservancy, Kitasoo Spirit Bear Conservancy and Kimsquit Estuary Conservancy.
Burnaby rail corridor improvements completed
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, CN and the City of Burnaby have announced the completion of rail upgrades in Burnaby, BC as part of the Burnaby Rail Corridor Improvements Project. The completed rail improvements have reduced the amount of time by half that trains wait in Burnaby for the tunnel to vent. About 65% of rail traffic through Burnaby goes to the North Shore, so these improvements will result in more trains per hour able to deliver goods to port terminals for export and will reduce train idling in Burnaby.
The rail components of this project included upgrades to the Thornton Tunnel ventilation system to reduce the time between trains travelling through the tunnel and a new rail siding track from Willingdon Avenue to Piper Avenue, parallel to existing tracks, to stage trains accessing the Thornton Tunnel. In the next phase of this project, the port authority will lead work to deliver a new, four-lane overpass extending and elevating Holdom Avenue south over the rail corridor and Still Creek and connecting with Douglas Road. The port authority expects to begin construction in 2023, following the completion of procurement activities and a final phase of public engagement.
ECHO Program triggered on June 1st
On June 1, all three of the ECHO Program's voluntary initiatives took effect - these include the ship slowdown trial at Swiftsure Bank; the slowdown in Haro Strait and Boundary Pass; and a lateral displacement for tugs in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Southern resident killer whales have consistently been sighted foraging with a new female calf in Haro Strait and Boundary Pass over the past weeks. The presence of the whales has been confirmed by trusted visual observers and hydrophones in the area. With a young calf among the J-Pod this year, collective voluntary efforts to reduce underwater noise in these key areas of southern resident killer whale critical habitat are particularly important, as southern resident killer whales are known to be especially vulnerable in the first year of their lives.
Transport Canada provides funds to Indigenous groups for marine safety
The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra announced funding for six Indigenous communities to improve vessel safety through the Marine Safety Equipment and Training (MSET) Initiative. Snuneymuxw, Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’, Pauquachin, Tsawout, Malahat
First Nations will receive over $947,000 in funding to purchase marine safety equipment for over 70 vessels, and provide marine safety equipment and training for more than 215 community members. The five-year Marine Safety Equipment and Training (MSET) Initiative is one of eight accommodation measures developed to address the concerns of Indigenous communities along the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMX) marine shipping route. Eligible Indigenous communities can apply for MSET Initiative funding until December 31, 2024, or until all funds are fully allocated.
Canada announces $24M to improve rail safety
The Government of Canada is providing almost $24 million to fund 147 projects across Canada under the Rail Safety Improvement Program. This includes contributions for 58 grade crossing, infrastructure, and research projects in Ontario, for a total amount of more than $13 million. In addition to supporting infrastructure, technology, and research projects that improve railway safety, this investment will reduce safety risks, and contribute to economic growth by creating good-paying jobs. Funded projects include infrastructure improvements rail crossings and the development of innovative technologies.
Canada cooperates with India on climate action
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and the Honourable Bhupender Yadav, India’s Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
to increase bilateral cooperation on climate action, environmental protection and conservation. Under the MOU, both countries have agreed to collaborate, exchange information and expertise, and support our respective ambition in a wide range of areas, including increasing renewable energy capacity, decarbonizing heavy industries, reducing plastic pollution, supporting the sound management of chemicals, and ensuring sustainable consumption. The MOU signing took place on the margins of the Stockholm+50 meeting and was made possible thanks to an earlier meeting between the two ministers at COP26 last year.
USCG & RCMP shiprider team recovers stolen boat
A man has been charged with theft after being caught in a yacht that had allegedly been stolen from Cadboro Bay on Vancouver Island. A US Coast Guard crew from Bellingham and Shipriders from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) were conducting a patrol when they encountered a 26-foot white-and-blue sailboat off Stuart Island. The Shiprider program puts Canadian police on US boats, and vice versa, that then patrol the two countries’ marine borders. The coast guard vessel escorted the boat to a Canadian port, where it was discovered that the other man on the yacht had an active warrant for his arrest. He was detained and taken to the Sidney RCMP detachment. The second man on the yacht, was allowed to continue on his voyage as the yacht hadn’t yet been reported stolen but the following day the same Shiprider crew found the boat sailing east, south of Pender Island. Police boarded the vessel and say they found allegedly stolen tools and an inflatable runabout.
