COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 23 September 2022

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 23 September 2022

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 23 September 2022 

Local News

SIU and Ocean BC Towing finalize new contract

The Seafarers’ International Union of Canada (SIU) has announced that it members with Ocean BC Towing (OBCT), managed by Groupe Ocean, have reached an agreement on a new contract that was unanimously accepted. The contract sees significant gains in all areas, raising the bar and setting the new standard for seafarers working on tugboats on Canada’s West Coast. The contract includes a 20% wage increase in the first 3 years, a 1.5% increase to pension in 2025, transportation reimbursements, a minimum 6 hour call in during scheduled time off, improvements to the medical plan, and more that were all fought for by the negotiating committee.

The tentative agreement was reached on September 7, 2022. All members with Ocean BC Towing voted on the tentative agreement on September 10, 2022, concluding in 100% of members voting in favour of the new contract.

Strike action continues at Westshore Terminals

Local 502 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (“ILWU”) commenced legal strike action against Westshore Terminals Limited Partnership effective 12:01 a.m. September 17, 2022. The work stoppage has resulted in a complete suspension of operations at Westshore's coal export terminal at Roberts Bank. Labour action is limited to Westshore’s terminal facilities and there are currently no further negotiations scheduled between Westshore and ILWU.

Meanwhile Teck Resources Ltd.’s near-term coal production is suffering from a "structural failure" of a conveyor belt at its Elkview plant in British Columbia that will interrupt production for up to two months. The downtime for maintenance at the plant will reduce its full-year coal production by about 1.5 million tonnes.

Seaspan Shipyards announces new CEO

Seaspan Shipyards has announced that the Board of Directors of The Washington Companies has appointed John McCarthy as CEO of Seaspan Shipyards, effective immediately. He succeeds Mark Lamarre, who assumes a new role as President and CEO of The Washington Companies, following the planned retirement of the previous President and CEO, Larry Simkins. John McCarthy has been an integral part of the senior leadership team with Seaspan Shipyards since 2018 and brings more than 36 years of experience in shipbuilding, repair and overhaul and as a senior leader at American and International shipyards. As Chief Program Officer of Seaspan Shipyards for the past four years, McCarthy oversaw all new construction programs as part of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy.

Study confirms BC wood pellets responsibly sourced

new study confirms that wood pellets in British Columbia are sourced entirely from sawmill and harvest residuals or from low-quality logs and bush grind rejected by other industries. The study was commissioned by the Wood Pellet Association of Canada and carried out by respected forest experts and registered professional foresters, professor Gary Bull, Dr. Jeremy Williams, Dr. Jim Thrower and Mr. Brad Bennett.  Professor Bull noted,“The findings were clear: 85 per cent of the fibre for pellets comes from the by-products of the sawmills and allied industries, and the remaining 15 per cent comes from bush grind and low-quality logs where the only other option is to burn the low-grade logs and brush piles on site in order to reduce fire risk.” The researchers analyzed government and industry databases, confidential commercial data, and audit reports and conducted personal interviews with individual pellet plant operators and local communities. The study also looked at the impact of pellets in both the broader forest sector and in communities like Burns Lake where the pellet plant has played an important role in addressing the mountain pine beetle epidemic, providing an outlet for local sawmills and low-quality roundwood and strengthening the local economy.


UBCM pushes for EGCS restrictions

BC municipalities are calling for stronger environmental protections from the federal government to keep harmful cargo and cruise ship pollution out of the ocean. In a motion passed at the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM)  annual convention in Whistler, BC last Friday, UBCM calls on the BC government "to commit to advocate to the federal government on the issue of exhaust gas cleaning systems' acidic washwater discharge, as part of a comprehensive BC Coast Marine Strategy; pushing for stronger environmental protections, in line with thriving cruise and cargo waters of our US neighbours, to include preventative measures to stop scrubber dumping from ships and require cleaner fuels be used."

New Transport Canada Ship Safety Bulletins

Transport Canada has issued Ship Safety Bulletin 20/22 announcing that Georgian seafarers can now seek Canadian recognition of their STCW certificates.  Also, Ship Safety Bulletin 19/22 was issued today to remind authorized representatives and masters of vessels of their legal obligation to approve shore leave for seafarers as stated in the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC 2006).

Trailer Princess removal underway in Duncan Bay

The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) is working with contractors to remove the 98-metre sunken barge, Trailer Princess, in Duncan Bay north of Campbell River that was reported to be sinking on February 14th. Following an initial assessment 34,000 L of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel were removed from the barge’s tanks, and AMIX/Marine Recycling Corporation (MRC) was able to remove another 55,000 L of hydrocarbons and oily water. Drone and National Air Surveillance Program (NASP) overflights since Feb. 20 have confirmed the on-scene reports of minimal non-recoverable product being limited to within the containment boom. Local First Nation Guardians are also assessing the site twice a week to check for potential impacts to sensitive areas. Once all the remaining fuels are removed, the barge will be refloated in preparation for its removal, deconstruction and recycling.

Originally a WWII US Navy Landing Craft, the 98m barge Trailer Princess was converted into a rail ferry in the 1960’s and operated by Canadian Pacific. The barge was later sold and converted into a support barge for a logging camp complete with helicopter platform and fueling capabilities. The cost to remove the Trailer Princess from the marine environment is $4.7 million.

