COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 9 December 2022

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 9 December 2022

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 9 December 2022

Local News

Vopak project concludes environmental assessment processes

Vopak Pacific Canada Project received determinations, in accordance with the requirements of Section 67 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 and Section 82 of the Impact Assessment Act from the Prince Rupert Port Authority, Transport Canada, and Environment and Climate Change Canada that the Project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.  Vopak will continue to work with federal authorities to obtain the necessary federal approvals prior to making a Final Investment Decision.

Vopak Pacific Canada (the Project) is planned on Ridley Island within the lands and waters under the jurisdiction of the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA). The Project is expected to store Liquefied Petroleum Gas (e.g., propane), Clean Petroleum Products (e.g., diesel and/or gasoline), and methanol received by rail from BC and Alberta. Customers of Vopak will be responsible for bringing the product to site and for shipping the product from the jetty to markets around the world.  The Project includes the construction, operation and decommissioning of the bulk liquids storage facility, including a jetty. Vopak will build the Project and manage the day-to-day operations of the facility.

Grounded barge removed

An empty Lafarge barge, Metlakatla 1, that ran aground on November 29th when the tug tow line snapped during a windstorm, has been towed to Ogden Point.   The barge remained stuck on the rocks for 10 days near the McLoughlin Point sewage treatment plant on Vancouver Island.  The barge is expected to undergo repairs over the next three weeks. The barge has no fuel on board and was not considered a pollution threat, according to Transport Canada.

New hydrogen plant planned for North Vancouver

A major clean hydrogen fuel production plant will be built on the industrial waterfront of North Vancouver District, as the result of one of the largest industrial real estate deals this year. Vancouver-based hydrogen supply firm HTEC has reached an agreement to acquire ERCO Worldwide’s sprawling 19-acre industrial waterfront property at 100 Forester Street — just east of the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge. HTEC’s acquisition of the property allows it to carry out its strategy of building a clean hydrogen plant to capture, purify, and process ERCO’s byproduct hydrogen. Its new plant will have the capacity to produce up to 15 tonnes of clean hydrogen fuel per day to meet the growing global market demand for low-carbon transportation fuels.

The deal is expected to be finalized in March 2023, and if all goes as planned, the hydrogen plant will be completed and operational by late 2025.


Canada releases Critical Minerals Strategy

Today the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, released Canada’s Critical Minerals Strategy, backed by up to $3.8 billion in federal funding allocated in Budget 2022. The proposed funding covers a range of industrial activities, from geoscience and exploration to mineral processing, manufacturing and recycling applications, including support for research, development and technological deployment.

The Strategy maps out how Canada can seize this generational opportunity in a way that accomplishes economic growth, climate action and environmental protection, reconciliation, diversity and global security.

Canada and G7+ partners impose price cap on Russian crude oil

Canada, along with its G7 partners and Australia, is imposing a price cap of US$60 per barrel on Russian-origin crude oil. Effective December 7, should the price per barrel exceed this cap, anyone in Canada or any Canadian internationally is prohibited from providing select services related to the maritime transport of Russian crude oil. Canada’s ban on imports of Russian oil remains in effect. These measures aim to restrict the flow of petrodollars to the Kremlin while addressing the immediate energy needs of affected countries.

The International Group of P&I Clubs (IG P&I Clubs) has issued guidance on the operation of the Russian Price Cap for shipowners and charterers.

PM announces funding for Indigenous conservation initiatives

This week at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference in Montréal (COP 15), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced funding of up to $800 million over seven years to supporting Indigenous-led conservation initiatives. These initiatives would support Canada's goals of conserving 25 per cent of land and waters by 2025, and 30 per cent of each by 2030. This investment will support the establishment of protected areas through a new funding model (Project Finance for Permanence), which is based on partnership. It brings together Indigenous organizations, governments, and the philanthropic community to identify shared goals for protecting nature and halting biodiversity loss. Some of this funding is intended to support conservation efforts in the Northernshelf Bioregion of waters in British Columbia.

The new First Nations National Guardians Network was also introduced today to expand and support individual First Nations Guardians initiatives from coast to coast to coast. The network will connect First Nations Guardians initiatives across the country, so that Guardians can do more together than on their own. This Network will enable a Nation-based model of self-determination and a Nation-to-Nation-based model of reconciliation and partnership for responsible land and marine stewardship.

Canadian and US Coast Guards renew commitment to environmental protection

Canadian Coast Guard Commissioner Mario Pelletier and United States Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Linda L. Fagan signed the renewed Canada-United States Joint Marine Pollution Contingency Plan to provide a coordinated system for planning, preparedness and response to spills occurring in the waters between the two countries. The Joint Marine Pollution Contingency Plan provides a coordinated mechanism for planning, preparing for, and responding to spills in transboundary waters and establishes procedures for the coordination of spill response efforts between Canada and the U.S. It allows both coast guards to work together efficiently to mitigate any potential pollution impacts on the marine environment. The area of responsibility under the Joint Marine Pollution Contingency Plan extends along the Canada-United States border, from coast to coast to coast, and addresses transboundary waters in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Beaufort Sea, as well as the Great Lakes.

New Ship Safety Bulletins

Transport Canada has issued an update to Ship Safety Bulletin 29/2022 Ukranian seafarers can now seek Canadian recognition of their STCW certificates and replaces SSB 08/2022.  The updated SSB includes information for Ukrainian Seafarers holding a Canadian endorsement.

