COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 14 July, 2023

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 14 July, 2023

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 14 July, 2023

Local News

Port activities resume after labour dispute

Yesterday at 10:20 am, the BC Maritime Employers Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union reached a tentative agreement after intervention by the Minister of Labour and the mediator on Wednesday, July 12th.  The deal included a four-year deal with no other further details with respect to increases, jurisdiction and retirement allowances released.  The union leaders are expected to share information on the timelines for its members to review the terms and vote on the agreement that is expected to be retroactive from April 1, 2023.  The announcement of the deal saw the pickets removed almost immediately after and vessel operations resumed at 4:30 pm yesterday.  The port authorities are managing the resumption of services, particularly at the container and auto terminals as recovery is expected to take several weeks with the backlog of vessels held offshore.

Kitimat LNG workers' lodging staff vote to strike

Employees at the Cedar Valley Lodge in Kitimat, B.C., housing workers for LNG Canada's construction project, have voted in favour of a potential strike. The lodge workers, employed by Sodexo, claim to be the lowest paid among those working on the project and did not receive a wage increase given to others. The strike, if it happens, could disrupt the $40-billion LNG export facility. LNG Canada is not directly involved in the negotiations but hopes for a resolution.

Kotug Canada's two Methanol fueled tugs to aid TMX towage operations

Kotug Canada has chosen Sanmar Shipyards to build two dual-fuel methanol-powered escort tugs for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project in Canada. The tugs, designed by Robert Allan Ltd., will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and underwater noise. They will be the world's first large purpose-built high bollard pull methanol-fueled tugs and are set to enter service in 2025. The project involves a partnership with the Sc'ianew First Nation and aims to provide sustainable towage services. The tugs will have advanced features, including cross-link systems, shaft generators, and graphene-coated hulls, reducing fuel consumption and environmental impact. They will also be equipped with firefighting equipment, spill response capabilities, and customized escort systems. The project prioritizes crew comfort and minimizes noise and vibration.

Floating LNG project off B.C. coast enters crucial phase

Samsung Heavy Industries and Black & Veatch have been awarded a contract to develop the Ksi Lisims LNG project off the coast of British Columbia. The project, supported by Western LNG, the Nisga’a Nation indigenous group, and Rockies LNG, aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions. The companies will conduct front-end engineering and design (FEED) work for the project, which is expected to produce and export 12 million tonnes per annum of LNG with one of the world's lowest unit carbon emissions rates. Ksi Lisims LNG will be connected to B.C's renewable hydroelectric grid and incorporate design features that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90% compared to conventional LNG facilities. The project plans to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030, utilizing offsets. Commercial operations are projected to commence in 2028, and the land-based facilities will be located on Nisga'a Nation-controlled land. The project is seen as a significant opportunity for economic prosperity and a positive future for the Nisga'a Nation.

Nutrien cuts down production due to ILWU Canada strike action

Nutrien Ltd,  the world’s largest provider of crop inputs and services has curtailed its Cory potash mine, due to the loss of export capacity through Canpotex's Neptune terminal, resulting from the ILWU strike. As a consequence of the ILWU strike, along with the  the Portland terminal outage and lower global potash prices, Nutrien anticipates that its full-year 2023 Potash adjusted EBITDA will fall below the lower end of its previous guidance range. The disruption at the Port of Vancouver has not only led to the production curtailment at the Cory potash mine but could potentially affect production at Nutrien's other potash mines in Saskatchewan if the situation persists.

Tidewater Canada reaches 4-year tentative collective agreement with Canadian Merchant Service Guild

Tidewater Canada has successfully reached a four-year tentative collective agreement with the Canadian Merchant Service Guild (CMSG) following productive negotiations. This agreement signifies the company's commitment to creating a positive work environment for all employees. Both parties demonstrated resilience and professionalism throughout the negotiation process, aiming to find common ground and benefit both employees and Tidewater in the competitive maritime market. The agreement acknowledges the unique challenges and opportunities in the industry and emphasizes fair compensation and working conditions. The agreement is still tentative and awaits final ratification by the CMSG. Upon approval, Tidewater Chanada will swiftly implement the agreed-upon terms.

Postal stamps honouring Canadian ferries released by Canada Post

Canada Post has released a set of five new stamps showcasing ferry transportation in Canada. The stamps pay tribute to the country's marine heritage and highlight the significant role of ferries in regional transit systems and the tourism industry. Each stamp features a different ferry operating in Canadian waters, representing various regions of the country. The featured ferries are Spirit of British Columbia, Chi-Cheemaun, Trillium, Alphonse-Desjardins, and Grand Manan V. The stamps showcase the unique characteristics and scenic beauty of these ferries in their respective locations. The stamps and related collectables are available for purchase through Canada Post's website and postal outlets.

Melford Terminals project secures fresh funding from SSA Marine

A $350 million container terminal project on the Strait of Canso received a boost through a partnership with SSA Marine and Cyprus Capital Partners. The terminal would be the closest North American port for ships from Europe and Asia, accommodating large container vessels for shipment across the East Coast of Canada and the U.S. SSA Marine stepped in as the operating partner after Maher Terminals exited the project. The terminal's construction is well-prepared, with land acquisition and permits secured. Private funds have been invested, and no public funds have been used. The next step is to secure a carrier commitment for cargo services, and the partnership with SSA Marine gives access to the relationships with leading steamship lines.

John Arthur Myers (1944 - 2023)

We are sad to share that John Arthur Myers, born May 11, 1944, passed away on June 29, 2023. Most will remember John as an active member of the marine community in his position as Manager of Vancouver Operations at Sultran Ltd.  John was a founding member of the Western Marine Community Coalition and a long-standing member of the Chamber of Shipping. He is survived by his wife, children, step-children, sister, grandchildren, and other family members. A celebration of his life will be held on July 22nd from 1 pm - 3 pm at the Arbutus Room in the Delbrook Rec Centre, 851 Queens Road, North Vancouver. The family has requested donations to Diabetes Canada in lieu of flowers, in his memory.

