COS Weekly News - Friday, 17 November 2023

COS Weekly News - Friday, 17 November 2023

‍‍COS Weekly News - Friday, 17 November 2023

In this week's news

‍Local News

Teck Resources agrees to sell its steelmaking coal operations

Vancouver-based Teck Resources has agreed to sell a 77% stake in its steelmaking coal business to Swiss commodities giant Glencore for $6.9 billion. Japanese company Nippon Steel will acquire a 20% stake in exchange for its interest in one of Teck's coal operations and $1.7 billion in cash, while South Korean steelmaker Posco will swap its interest in a pair of Teck's coal operations for a 3% stake in the overall steelmaking coal operations. The deals value Teck’s steelmaking coal operations at $9 billion, and the move allows Teck to focus on expanding its copper and zinc production. The deal, however, will be reviewed under the Investment Canada Act (ICA), which monitors investments made by non-Canadians to assess the net benefit to this country’s economy.Top of Form

Cedar LNG secures shipyard capacity at Samsung Heavy Industries

The Haisla Nation and Pembina Pipeline, partners in the development of the proposed Cedar floating LNG export project in Canada, have signed heads of agreement (HoA) with shipbuilding company Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) and LNG infrastructure solutions company Black & Veatch to secure access to shipyard capacity for the project. The HoA provides Cedar LNG with secure access to shipyard capacity for its target commercial operations date. The parties also expect to finalize an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) agreement in December 2023. Cedar LNG aims to make the final investment decision (FID) by the end of 2023, although it may move into early 2024 due to the complexity of aligning multiple work streams for project financing. The floating LNG facility is planned to be located in Kitimat with a capacity to export three million tons per year of LNG.

Exclusive deal jeopardizes Trigon's LPG plans

The Prince Rupert Port Authority has stated that Trigon does not have permission to expand its permitted uses beyond its current scope of business as the Port has provided time-limited exclusive rights for the export of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) to the Ridley Island Energy Export Facility (REEF), a joint venture between Vopak and AltaGas. The Port's decision was intended "to provide the required to advance large capital projects through long development periods, secure investment in vital trade infrastructure, and fulfill PRPA’s mandate.” (correction to earlier version)

GCT signs onto Canada's Net Zero Challenge

This week, GCT Global Container Terminals (GCT) formally signed onto the federal government’s Net Zero Challenge. Following the recommendations and actions set out in the Government of Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, GCT will build on the investments we have already made to reduce emissions by expanding the light-duty fleet electrification through the introduction of three electric vehicles, including a 19-passenger minibus, a delivery vehicle, and a security truck; adding 6 new electric ship-to-shore cranes; installing LED lighting; and investing in low-emission container handling equipment. In addition to decarbonizing our on-site operations, GCT is also dedicated to supporting the federal government’s work with the other signatories of the Clydebank Declaration, as we all work towards establishing green shipping corridors that will accelerate broader decarbonization of the shipping sector and its fuel supply.

St. Lawrence Seaway's winter closing date extended

The St. Lawrence Seaway has announced an extended closing date for the 2023 navigation season. The Montreal-Lake Ontario section is projected to close on January 5, 2024, and the Welland Canal section on January 7, 2024. This extension is aimed at compensating for the impact of an eight-day strike in October that disrupted traffic and prevented over 100 vessels from transiting the seaway. The longer season provides an opportunity for shipping lines to potentially add an extra trip to their sailing schedules. The extended closing date aims to help recover lost time and support the economy affected by the disruption.

Soy Transportation Coalition's agricultural hub investment to boost exports via St. Lawrence Seaway

The Soy Transportation Coalition has provided $200,000 to help fund Phase II of the DeLong Company’s Agriculture Maritime Export Facility in Port Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The grant will contribute to the construction of two-grain storage silos and additional handling equipment. Once completed, Phase II is expected to facilitate the export of an additional 120,000 tonnes of soybeans, with the potential for soybean meal exports in the future. The investment aims to enhance US soybean and soy product exports and contribute to the development of the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway system as a key supply chain option for agricultural exports. Amidst current supply chain challenges in U.S. agriculture, including low water levels on the Mississippi River and drought conditions at the Panama Canal, the coalition emphasizes the need for alternative supply chain options for farmers. Although the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway handles a modest share of U.S. soybean exports compared to other regions, it holds the potential to play a more significant role in connecting soybean farmers globally.

Port of Halifax welcomes two new mega ship-to-shore gantry cranes

PSA Halifax has received two new mega Ship-to-Shore (STS) cranes for its Atlantic Hub terminal in the port. These ultra-large cranes, which will be operational in January 2024 after commissioning and testing, will enhance PSA Halifax's capacity to handle the largest container vessels on the North American East Coast. The new equipment will contribute to increasing the terminal's capacity from 1.1 million to 1.4 million TEU by the end of 2024, providing higher vessel productivity and faster turnaround times for mega vessels.