Transport Canada has issued Ship Safety Bulletin 30/2022 New digital process for marine medical certificates to inform seafarers and marine stakeholders of the new process for the issuance of provisional marine medical certificates, which involves the digital submission of Marine Medical Examination Reports to the Transport Canada Marine Medical Unit.


Ever Forward grounding due to distracted pilot

A pilot was distracted by his phone for a minute at a critical turn in a shipping channel just before the mammoth Ever Forward container vessel became stuck on the muddy bottom of the Chesapeake Bay earlier this year, according to a US Coast Guard investigation into the incident. The ship’s crew appeared to be aware that something was amiss but failed to get the pilot’s attention before the ship went aground on March 13, the report found. The Ever Forward remained stationary for about five weeks. Finding of Concern 1 reiterates the original warnings and emphasizes the additional dangers associated with fixation on electronic devices as well as over -reliance on a singular piece of equipment while navigating or performing safety-sensitive functions.  Vessel owners and marine operators are recommended to develop and implement effective policies outlining when the use of cell phones and other portable electronic devices is appropriate or prohibited.

GCT selling US terminals to CMA CGM

GCT Global Container Terminals Inc. has entered into an agreement to sell its US-based terminal assets to CMA CGM Group, a global player in sea, land, air and logistics solutions.  GCT currently operates two U.S. terminals: GCT New York on Staten Island, NY and GCT Bayonne in Bayonne, NJ, in the Port of New York and New Jersey. CMA CGM, part of the Ocean Alliance, currently calls the Maher Terminal at NY-NJ, with one service calling the APMT facility, while GCT Bayonne is used by THE Alliance and GCT New York by Mediterranean Shipping Co. and Wan Hai.

New York–New Jersey is CMA CGM’s largest gateway on the US East Coast, and the carrier intends to further develop calls in the New York area for which the newly acquired terminals will provide future capacity.  The addition of the GCT facilities brings the carrier’s terminal network in the US to seven, and 52 terminals globally in 28 countries through CMA Terminals’ joint venture with Terminal Link.

GCT will retain full ownership of GCT Canada and its terminals, GCT Deltaport and GCT Vanterm operating in the Port of Vancouver. The transaction is subject to customary and required regulatory approvals and consents.


Maritime unions and industry renew pact

Unions representing seafarers and maritime employer groups have come together to sign a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) to take forward the ‘spirit of cooperation’ that marked the shipping industry’s joint efforts throughout the pandemic. Signatories include the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), the International Chamber of Shipping, and the International Maritime Employers' Council.

Priorities for the group include lobbying governments on improving training and career pathways, pushing for better recognition of seafarers, and securing support for the proposals put out recently in the Maritime Just Transition Task Force’s action plan. The plan will be showcased at the upcoming IMO MEPC environment meeting taking place next week.

International Chamber of Shipping statement following ISWG-GHG

Following the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships and ahead of the Marine Environmental Protection Committee meeting 79, the International Chamber of Shipping's Secretary General, Guy Platten, made a statement reiterating the marine industry's commitment to reaching net-zero carbon by 2050. He stressed that "zero-emission fuels must be available in significant quantities before 20230 if industry is to have any hope of hitting the 2050 target." He remained optimistic that consensus is growing for a proposal to support a flat rate contribution per tonne of CO2 emitted by ships on a global basis to accelerate the production and uptake of these fuels. The full statement is available here.

Blue World Technologies to focus on maritime sector

Aalborg, Denmark-based Blue World Technologies, a developer and manufacturer of methanol fuel cells as an alternative to non-renewable fuels, announced on Tuesday that it has raised €37M in a Series B round of funding from the Danish sovereign wealth fund, Vækstfonden ((The Sovereign Investment Fund of Denmark),  the German engine manufacturer DEUTZ as main investors, and the Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV).  BEV's recent investment will help the company to scale its fuel cell production as well as invest in the development of methanol-driven fuel cell applications for the maritime sector. With a methanol fuel cell-powered auxiliary power unit (APU), Blue World wants to provide modular APU solutions in the megawatt range for direct integration in new builds as well as retrofits in existing ships.


Dec 26 - Office Closed

Dec 27 - Office Closed

Jan 2 - Office Closed

**Note we are moving to a new suite in late December - our new address will be 630 - 355 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V6C 2G8**

Ship of the Week

Dec 9 - SS Pacific

A Seattle-based company, Rockfish Inc., has been granted salvage rights to a ship believed to contain nearly $5 million worth of gold that sank near the BC coast during the gold rush. Also members of the Northwest Shipwreck Alliance, Matthew McCauley and Jeff Hummel, now believe they have found the SS Pacific which sank in November 1875 following a collision with the Orpheus when she veered into the SS Pacific's path after its second mate mistook her lights for those of the Cape Flattery lighthouse.  The sailing vessel Orpheus sank later that night but her crew made it ashore while SS Pacific lost roughly 275 people, many of them gold miners.

Rockfish based its search off old records that showed the vessel went down southwest of Cape Flattery, as well as information from fishermen who found coal in their nets. After 12 expeditions with sonar and a towed camera sled, Jeff Hummel, President of Rockfish, is feeling confident in his discovery. Two circular depressions in the seabed, a short distance from the rest of the wreck are believed to be the steamer's paddle wheels and a piece of coal found near the wreck was tested in a lab in Alberta. The results ended up matching the chemical analysis of coal from a mine owned by the owners of the SS Pacific.

Rockfish is obliged to present everything found through the federal court system so people can come forward with any claims they may have on the artifacts, meaning anyone who can prove a family connection to an owner of the gold or any other item can come forward to attempt to claim it.

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