Government Updates

Budget Implementation Act to support modernization of marine protection and safety as part of the OPP

Transport Canada has implemented new laws to protect its oceans and strengthen marine safety. The changes include faster access to emergency services, improved response to marine pollution involving Noxious Liquid Substances (NLS), addressing abandoned boats, and providing better compensation for affected communities. These amendments aim to enhance marine safety, enforce navigation rules, and promote environmental protection. The legislative changes are a result of collaboration with Indigenous Nations, stakeholders, and Canadians and are part of the Oceans Protection Plan, which aims to protect the environment, support the economy, and advance reconciliation efforts.

New regulations for enhanced safety and enforcement in Canada's marine transportation system

The Government of Canada has introduced new regulations under the Canada Marine Act to enforce safety in the marine transportation system. These regulations allow enforcement officers to issue fines for violations of the Act and its associated regulations. The fines serve as a flexible enforcement tool to motivate compliance and deter rule-breaking. The penalty amounts range up to $5,000 for individuals and $25,000 for corporations or vessels. The government's priority is the safety of Canadians, and these regulations aim to encourage compliance, correct violations, and prevent future incidents in the marine industry.

US News

Bunker contamination in U.S. Gulf leads to 11 vessels losing maneuverability

Leading fuel testing services provider VPS has identified a new marine fuel contamination issue in Houston, reminiscent of incidents in 2018. VPS found high levels of Dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) and associated isomers in Very low Sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) bunker fuel deliveries in Houston. Eleven vessels using this fuel have reported a loss of power and propulsion at sea. The contamination was traced back to a single supplier's deliveries made between March and May 2023. The issue arose after the fuel was combusted weeks after bunkering, resulting in fuel leakage in the injection control unit and fuel pump failures. Auxiliary engines were also affected. The contaminated fuel caused problems with fuel pumps, injectors, and purification systems. The vessels experienced restricted manoeuvrability and had to switch to low-sulfur marine gas oil for safe arrival at port. The DCPD compounds detected ranged from 3,000 to 7,000 ppm. VPS had previously warned some vessels of potential DCPD contamination through its Chemical Screening service.

International News

Evergreen's order for 24 Methanol fuelled vessels confirmed

Taiwan's Evergreen Marine confirmed orders worth up to $5 billion for 24 methanol-enabled, dual-fuel 16,000-TEU container ships. The orders have been divided between South Korean and Japanese shipyards. With this capacity expansion, Evergreen will surpass Hapag-Lloyd and become the world's fifth-largest container line, with a fleet totalling more than 2 million TEU. South Korea's Samsung Heavy Industries will build 16 vessels valued at up to $3.4 billion, while Japan's Nihon Shipyard Company will construct eight ships worth up to nearly $1.7 billion. The delivery dates for these vessels have not been specified, but they are expected to join Evergreen's fleet from 2026 onwards. The order contributes to the increasing backlog of methanol-powered container ships, which currently account for approximately 12% of vessels on order. Other companies, such as Maersk and Greek shipowner Danaos Shipping, have also placed orders for methanol-fuelled container ships recently.

Putin agrees to extend Black Sea grain deal

Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to extend the Black Sea grain deal, according to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The deal allows export of Ukrainian grain, is set to expire, and Putin had previously threatened not to renew it due to obstacles to Russia's own exports. Erdogan spoke with Putin and they agreed on the extension of the Black Sea grain corridor. The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, also sent a letter to Putin in support of removing hurdles to Russia's fertilizer exports, which Moscow has criticized.

Cargo owners proactively exploring zero-emission shipping by 2025

The Zero Emission Maritime Buyers Alliance (ZEMBA) plans to launch a request for proposal (RFP) in September 2023 for zero-emission shipping services to be delivered by 2025. ZEMBA, co-founded by the Aspen Institute, Amazon, Patagonia, and Tchibo, will accelerate the deployment of zero-emission shipping and reduce maritime emissions. The RFP will seek proposals for container shipping services that achieve a minimum 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional petroleum-based shipping. ZEMBA members, including major companies like IKEA and Michelin, will commit a portion of their shipping demand to zero-emission services. The aggregated demand is expected to be over 200,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). ZEMBA encourages stakeholders in the shipping industry, such as shipping lines, fuel producers, and ports, to respond to customer demand and support the transition to a zero-emission shipping economy.

‍Ship of the Week

June 14 - HaiSea Wamis

The HaiSea Wamis is Canada's inaugural fully electric harbour tugboat, which has recently made its way to North Vancouver. This vessel marks a significant milestone as it joins the fleet of HaiSea Marine as it arrived in British Columbia. The electric tugboat, known as ElectRA 2800SX, boasts impressive dimensions, measuring 28.40 meters in length, 13 meters in beam, and 5.60 meters in depth. It is equipped with a Corvus battery installation system producing 5288 kWh, and is the third largest on any vessel (including cruise ships) to date, enabling it to achieve a bollard pull of 70 tonnes. One advantage of its location in Kitimat is the availability of abundant hydroelectric power, which allows the harbour tugs to recharge their batteries at dedicated shore charging facilities while docked between jobs.


Jul 26 - Vancouver Maritime Museum - Night at the Speakeasy @19:00

Aug 24 - Plimsoll Club Summer Social, Cold Team Room, Vancouver @ 16:30

Aug 26 - 16th Annual Cycle for Seafarers 

Sept 11-13 - Ports Canda Conference - Trois-Rivieres, QC

Sept 27 & 28 - Shipping 360 Conference and COS Centennial Gala