COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 24 March 2023

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 24 March 2023

‍COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 24 March 2023

‍Local News

CN and Unifor reach tentative agreements

CN, Unifor Local 100 and Unifor Council 4000 on Monday announced they have reached four new tentative collective agreements to cover about 3,000 railway employees, who had voted earlier this month in favour of strike action. The agreements cover CN mechanics, intermodal and clerical workers and avert a strike that could have begun as early as March 21st.  The company and union both said no details of the tentative deals would be released publicly until ratification votes are completed. Unifor said Monday those votes “will be held in the near future.”

BCMEA Negotiation Update

On Monday this week, the BC Maritime Employers Association advised that after five days of collective bargaining meetings, ILWU Canada has served a Notice of Dispute to the Minister of Labour. The Minister of Labour has up to 15 days to appoint a Conciliation Officer with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) who will assist and support the parties to achieve a renewed collective agreement. While this is the same process followed by the parties in prior rounds of collective bargaining negotiations, it is unusual for this to occur so early in the negotiations. The conciliation period will last 60 days unless mutually extended on both sides.

Montreal Port Authority and GSTS launch AI-based project

The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) and Global Spatial Technology Solutions (GSTS), a company that specializes in applying artificial intelligence (AI) to shipping, announced the launch of a new project to measure and reduce the carbon footprint of vessels using the Port of Montreal that makes the most of artificial intelligence. The project provides real-time data on the route, speed and position of vessels heading to Montreal. These data are then analyzed to obtain an accurate estimate of a vessel’s arrival time and adjust its route to coordinate with the availability of berths in the Port of Montreal. This makes it possible for ships to optimize their sailing speed, which in turn reduces fuel consumption and GHG emissions, shortens anchoring time before docking, and benefits operational planning and optimization. Ultimately, the digital corridor concept will enable accurate, real-time communication between ports, terminal operators and ocean carriers to improve operational efficiency and decrease GHG emissions.

Chamber of Marine Commerce seeks green corridor

The Chamber of Marine Commerce (CMC) is calling for the establishment of a green shipping corridor in the Great Lakes­–St. Lawrence region as the centrepiece of its 2023 wish list for legislators and policymakers. The green corridor would involve Canada and US partnerships between governments and various industry players, including ports, cargo shippers and ship operators, to create a regulatory and investment environment that would enable the industry to achieve its 2050 net zero goals by adopting greener approaches to shipping.

The Government of Ontario has committed to developing a Marine Transportation Strategy with the aim of creating jobs, increasing trade, and reducing congestion. CMC recommended actions to improve the domestic supply chain, including managing water levels to ensure safe navigation on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System, reforming pilotage to account for current technology and increase efficiency, and increasing public investment in port and waterway infrastructure.

Woodfibre LNG releases Roadmap to Net Zero

Woodfibre LNG has released its Roadmap to Net Zero, a tangible plan to achieve net zero emissions by the time operations start in 2027, 23 years ahead of government regulation. This roadmap will see Woodfibre LNG be the first LNG export facility in the world to achieve net zero, and includes commitments to be net zero both through the construction stage of the Project and during operations.

Woodfibre LNG is able to achieve net zero in part because of early stage decisions aligned with the Indigenous-led environmental assessment process conducted by the Squamish Nation, which resulted in the Nation's own environmental assessment agreement related to the Project in 2015. Among these was the commitment for electric compressors using renewable hydroelectricity from BC Hydro, resulting in 14 times fewer emissions than a conventional LNG facility.

65th navigation season opens on St. Lawrence Seaway

On March 22nd the 65th navigation season on the St. Lawrence Seaway kicked off with Transport Canada's Associate Deputy Minister Dominic Rochon, and Christopher Coes, US Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy in attendance. The Captain Henry Jackman, a Seawaymax bulk carrier built in 2021 and the first vessel to pass through St. Lambert lock this season.

Québec invests $9M in intelligent marine corridor

Québec's Deputy Premier and Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility, Geneviève Guilbault, has announced $8.7 million for the development of four intelligent marine transportation system projects. This financial assistance stems from the implementation of the Intelligent Economic Corridor of Avantage Saint-Laurent, Quebec’s maritime vision. $4.8M will go to Montreal Gateway Terminals Partnership (MGT) for its Mercure project. MGT will use artificial intelligence to increase the storage capacity of two terminals it operates at the Port of Montréal.$2.7M is allocated to The CSL Group for the development and implementation of a collaborative learning model to optimize vessel voyages, estimated arrival times and fuel consumption. A $750,000 grant goes to Société de développement économique du Saint-Laurent (SODES) for study on a data-sharing platform for maritime transport organizations and the another $478,220 for the Laurentian Pilotage Authority to support the development and implementation of Phase 3 of its optimized pilotage services project.


MCTS implements new Offshore Reporting Form

The Canadian Coast Guard, Marine Communications & Traffic Services (MCTS) program will be implementing a new reporting mechanism for vessels participating in the Western Canada VTS Offshore Reporting process.  Launch of the new reporting mechanism is anticipated to be during the Spring of 2023 and will represent the initial phase of the Collaborative Voyage Management System (CVMS).  CVMS is being rolled out nationally in a series of phases that, when fully implemented, will provide greater convenience to Clients.

In anticipation of the system launch, clients can now access the most current version of the Western Canada VTS Offshore Report form .xlsx template through the Canadian Coast Guard e-Navigation Portal.  This will ensure consistent data entry in each of the required fields of the report, and expedite the process for vessels to obtain clearance from MCTS.

