COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 17 February 2023

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 17 February 2023

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 17 February 2023

Local News

Centerm expansion project completed

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, in partnership with DP World, has completed construction of the Centerm Expansion Project. The project which began in summer 2019 included expanding the terminal footprint, reconfiguring and modernizing the container yard, and constructing a new operations facility. The full capacity gains at the terminal are expected to be realized later this year, increasing the terminal’s container handling capacity by two-thirds from 900,000 20-foot equivalent unit containers (TEUs) to 1.5 million TEUs.

Canada's rail rates lowest in the world

A consultant's report requested by the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) shows that Canada's freight-rail rates are the lowest of major market-based economies the firm surveyed, including in the United States. The report by CPCS concluded that Canada's average freight-rail rate is 11% lower than that of the United States, according to a press release from RAC.  In 2021, shippers paid 4.16 U.S. cents per revenue ton-mile on railways in Canada. Western grain shippers paid nearly 30% less than the average rate at just 2.97 cents per revenue ton mile; and Canadian freight-rail rates have grown more slowly than U.S. rates — 43% vs. 72% — over the past 33 years and at less than half the rate of commodity and general prices over that same period.

Algoma and CSL order methanol-ready self-unloaders

The latest shipowners joining the growing number ready to explore methanol fueling are Canada’s Algoma Central Corporation and CSL Group. Two of four jointly designed, 72,250 DWT newbuild ships have been ordered by Algoma and the two others by CSL. The commercial partners have an option to build an additional two vessels.  The CSL International Pool placed its order with Jiangsu Yangzi-Mitsui Shipbuilding (YAMIC) in China for four new methanol-ready Kamsarmax-based ocean belt self-unloading vessels. These new ships will replace the pool’s oldest vessels and become the model for its next generation of ocean self-unloaders.

EverWind Fuels green hydrogen and green ammonia project approved

EverWind Fuels Company ("EverWind") has received Environmental Approval for the initial phase of its $6 billion, 1 million tonnes per annum green hydrogen and green ammonia project located in Point Tupper, Nova Scotia.  The Environmental Approval is a significant milestone for EverWind and its First Nations equity partners, Membertou, Paqtnkek (Bayside Development Corporation) and Potlotek. It paves the way for construction to commence in the first half of 2023. It is the first independent green hydrogen and green ammonia project in North America to receive Environmental Approval, and amongst the first in the world.

EverWind is on track to deliver green ammonia to German off-takers, E.ON and Uniper, by 2025, achieving the goals outlined in the historic Canada-Germany Hydrogen Alliance signed in August of 2022 by the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources Canada, and Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck of Germany.

CP and Unifor reach agreement

Unifor members have ratified a new two-year collective agreement covering approximately 1,200 Canadian Pacific Railway mechanical employees in Canada. CP has successfully negotiated three tentative collective agreements with its unions in 2023, including the one with Unifor announced in January and ratified this month.


Tang.ɢwan – ḥačxwiqak – Tsig̱is Area of Interest Consultations

The 30-day public consultation period for the proposed Tang.ɢwan – ḥačxwiqak – Tsig̱is Marine Protected Area (MPA) regulations is underway with the published regulation in the Canada Gazette, Part I - February 18, 2023. The proposed regulations are designed to conserve, protect and enhance understanding of unique seafloor features, including seamounts and hydrothermal vents, and the marine ecosystems they support in the MPA. The regulations would establish a general prohibition against activities likely to disturb, damage, destroy, or remove any living marine organism or any part of its habitat from the MPA; with specific exceptions to the general prohibition to allow activities that are compatible with the above-noted conservation objective.


USCG issues alert on handhold arrangements and pilot ladders

The US Coast Guard Office of Investigations and Analysis has released Change 1 to Marine Safety Alert 04-22, to addresses the importance of verifying the correct arrangement of handholds in embarkation gate arrangements aboard merchant vessels. This Safety Alert addresses the importance of verifying the correct arrangement of handholds in embarkation gate arrangements aboard merchant vessels. The Coast Guard is currently investigating a casualty involving a fall from a pilot ladder where the handholds in the gate arrangement aboard the vessel terminated without being rigidly secured to the vessel’s structure. This termination left a gap in the handholds at the transition point at the head of the pilot ladder, where an embarking person might reach to pull themselves onto the vessel.


