COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 10 November 2023

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 10 November 2023

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 10 November 2023

Lest We Forget

On Remembrance Day, we honour the courage and sacrifice of all the men and women who have served our country.  We are proud of the Chamber’s history that supported Canadian war efforts and seafarer welfare during World War II. As we reflect on today, we remember those who lost their lives and those whose lives were changed forever.

West Coast News

Squamish Council approves Woodfibre LNG's development permit

The District of Squamish Council has approved a form and character development permit for some buildings at the Woodfibre LNG (WLNG) facility on Howe Sound. The permit covers approximately five buildings, including the control operations building, warehouse and maintenance building, administration building, storage building, and emergency response building. While the application included renderings of other parts of the facility, the approval focused on these structures. The decision was preceded by a lengthy discussion, with one council member opposing the permit due to concerns about the preliminary nature of the information provided. WLNG may apply for an amendment if there are major changes to these buildings in the future. The approval comes despite ongoing protests against the LNG project.

Nanaimo Port explores expansion to alleviate the Island's supply chain issues

The Nanaimo Port Authority in British Columbia, Canada, is conducting a feasibility study to explore the expansion of the Duke Point Terminal. The expansion aims to strengthen Vancouver Island's supply chain and enhance the flow of essential goods, food, and fuel in the face of climate disasters and disruptions. The study will assess the terminal's capacity expansion, which includes lengthening the Duke Point berth from 170 to 700 metres, doubling the terminal's footprint from 30 to 60 acres, and increasing the deep-sea berth depth from 13.5 to 17.5 metres. The goal is to make supply chains more resilient and diversified. The study is expected to be completed by late 2025.

SAAM Towage new electric tugs pass final sea acceptance trials

SAAM Towage's electric tugs have successfully completed sea trials, a significant step toward reducing their annual greenhouse gas emissions, and an update from last week's article about the tugs undergoing testing. Operated in collaboration with Teck and Neptune Terminals at the Port of Vancouver, prioritize sustainability by utilizing two Li-ion battery banks charged through British Columbia's hydroelectric power grid. These 100 percent electric vessels, boasting a 70 metric ton maximum bollard pull, aim to revolutionize the tug industry. SAAM Towage's Managing Director, Hernán Gómez, emphasized the importance of this milestone in advancing the company's sustainability goals. Operating over 20 tugs in B.C, SAAM Towage is a key player in the Americas' towage services, facilitating numerous maneuvers annually.

Westwood Shipping Lines welcomes new Director of Operations

Jackson Dsouza joined Westwood Shipping Lines as Director of Operations, Canada. Most recently, with Transport Canada Marine Safety and Security, Jackson brings diverse his private and public sector marine industry experience. He is a certified and experienced Chief Engineer on ships trading worldwide. His educational background includes an Executive Masters degree in business and holds a degree in engineering focusing on marine and naval architecture.  Jackson started his career onboard with American Eagle Tankers. He moved to Scorpio Group ashore in 2014 and has since been overseeing operational activities.

Canadian News

Bill C-58 introduces ban on replacement workers under Labour Code

Labour Minister Seamus O'Regan tabled new labour legislation Thursday proposing a ban on replacement workers, a commitment under the terms of the minority Liberals' confidence-and-supply deal with the NDP.  Bill C-58, entitled "An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code and the Canada Industrial Relations Board Regulations, 2012" seeks to ban the use of replacement workers when a union employer in a federally-regulated industry has locked out employees or is in the midst of a strike. The backgrounder outlines the amendments which include preventing employers from using employees and managers hired after notice to bargain is given to do the work of striking or locked out workers. Contractors, regardless of when they were hired, would also be prohibited from doing the work of striking or locked out employees. The minister is also framing the move as "the biggest thing to happen to collective bargaining in Canada, in decades." According to the federal government, about 22,350 employers and and just over one million employees operate in the federally regulated private sector. About 34 per cent of those employees are unionized.

Supply Chain Regulatory Review

On November 7, 2023, the Treasury Board Secretariat launched an online consultation through the Let’s Talk Federal Regulations platform to support the Supply Chain Regulatory Review. This review is being undertaken as part of the Government of Canada’s third round of Targeted Regulatory Reviews and will examine regulations and regulatory practices to identify opportunities to support efficient and effective supply chains.  The consultation aims to gather feedback on three themes - critical minerals, transportation and border operations. Although targeted input is being sought, interested organizations and individuals can also submit broader comments on relevant regulations and regulatory practices.  The consultation will be open until January 15, 2024. For more details and to provide input, refer to the Supply Chain Regulatory Review consultation.

Transport Canada announces new database for transportation of dangerous goods

Transport Canada announced the launch of new registration requirements and a Client Identification Database to prioritize public safety during the handling and transportation of dangerous goods.  The government will gather more comprehensive and up-to-date information about those involved in dangerous goods transportation. These regulations, effective immediately, mandate that relevant individuals and organizations must regularly update information about the dangerous goods they import, offer for transport, handle, or transport, as well as details about the relevant sites. The newly established Client Identification Database serves as an online platform for registration. Non-compliance may result in penalties, including potential criminal prosecution for severe or repeated violations, once the database has been operational for one year. Inyterested parties are encouraged to check whether registration is required and complete the registration process  here if needed by October 6, 2024.