$40M available for Indigenous-led area-base conservation

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, announced that the department is now accepting expressions of interest for up to $40 million in Indigenous-led area-based conservation funding. The funding is for Indigenous Peoples to lead or co-lead projects to establish and recognize protected areas. This includes other effective area-based conservation measures across Canada, such as Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas that can contribute to Canada’s conservation targets. Eligible activities include developing management mechanisms, building infrastructure and implementing legal mechanisms for protection.


MARAD launches study on low-carbon options

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced the launch of a 16-month study exploring low carbon options for shipping on the Great Lakes. The research group, led by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) in partnership with the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers (GSGP) will assess the suitability of alternative fuels and power options for Great Lakes shipping. Researchers will assess alternative fuels and power options in the region and will develop a detailed profile of Great Lakes fleets, ports, and fueling infrastructure.

FMC updates on implementation of OSRA

The Federal Maritime Commission was briefed at its September meeting on substantial progress in implementing many of the requirements established by the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA).  Since the law’s enactment on June 16, 2022, the Commission has issued the NPRM on unreasonable refusal to deal in regard to vessel space and will soon publish the NPRM on demurrage and detention billing practices.  Additionally, two requests for public comment were issued, seeking feedback on the benefits of issuing an emergency order on information sharing, and secondly, the Commission’s proposed plan for establishing a data collection initiative related to an ocean carrier’s import and export performance in the US trades. The Commission has established a dedicated landing page on its website where interested members of the public can track the status of OSRA implementation.

Ford Motor discloses $1B in unexpected supplier costs

Ford Motor is shuffling its leadership positions and restructuring its global supply chain days after disclosing $1 billion in unexpected supplier costs.  The supply chain problems caused Ford's stock to experience its biggest single day drop in 11 years.  The supply chain restructuring aims to support efficient and reliable sourcing of components, internal development of key technologies and capabilities, and world-class cost and quality execution.


GMF Report shows progress towards 2030 targets

The ”Climate Action in Shipping – Progress towards Shipping’s 2030 Breakthrough” report was launched on 21 September during New York Climate Week, prior to the Global Maritime Forum (GMF) Annual Summit, and in parallel with the Clean Energy Ministerial Global Clean Energy Forum. This report assesses progress to a goal of having scalable zero-emission fuels (SZEF) make up 5% of international shipping fuels by 2030. According to the report, currently there are at least 203 shipping decarbonization pilot and demonstration projects in the pipeline, indicating significant progress, especially in terms of commitments by industry, national governments, and positive developments at the IMO. Current estimates in line with IMO Initial Strategy ambitions put the total additional capital needed for shipping’s decarbonization at US$ 1-1.4 trillion, with over 80% of this figure upstream.

Banks and insurers align on emissions benchmarking

30 shipping banks and 17 marine insurance providers and brokers have announced that the Poseidon Principles will add additional trajectories to report climate alignment with a 1.5C future. This new commitment will align the Poseidon Principles with the ambition of the UN and the latest available climate science.  Signatories will benchmark their portfolios against two trajectories: one aligned with the IMO’s 50% reduction by 2050, and one aligned with net-zero by 2050 and a maximum temperature rise of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels by 2100, to meet the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement. For the second trajectory to be consistent with a 1.5C future, the scope will be expanded to include all greenhouse gas species, and to account for well-to-wake emissions. The financial institutions that are signatory to the commitment represent 65 percent of the global ship finance portfolio.


Sep 27 - Active Vessel Traffic Management Town Hall @ 1400
Sep 28 - WMCC PACMAR/NANS Meeting @ 1000

Sep 29 - COS Liner Committee Meeting @ 1100

Oct 1 - World Maritime Day @ Port of Vancouver @ 1200-1700

Oct 1/5 - 46th Annual Interferry Conference, Seattle

Oct 6 - The Plimsoll Club Pub Night @ One Under 

Nov 17 - ICS 8th Annual Dry Bulk Conference, Vancouver
Nov 29 - VMCC Greenship 2022, Vancouver

Ship of the Week

Sept 22 - Scenic Eclipse

Spotted at Canada Place and at Ogden Point this week is the luxury river cruise ship, Scenic Eclipse.  The 168-metre Scenic Eclipse is small in size and is designed to deliver the ultimate 6-star ultra-luxury cruise experience of a lifetime for up to 228 guests, with only 200 guests in the Polar regions. Scenic Eclipse’s state-of-the-art technology allows for smooth navigation through all waters due to its Polar Class 6 rating, electronic Azipod propulsion system and oversized stabilisers. Its GPS Dynamic Positioning also allows the Discovery Yacht to maintain location without dropping anchor.

Underneath the ship's sleek exterior are a slew of amenities. They include a central lounge and bar serving 130 different whiskies (all of them free), a theater with cushy leather lounge chairs instead of standard seating, a high-end spa, a specially designed kitchen space for cooking classes and even a submarine and pair of helicopters for passengers who want to take their excursions to the next level.

The sister of Scenic Eclipse, the company’s first oceangoing ship that was christened by Dame Helen Mirren in New York in 2019 and billed as ‘the world’s first discovery yacht,’ was expected to enter service this year but will now debut sometime in Q2 2023.

Click here to view online