AAFC releases report on fertilizer emissions reductions

The Government of Canada set a target to reduce fertilizer-related emissions, which led to consultations with the sector to gather feedback on how best to support farmers and producers through voluntary measures moving forward. Over 2,000 submissions were received through the online consultation, technical workshops and town hall meetings between March and October 2022. Farmers, producers, industry associations, provinces and territories, scientists and environmental organizations provided their input. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada analyzed the valuable feedback, and published the Fertilizer Emissions Reduction Target Consultation What We Heard Report. A Fertilizer Working Group is being formed under the Sustainable Agriculture Strategy Advisory Committee.


US West Coast ILWU negotiations showing signs of tension

Negotiations over a new labour contract for US West Coast dockworkers are under increasing strain, as their employers say a failure to spread out lunch breaks has disrupted operations at the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach since Wednesday. The statement is the most visible acknowledgment of a labour disruption since talks began last May, and it comes as cargo volumes have dropped sharply at the Southern California ports from peak levels a year ago.  The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) said the actions are causing “significant delays.” And, because the two sides have been operating without a contract since July 1, “there is no option for PMA to arbitrate the matter and require the union to man the terminals continuously without interruption.”

Port of LA establishes MOUs with Japanese Ports

The Port of Los Angeles has entered into separate Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) with the Port of Tokyo and the Port of Yokohama – to more formally collaborate on sustainability and environmental issues. The agreements were signed by Port of Los Angeles officials during the 2023 California Japan Clean Energy Trade Mission and calls for cooperation and sharing of best practices on environmental and sustainability initiatives, including the digitation of the supply chain to optimize efficiency and reduce port operational impacts.


New FuelEU Maritime regulation

The European Union has backed the world’s first law on green shipping fuels that sets ambitious targets for shipowners to cut greenhouse gas emissions.  Legislators have agreed to a deal that will see the greenhouse gas intensity of fuels cut by as much as 80% by 2050. The regulation puts further pressure on the International Maritime Organization which only has a current goal of cutting annual emissions by at least half by 2050, compared with their level in 2008. Campaigners described the FuelEU Maritime regulation as part of the most ambitious package of green shipping laws ever adopted.

The level of greenhouse gas savings that must be achieved increases every five years: 2% as of 2025, 6% as of 2030, 14.5% as of 2035, 31% as of 2040, 62% as of 2045 and 80% as of 2050. In addition to carbon, the targets cover methane and nitrous oxide emissions

Unlike its aviation counterpart, the law does not specify which fuels must be used in shipping but rather demands that the greenhouse gas intensity of fuels is lowered over time.

Black Sea grain deal extended for 120 days

Ships carrying Black Sea grain can pass through the Bosporus at least until May 18 following the latest agreement. The UN confirmed that the Black Sea Grain Initiative has been cleared, but the length of the extension is unclear. The original deal, brokered by the UN and Turkey, was signed by Ukraine and Russia on July 22, 2022, and was due to expire on March 19.

This new agreement allows designated Ukraine ports to safely export of grain, foodstuffs and fertilizers, including ammonia. Since July, last year, 25m metric tonnes of grain and foodstuffs have been shipped to 45 countries since it began.

ICS registers disappointment after IMO ISWG

The International Chamber of Shipping issued a statement following the conclusion of the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (ISWG-GHG 14).  In the statement, ICS Secretary General Guy Platten expressed his disappointment by the lack of progress on setting new levels of ambition for GHG reductions to provide shipping with a clear net zero target for 2050. But remain optimistic that a deal can still be stuck at the crucial MEPC meeting in July. The IMO was hoping to gather consensus on a zero GHG emissions by 2050 target, raising the ambition to match the Paris 1.5 degree agreement, a range of countries including China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Argentina and Brazil voted against the target.


Mar 27 - AVTM Industry Townhall @ 14:00 

Mar 28 - ISSC Board of Directors Meeting @ 12:00
Mar 29 - WMCC/NANS PACMAR Meeting @ 10:00
Mar 30 - Western Marine Community Coalition Meeting @ 10:00

Apr 6 - COS Operations Committee Meeting @ 12:00

Apr 7 - Good Friday - Office Closed
Apr 10 - Easter Monday - Office Closed 

Apr 12 - Vancouver Grain Exchange Council Meeting @ 14:30 

Apr 12-13 - Canadian Marine Advisory Committee Meetings - Ottawa
Apr 13 - VMAA Board of Directors Meeting @ 13:00 

Apr 18/20 Maritech Conference & Exhibition in Vancouver, BC
Apr 18 - The Plimsoll Club Board Meeting @ 13:00
Apr 18 - CILTNA - Changing Face of the BC Marine Industry @ 16:30
May 4-5 - WESTAC Spring Forum - Winnipeg 

May 11 - The Plimsoll Club Golf Tournament @ Mayfair Lakes 

Jun 2 - The Plimsoll Club Nooner at the Nat @ 11:30
Jun 14 - Vancouver Grain Exchange Golf Tournament @ Northview

Jun 21 - ISSC Day of the Seafarer Peak Challenge @ Grouse Mountain


Ship of the Week

Mar 24 - Three Gorges Hydrogen Ship No.1

China's first service ship powered by a 500-kilowatt hydrogen fuel cell has been put into operation in Zhongshan, Guangdong Province, according to China Three Gorges Corporation on Monday.

The service ship, Three Gorges hydrogen ship No.1, uses homegrown hydrogen fuel cells and a lithium battery system and will be used for transportation, patrol and emergency in the Three Gorges reservoir area.

The ship marks a significant breakthrough for China's new energy shipbuilding, heralding the exploration into applying hydrogen technology to inland vessels.

The vessel's maximum speed reaches 28 kilometers per hour, and it has a maximum cruise range of 200 kilometers. It also makes less noise and is more cost-efficient compared with traditional oil-fueled ships.

The ship has been certified by the China Classification Society, according to Wang Zhen, director of the system integration office at China State Shipbuilding Corporation.

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