$368 million to improve US rail infrastructure
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced that over $368 million in Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grant program funds have been awarded to 46 projects in 32 states and the District of Columbia. The selected projects will not only improve and expand passenger rail and fund conventional and high-speed rail, but they will also increase supply chain resilience and fluidity, support short line railroads, invest in new technology and safety advancements, and benefit rail industry workforce development and training activities. Washington State will receive up to $3.8M to protect against landslides bewteen the Seattle and Everett rail corridor and California will receive up to $25M to improve rail safety in Alameda County.
EU approves embargo on Russian oil
The European Union has formally approved an embargo on Russian oil and other sanctions targeting major banks and broadcasters over Moscow’s war on Ukraine. EU headquarters says Russian crude oil will be phased out over six months, and other refined petroleum products over eight months. Noted that “a temporary exception is foreseen” for landlocked countries – like Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia – that “suffer from a specific dependence on Russian supplies and have no viable alternative options.” Bulgaria and Croatia will also get “temporary derogations” for certain kinds of oil. EU leaders say the move means that around 90% of Russia’s oil exports to Europe will be blocked by year’s end. The EU imported about $51.5 billion in crude from Russia and $24.7 billion in refined products in 2021.
India's energy demand turns to coal imports
According to recent reports India is to see the largest increase in energy demand worldwide over the next 20 years. While it is third-largest producer, it is also currently the third-largest consumer of electricity in the world - outstripping the supply. Just this week the Government of India has mandated Coal India (CIL) to be ready to import 12 million tonnes of coal for July this year to July 2023. This will be the first time since 2015 that CIL will import the cargo. According to industry experts, the government is making all efforts to build up stock of coal to avoid the reoccurrence of power outrages which happened in April on account of shortage of the fossil fuel.
The Peoples’ Commission on Public Sector and Public Services (PCPSPS) has demanded an independent probe into the coal crisis and called for corrective action. The commission, which includes eminent academics, jurists, erstwhile administrators, trade unionists and social activists, intends to have in-depth consultations with all stakeholders and people concerned with the process of policymaking and those against the government’s decision to monetize, disinvest and privatize public assets/enterprises and produce several sectoral reports before coming out with a final report.
Jun 8-20 - Green Marine's Greentech Conference, Montreal
Jun 9 - ABCMI Innovation Day
Jun 9 - VMCC Webinar: Green Shipping Corridors @ 0900
Jun 9 - VMAA Board Meeting and Annual General Meeting @ 1200
Jun 14 - COS Supply Chain Working Group @ 1400
Jun 14 - ISSC Board of Directors Meeting @ 1200
Jun 15 - Prince Rupert Port Authority Annual Public Meeting @ 1700
Jun 16 - Port of Nanaimo Annual General Meeting @ 1400
Jun 17 – Vancouver Grain Exchange Golf Tournament
Jun 20/23 - Association of Canadian Port Authorities Conference
Jun 21 - ISSC Annual General Meeting and Board Meeting @ 1130
Jun 23 – ISSC Peak Challenge – Grouse Mountain - REGISTRATION OPEN
Jun 27 - Pacific Pilotage Authority Annual Meeting @ 1130
Jul 27 - Vancouver Maritime Museum Fireworks Gala
June 3 - Prism Courage
In a world first, the 180,000 cu.m LNG carrier Prism Courage arrived at the Boryeong LNG Terminal in South Korea after completing a 33-day voyage from the Freeport LNG terminal, Texas, using autonomous navigation..The Prism Courage left Freeport in the Gulf of Mexico on May 1st, and used Avikus' AI-powered HiNAS 2.0 system to steer the vessel for half of its roughly 20,000 km journey to the Boryeong LNG Terminal in South Korea's western Chungcheong Province. The Level 2 self-steering tech was good enough to account for other ships, the weather and differing wave heights. Avikus claims HiNAS' optimal route planning improved the Prism Courage's fuel efficiency by about seven percent, and reduced emissions by five percent.
This voyage was conducted under real-time monitoring by American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and the Korea Register of Shipping (KR) to verify the performance and stability of the technology. After receiving ABS certification of the voyage results, Avikus has plans to commercialize HiNAS 2.0 during the current year