Great Lakes to have access to Biodiesel marine fuel

Michigan-based Warner Petroleum is making strides toward promoting biodiesel as a sustainable maritime shipping fuel. The company supplies fuel to various vessels operating on the Great Lakes, and it sees the adoption of biodiesel as an opportunity to meet environmental standards and reduce emissions from shipping activities. Warner Petroleum started offering B10 and B20 biodiesel blends to Lake Michigan customers in 2022 and expanded to offer B20 to maritime customers in the Detroit and Dearborn areas in 2023. The company expects about 25% of its fuel sales during the current shipping season to include biodiesel blends.

Richard Smith retires from Certispec after 25 years

Richard Smith is set to retire from Certispec this year after more than 25 years of dedicated service. A prominent figure in the Vancouver marine industry, he has actively contributed to the sector through his involvement with non-profits and charities such as the Marine Surveyors Association of BC, the Nautical Professional Education Society of Canada, and the International Sailors Society of Canada. Throughout his tenure at Certispec, Richard has played a pivotal role in spearheading various new initiatives within the port, leaving a lasting impact on the industry.

‍Government News

CBSA intercepts 72 stolen vehicles from export through Port of Montreal

The Canada Border Service Agency, together with the Montreal police, intercepted 72 stolen vehicles before they were exported from the Port of Montreal in a sting operation on November 13th.  Équité Association, an organization specializing in the reduction and prevention of insurance crimes, and the Montréal Port Authority also participated in the operation. Fifty-four of the vehicles came from Ontario and 18 were from Quebec. In all, the vehicles are estimated to be worth $5.6 million and CBSA believes they were about to be sold abroad. Since the beginning of 2023 and until November 13, the CBSA has intercepted in Montréal 1,038 vehicles stolen for export. An average of 24 stolen vehicles have been intercepted and returned to the Montreal police each week since January 1, 2023.

‍International News

EU votes to increase enforcement on illegal discharges from ships

On Thursday, Transport and Tourism Committee voted to update EU rules on preventing pollution from ships in European seas and ensuring perpetrators face fines. It would ensure all international standards on preventing illegal discharges from ships, developed by the International Maritime Organization, become part of EU law and as a result become more easily enforceable. The revision of the directive on ship-source pollution is a part of the Maritime safety package presented by the Commission in June 2023. The package aims to modernize and reinforce EU maritime rules on safety and pollution prevention with administrative fines for ship-source pollution, while criminal sanctions are to be addressed in separate legislation being negotiated with EU governments.

COSCO and Varamar pen strategic commercial partnership

ASL Shipping & Logistics, a subsidiary of China’s Cosco Shipping Specialized Carriers, has entered into a strategic partnership with Varamar Shipping, aiming to target breakbulk and semi-liner trades globally. Cosco-ASL is more active in the 30,000 to 80,000 deadweight tonnage (dwt) segment, while Varamar is focused on the 4,000 to 30,000 dwt range. The partnership aims to broaden the scope of their current operations, both geographically and in terms of vessel size. Under the strategic partnership, the companies will promote each other’s schedules and cooperate on joint marketing activities.

Australian ports gradually coming online post recent cyber attack

DP World's Australian ports in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Fremantle are moderately resuming operations after a cyber-attack on Friday disrupted IT systems. While DP World reports "significant progress" in reinstating freight operations, there's a backlog of tens of thousands of containers, and the disruption could persist. Authorities are investigating the breach, and no ransom demand has been disclosed. The cyber-attack has affected around 98% of Australia's trade, posing a threat to access to various goods and exports, including food, wine, and coal. The incident highlights the growing risk of cyber threats to critical infrastructure and supply chains.

Trafigura confidently re-initiates Australia-China Copper trade

Trafigura, the Swiss commodity trader, is reportedly helping Chinese smelters clear imports of copper concentrate from Australia. This move suggests that an informal ban on such imports may have been lifted, given that the cargo clears customs. China has been gradually easing unofficial curbs on Australian imports, including copper concentrate and coal, which were imposed in 2020 amid a diplomatic spat. State-owned Chinese smelters have been reluctant to buy from Australia, despite the wider easing of restrictions. The easing of such an informal ban could have significant implications for global copper markets, as China is a major consumer of the metal.

‍Upcoming Events

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

Nov 17 - Den Bosch Max Groen

The 295-foot vessel Den Bosch Max Groen owned by Nedcargo and operated in partnership with inland terminal operator BCTN, is currently undergoing a conversion at the Concordia Damen shipyard that will include replacing the diesel generator with a system that will be powered by a standard 20-foot modular energy container. The Den Bosch Max Groen will be the first inland cargo vessel running entirely on a new swappable battery system to achieve zero emission operations. Known as ZESpacks, the batteries are self-contained and designed to be loaded onto the ships and then swapped out after the power is expended. Zero Emission Services (ZES) is building a strategically placed network of 1 MW charging stations where the batteries can be recharged in three hours.  The vessel is scheduled to re-enter service in April 2024 as the first vessel to operate solely using a second generation of the battery power system.

The ship operates between Rotterdam and Den Bosch primarily carrying containers and cargo for Heineken. With a capacity of 132 TEU, it was designed at the maximum size to fit through the locks on the Dieze Canal while also maximizing cargo capacity. Nedcargo reports it ships around 2.5 billion bottles of Heineken beer to the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp each year. The conversion to the battery system is expected to reduce emissions annually by approximately 715 tonnes of CO2 and 13 tonnes of NOx.


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