International News

Logjam in Panama Canal forces shipowners to pay high fees

A logjam at the Panama Canal, caused by a drought and low water levels, is forcing shipowners to consider paying exorbitant fees to secure a crossing or diverting their vessels around South America. Japan's Eneos Group reportedly paid $3.98 million in an auction to secure a canal crossing for its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanker. Another shipowner, Pyxis Pioneer, is said to have diverted its tanker around South America, adding about a month to its journey. The congestion is disrupting trade between the US and Asia, with the canal authority setting increasingly drastic restrictions due to the depleted waterway.

Investigation determines shipboard fire caused by charging Lithium-Ion batteries

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is warning crews about the dangers of unsupervised charging of lithium-ion batteries following an investigation into a fire on the oil tanker, S Trust. The fire, which occurred while the vessel was docked in Louisiana, was attributed to a lithium-ion battery-powered radio left in a charger on the unattended bridge. The explosion of the battery caused a fire that destroyed the navigation, communication, and alarm systems on the bridge. The NTSB recommends avoiding unsupervised charging of such batteries, keeping batteries and chargers away from heat sources, and disposing of damaged batteries properly.

Biden administration awards $653 million in grants to upgrade ports

The U.S. Transportation Department has allocated $653 million USD in grants to enhance 41 water-based ports nationwide, as part of the $1 trillion infrastructure investment under a bipartisan law signed by President Biden in 2021. These grants will improve port infrastructure, enabling them to meet increased shipping demands, reduce costs for consumers, and enhance worker safety. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg highlighted the necessity of fortifying supply chains post-pandemic, addressing challenges that led to price hikes. Notable allocations include $43.4 million for dock replacement in Cold Bay, Alaska, $52.6 million for upgrades at the Port of Long Beach, California, and $32 million for berth reconstruction at the Port of Newark, New Jersey. Buttigieg emphasized the grants as a significant step in strengthening resilient supply chains.

Oldendorff and MIT joint study enlightens future path for biofuel stability and degradation

Oldendorff Carriers collaborated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to study the long-term stability of a B20 advanced biofuel blend used on one of their vessels. The study observed microbial contamination, oxidative degradation, and the impact of various storage conditions over a year. It concluded that biocide addition is recommended to preserve biofuel blends, and antioxidants should be added for long-term onboard storage. No sediment formation was observed, and the impact of storage temperature on degradation remains uncertain. The study's findings were presented at an AIChE meeting in November 2023, and will assist the maritime community in managing biofuel blends for extended periods.

Maersk cuts 10,000 jobs as shipping demand falls

AP Moller-Maersk announced a reduction of 3,500 jobs due to decreased demand and lower freight rates, following a previous cut of 6,500 positions earlier this year. The company's profits plummeted by 92 percent in the latest quarterly results, attributing the need for more layoffs to worsening sea shipping prices. Despite initially experiencing a surge in demand during the COVID-19 recovery, issues such as congestion at UK ports and a shortage of shipping containers in Asia drove up inflation. Maersk expects the job cuts to save £600 million next year, reducing its global workforce to below 100,000. The company cautioned that geopolitical tensions, a slowing global economy, and financial risks could hinder any anticipated improvements in the coming months and in 2024. Following these developments, Maersk's shares dropped by 11.1 percent last week.



Nov 13 - Office Closed - Remembrance Day
Nov 14 - 15 - National Canadian Marine Advisory Council Meetings, Ottawa

Nov 16 - ICS Dry Bulk and Commodities Conference, Vancouver

Nov 29 - WMCC / NANS PACMAR Meeting @ 1000

Nov 30 - COS Operations Committee Meeting @ 1200

Nov 30 - VMAA Lunch: Interaction between Maritime Arbitrators & EU Law

Dec 5 - Webinar: Update on Federal Environmental Initiatives @ 0900-1200 

Dec 7 - Vancouver Grain Exchange Holiday Lunch @ 1200,  Terminal City Club

Dec 7 - The Plimsoll Club Ugly Sweater Party @ 1630 Cold Tea Room, Vancouver

Dec 8 - COS Liner Committee Meeting @ 1200




Ship of the Week

10 November - M/V Sohar Max

Vale, the Brazilian mining company, has partnered with Omani shipowner Asyad to install rotor sails, a wind propulsion technology developed by Anemoi, on M/V Sohar Max, a Valemax ore carrier. The adaptation will be completed in the second quarter of 2024, with trials commencing after that. The five cylindrical rotors on the Sohar Max will be around 35 meters high and 5 meters in diameter and will enhance energy efficiency by up to 6% and reduce CO2 equivalent emissions by up to 3,000 tons per ship per year. This initiative is part of the Ecoshipping program aimed at reducing carbon emissions in maritime transportation, aligning with the International Maritime Organization's goals.