COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 21 July, 2023

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 21 July, 2023

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 21 July, 2023

Member spotlight

Westridge Marine Terminal welcomes first ship at new berth

Earlier this month, Trans Mountain reached a significant milestone welcoming the first ship to its newest berth at Westridge Marine Terminal, which is part of the facility's redesign for its expansion project.  On July 13th, M/T Pacific Garnet called at berth 1 for loading and departed July 15th for California.

All existing crude and jet fuel operations will now take place at berth 1 and the old dock has been taken out of service. Berths 2 and 3 are expected to be commissioned later this year and the expanded twinned pipeline should be in service early 2024.

Trans Mountain has been safely loading vessels at the facility for nearly 70 years, with the first ever offshore tanker shipment bound for California in December 1955.

Local News 

ILWU to hold ratification vote on Terms of Settlement

Today the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada (LWU) Longshore Caucus approved and agreed to recommend to their membership the Terms of Settlement proposed by the senior federal mediator and ratified by the BC Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) on July 13. A stop-work meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 25 0800 shifts for all locals and the vote is expected to take place later in the week.

On Tuesday evening picketing had resumed until the next morning when the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) ruled the strike illegal on the basis that the ILWU failed to provide a 72-hour strike notice. Subsequently, a strike notice was then formally issued and then revoked, causing a great deal of confusion and uncertainty.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau convened a meeting of the Incident Response Group on Wednesday and urged its members to "pursue all available options to ensure the stability of our supply chains and to protect Canadian jobs and our economy."

Scholarship program launched as a tribute to Capt. Kevin Obermeyer

The Pacific Pilotage (PPA) announced the establishment of the Captain Kevin Obermeyer scholarship as a tribute to his commitment to the marine industry during his 23-year tenure. Dhaval Shah, Associate Dean of the BCIT marine campus, announced the scholarship during the Change of Leadership Ceremony on June 15, which will recognize Obermeyer's commitment and contributions to diversity initiatives and nurturing the future generation of mariners.   The ceremony also celebrated the leadership transition of PPA's new CEO, Julie Gascon.

These scholarships, totalling $15,000 in annual funds, will honour student entrance awards for the Bridge Watch Rating Program and will encourage inclusivity and diversity within the marine industry by prioritizing students from traditionally under-represented backgrounds.

VFPA's new Connect+ program promotes collaboration and supply chain resiliency

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) has launched Connect+, a program aimed at integrating various supply chain digitalization projects at the Port of Vancouver. Its goal is to improve efficiency, capacity, and collaboration within the supply chains essential for Canada's trade through the port. The program includes existing initiatives such as the Supply Chain Visibility program, Active Vessel Traffic Management, Container truck reporting programs, and Container Visibility System program.

The VFPA will continuously update the programs with new tools and data reporting. The focus is on using existing infrastructure effectively and promoting environmental sustainability.

Safe Passage Project aims to accelerate industry decarbonization

The Safe Passage project, funded by the British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, aims to accelerate decarbonization in the shipping industry. Shipping is a significant contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, and the project will explore zero- and low-carbon energy sources and market demand for alternative fuels in both ocean-going and land-based shipping. The research findings will be used to inform policy and regulatory recommendations at the provincial and federal levels. The project aims to contribute to the global discussion on the future of sustainable shipping and create a technology roadmap. Reducing shipping emissions will have multiple benefits for British Columbia, including improved air quality in port communities and increased investment in low-carbon energy systems. While Canada currently lacks green shipping corridors, efforts are underway to establish such corridors in the Pacific Northwest and the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Seaway System. The Vancouver Maritime Centre for Climate (VMCC) is the project partner, focused on advancing the concept of green corridors in British Columbia.

Another milestone for LNG Canada

With the arrival of its 215th module by ship from its fabrication yard in Zhuhai, China, Fluor Corporation announced that it has completed the module fabrication program on the LNG Canada project in Kitimat. British Columbia, Canada. This significant milestone marks the completion of a critical phase in the construction of a large terminal for the liquefication, storage and loading of liquified natural gas (LNG) for export to global markets.

In the International Gas Union’s annual LNG report, released last week, is states that Canada has the planet’s second-largest pipeline of LNG projects at the “pre-final investment decision” phase. One-quarter of all new liquefaction capacity on the drawing board is in Canada. If all these projects were built, Canada would be exporting three times as much LNG as last year’s largest exporting country, Australia, where 81.4 million tonnes of LNG exports were worth $83.4-billion in 2022. Phase 1 of LNG Canada is expected to be ready in 2025 and report 14 million tonnes of LNG annually.

VIFC Hullo Ferries have arrived

Hullo's two new high-speed passenger ferries, sthuqi' (sta – key) and spuhéls (spah – els), recently arrived home at the Nanaimo Port Authority's Assembly Wharf.  The vessels and crew spent the past few weeks in Victoria's Point Hope shipyard where they underwent sea trials, vessel familiarization, training drills and Transport Canada certifications. The Hullo crew will utilize the remaining weeks leading up to launch to conduct additional personnel training, sailing the route between Downtown Vancouver and Nanaimo. Initial sailing schedules are now available online and bookings will open early next week for sailings beginning August 14th.

Maurice Fellis (1932 - 2023)

On July 19, 2023, we learned Maurice Fellis passed away peacefully at the North Shore Hospice earlier that morning after a courageous battle with cancer. Maurice held several executive positions at Westward Shipping Ltd. from 1956 until 1994 when he retired as Chairman. He was a staunch supporter of the shipping industry and chaired the boards of the Chamber of Shipping, Pacific Pilotage Authority, BC Maritime Employers Association and Vancouver Merchants' Exchange.  He was a recipient of the Award of Excellence from the National Transportation BC Division.   A celebration of life will take place at a date yet to be determined. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donating to the Lions Gate Hospital Foundation, BC Cancer Foundation, Mission to Seafarers or the charity of your choice. Our condolences to Marc and family.