Container lines commit to eBLs by 2030

Digital Container Shipping Association(DCSA) announced its nine ocean carrier members commit to 100% adoption of an electronic bill of lading (eBL) based on DCSA standards by 2030. Switching away from the transfer of physical paper bills of lading could save $6.5 billion in direct costs for stakeholders, enable $30-40 billion in annual global trade growth¹, transform the customer experience and improve sustainability, Ocean carriers issue around 45 million bills of lading a year. In 2021, only 1.2%of these were electronic.²

BIMCO publishes new GENCON

BIMCO has published a revised and updated version GENCON 2022 - one of its flagship contracts within its portfolio of standard contracts for the maritime industry. The revisions reflect significant changes in the regulatory landscape since the contract was last updated. The 2022 update will mark 100 years since GENCON was first launched by BIMCO, as the first edition was published in 1922.

Costa Group enters MOU for methanol fuel

Costa Group, part of Carnival Corporation and a leading European cruise operator with its two brands Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises, has signed an MOU with one of the world’s leading methanol producers, Proman. The MOU aims to push forward the implementation of methanol as a marine fuel by the cruise industry, by enhancing the supply of sustainable methanol, paving the way for the retrofitting of existing vessels to operate on clean fuel, as well as investment in further methanol-fueled newbuilds.

Ocean Clean Up celebrates 10 years

On Wednesday this week, The Ocean Cleanup turned 10 years old. Just last week the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and The Ocean Cleanup signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on eliminating plastic pollution in oceans and rivers around the globe.  Boyan Slat was diving in Greece and saw more plastic bags than fish, and at the age of 18, he dropped out of his Aerospace Engineering studies to focus fully on his idea and presented his vision in a TEDx talk. Suddenly, several months after the TEDx talk, the video went viral, and the momentum that followed allowed him to officially found The Ocean Cleanup on February 15, 2013.  Take a trip back through the projects and milestones over the last ten years in their video on Twitter.


Feb 22 – VMCC Reception with Hull Wiper @ 17:30

Feb 23 - Plimsoll Club Pub Night at Bodega @ 17:00 - SOLD OUT

Feb 24 – COS Liner Committee Meeting @ 12:00

Mar 1 – WMCC NANS/PACMAR Meeting @ 10:00

Mar 2 – Regional Canadian Marine Advisory Committee Meetings

Mar 8 – WISTA International Women’s Day Event @ 12:00

Mar 9 – VMAA Board of Directors Meeting @ 12:00

Mar 15 – COS Board of Directors Meeting @ 12:00

Mar 16 – Chamber of Shipping Annual General Meeting & Reception @ 16:00

Ship of the Week

Feb 17 - Asterix

Ottawa-headquartered Federal Fleet Services (FFS) reports that the Government of Canada has confirmed a two-year extension to its at-sea support services contract for the combat support ship, M/V Asterix. Converted from a containership by FFS sister company Davie Shipbuilding, the ship has been providing worldwide service to the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) since her deployment in 2018.

Asterix was converted at Davie in just 18 months from a containership to a military-specified support vessel at a cost far below that of a comparable newbuilding. Uniquely in Canada, Asterix is operated with a combination of FFS and the Royal Canadian Navy crew.

Asterix, post-conversion, is able to operate up to eight smaller boats with quick launch and recovery capability. Asterix has two aircraft hangars planned for two embarked CH-148 Cyclones, but big enough to hold CH-147F Chinooks, as well as a landing deck capable of handling the largest helicopters. The ship is crewed by 36 civilian personnel and up to 114 military personnel, with a 67-person detachment specifically aboard for replenishment duties.

A retractable thruster at the bow was added for additional maneuverability and redundancy. The extra thruster allows for dynamic positioning and improved station-keeping in Asterix.

For mission purposes the ship has rooms for crew and medical/hospital facilities for humanitarian missions, along with humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities. There is an area to treat and process evacuees and survivors; a large medical ward divided into two areas capable of treating up to 60. The ship also provides room for 350 in emergency situations.

Given Canada’s long-defined requirement for up to four permanent replenishment vessels, and the current plan for the delivery of two Protecteur-Class supply ships, extending the Asterix contract ensures the RCN can maintain essential replenishment-at-sea capabilities now and into the future.

The total optional lease period for Asterix is 10 years although Canada can declare its contractual purchase option at any time.

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