TSB Q1 Report and Update

In Q1 2023, the Transportation Safety Board has deployed to 13 occurrence sites across the country, including a marine occurrence involving the Canadian-flagged vessel Polar Prince and the submersible Titan (M23A0169).  15 new investigations were started and four investigation reports released.  TSB has also released its annual assessment of responses to 62 outstanding safety recommendations, to ensure progress is being made. Of the 626 recommendations issued since the TSB was created in 1990, the Board has assessed the responses to 83.5% of them as being Fully Satisfactory. At 31 March 2023, 87 recommendations remain outstanding.

Kathy Fox has been re-appointed as Chair of the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) for another year while the search for a successor continues.


Update on Clean Shipping Act 2023

The Clean Shipping Act of 2023 (HR 4024) introduced on June 12, 2023 has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.  The bill seeks to amend the Clean Air Act to establish standards to limit the carbon intensity standards for marine fuels that would become more stringent over time. The baseline is defined as the average carbon intensity of the fuel used by certain vessels and voyages.  These requirements would be implemented through an EPA regulatory project with a final rule required by January 1, 2026. No additional action via the House Committee has been scheduled yet.

In addition, the International Maritime Pollution Accountability Act (S 1920) introduced on June 8, 2023 would impose a pollution fee of $150 per ton of carbon emissions from fuel used on the inbound transit of vessels calling at US ports.  Additional fees would apply for nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide and particulate matter.  Revenues would be earmarked to modernize the US Jones Act fleet and electrifying shipbuilding and other programs to reduce emissions from marine sources. This bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.


Greek ship operator to add two Liquified Carbon Dioxide carriers to operations

HD Hyundai Korea Shipbuilding has won a $141 million contract to build two 22,000-cubic-meter liquefied carbon dioxide (LCO2) carriers for Greek operator Capital Maritime Group. The ships will be delivered in 2025 and can also transport other liquefied gases. They will have "ammonia-ready" engines for potential future use. The demand for LCO2 carriers is increasing due to the growing global carbon capture and storage market. Both companies are optimistic about their future prospects in this sector.

Green Methanol as marine fuel is gaining momentum

The adoption of green methanol as a marine fuel is gaining momentum. Rose Cay Maritime has partnered with Carbon Sink to increase the production, transportation, and bunkering of green methanol tailored for the shipping sector. This signals volume production of green methanol is underway, and specialized bunkering vessels are not required. A.P. Moller-Maersk has also signed agreements for green methanol supply, with their first vessel fuelled with green methanol completing its maiden voyage. The progress in green methanol adoption represents a significant milestone in achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the shipping industry.

New inspection and repair criteria to address pest contamination

The international supply chain handles 250 million containers yearly and requires proper maintenance. To address the issue of pest contamination, the Unified Container Inspection & Repair Criteria (UCIRC) has been updated by the Bureau International des Containers (BIC), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and the World Shipping Council (WSC). The revised UCIRC now includes inspection criteria for pest contamination at container depots and other handover facilities. It emphasizes the importance of removing visible pests before dispatching containers and aligns with guidelines for preventing pest contamination. The responsibility for the safety of the supply chain lies with all involved parties.

Russia disrupts Black Sea grain deal

Russia has officially withdrawn from a United Nations-backed deal that allowed Ukrainian grain exports across the Black Sea. The deal, brokered by the UN and Turkey in July of the previous year, had been extended multiple times. However, Russia complained about obstacles to its grain and fertilizer exports and stated that its demands were unmet. Russia's press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said they would consider returning to the deal once their conditions were fulfilled. Moscow had already informed Ukraine, Turkey, and the UN of its opposition to extending the grain deal. The decision to withdraw was not linked to a recent attack on the bridge between Russia and Crimea, which Russia termed a "terrorist act" and blamed on Ukraine. The last bulk carrier under the deal departed from Ukraine's Black Sea port of Odesa to the Netherlands. The initiative facilitated the export of nearly 33 million tonnes of food commodities from Ukraine.

SAAM Towage receives tug owner of the year award

SAAM Towage, a leading towage service provider in Latin America and western Canada, has received the ITS Tug Owner of the Year Award for its focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and investing in low-emissions tugs. The company plans to expand its fleet with fully electric propulsion tugs and aims to become a leader in sustainable towage. SAAM Towage has offset its emissions in Honduras and Colombia through green investments and clean energy projects. The company is committed to sustainability and providing environmentally friendly solutions for its clients.

Pro-decarbonization shipbrokering firm launches in Hong Kong and London

Futureships, an independent ship brokerage firm, has been founded to tackle challenges and seek opportunities in the global commercial shipping industry. The company's primary focus is providing commercial shipping services in the decarbonization space, with a specialization in the dry bulk sector. Led by Ross Fothergill, an industry veteran with extensive experience, Futureships aims to collaborate with stakeholders to achieve decarbonization goals. The company offers chartering services for high-performing vessels, including retrofits and innovative designs using alternative fuels. With headquarters in Hong Kong and London, Futerships aspires to become a leading specialist in ship brokerage services for decarbonization.

 Ship of the Week 

July 21 - M/T Pacific Garnet

On July 13th,  the M/T Pacific Garnet was the first ship to call at Westridge Marine Terminal's new berth 1 in Burnaby.  This crude oil tanker was built in 2021 and is sailing under the flag of Marshall Islands. The carrying capacity is 113306 t DWT, the current draught is reported at 12.2 metres. The tanker's length overall is 249.89 meters and width is 44 metres.


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