COS Weekly News - Friday, 24 November 2023
In the news..
Rogers Sugar requests mediation in 8 week-long strike
The ongoing Rogers Sugar strike
in Vancouver is impacting bakeries in Calgary and some grocery stores ahead of the busy holiday season. The Rogers Sugar refinery in Vancouver is one of only three large sugar refineries in the country that processes imported cane sugar. The strike
, which began on September 28, involves 138 workers who are seeking better wages, and benefits, and opposing the company's proposal to increase refinery operations to 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Rogers Sugar Inc. has requested mediation
to help end the strike and has applied to the British Columbia Labour Relations Board for mediation. The union, the Public and Private Workers of Canada Local 8, has agreed to mediation. Rogers Sugar has apologized for the supply shortages and says it is using other facilities to help supply its Western Canadian customers.
Port of Vancouver and Ashcroft terminal collaborate to enable supply chain resiliency
Ashcroft Terminal Ltd. and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) have signed a letter of intent to collaborate
on a long-term arrangement for the transportation of Canadian imports and exports. The partnership aims to invest in, build, and operate rail infrastructure at Ashcroft Terminal, an inland terminal about 300 kilometres east of Vancouver. The additional rail car storage capacity will help remove bottlenecks, and enhance fluidity and resiliency within the Asia-Pacific Gateway trade corridor. The railcar storage program is expected to be operational by fall 2024.
Richard Chappell receives Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Maritime Achievement
We are pleased to announce that Richard Chappell is one of the recipients of the inaugural Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Maritime Achievement presented by The Honourable Janet Austin at Government House this week. Together with the BC Maritime Employers Association, we nominated Richard for this award as he has dedicated countless hours to both organizations and others in an effort to promote safety and efficiency on the waterfront. The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Maritime Achievement recognizes and acknowledges individuals and organizations along British Columbia’s coast and inland waterways who have made noteworthy contributions to BC’s maritime interests in the areas of science, technology, business, applications of maritime skills, nautical heritage and culture, art, and academic endeavours. The award replaces the S.S. Beaver
Awards for Maritime Excellence. (Photo credit: Robert Lewis-Manning)
Delta train derailment causes minor fuel spill
The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has determined that Sunday's train derailment in Delta, BC was caused by a collision
between two locomotives. A southbound train passed a stop signal and collided with a northbound train that was stopped. This led to two southbound locomotives and five train cars derailing. Crews are on the scene cleaning up a fuel spill
resulting from the collision. The TSB is not yet in a position to confirm the crew's experience, and BNSF Railway continues to investigate the incident. No injuries have been reported.
Centerm Expansion Project receives Award
The Centerm Expansion Project at the Port of Vancouver has received the 2023 General Contractor Award
in the Over $70 Million category from the Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA). The expansion, a joint effort by Centennial Expansion Partners (Dragados Canada, Fraser River Pile & Dredge, and Jacob Bros Construction), increased the port's operational capacity by more than 50%. The project involved expanding the terminal footprint by 15 per cent, reconfiguring and expanding the container yard, building new truck gates and an operations building, creating a new overpass on Centennial Road, and modifying Waterfront Road. The expansion raised the terminal's container handling capacity from 900,000 to 1.5 million TEUs.
Transport Canada invites comments on Bunge’s proposed acquisition of Viterra
Transport Canada is currently reviewing
the proposed acquisition of Viterra Limited by Bunge Limited in accordance with the Canada Transportation Act. The acquisition involving the two grain transporting giants raises public interest issues related to national transportation. The Minister of Transport directed Transport Canada to conduct a public interest assessment, including input from the Commissioner of Competition to examine the impact on competition in the transportation and agricultural sectors. Public consultation is a crucial part of this assessment, and Canadians are invited to share their views on the acquisition via the Let's Talk Transportation portal
Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) carriage ban for Arctic waters nearing compliance date
From July 1, 2024, the use or carriage of heavy fuel oil (HFO) as domestic fuel in bunker tanks will be prohibited
in Arctic waters, with exceptions for certain types of ships. These exceptions
include vessels engaged in safety, search and rescue, or oil spill preparedness and response operations. Ships subject to specific regulations may use and carry HFO until July 1, 2029, and temporary waivers may apply for ships operating in domestic waters under the sovereignty or jurisdiction of their flag state until the same date. Cleaning or flushing of bunker tanks or pipelines after using HFO in preparation for Arctic operations is not mandated. HFO carried as cargo on tankers is not affected by this regulation.
Canada to purchase replacement vessel for M/V Holiday Island
The Government of Canada has awarded a $38.56 million contract to Nye Fanafjord AS to purchase the M/V Fanafjord
, serving as an interim replacement for the MV Holiday Island
on the Wood Islands to Caribou ferry route. The MV Holiday Island
was taken out of service last summer due to an onboard fire. The MV Fanafjord
is expected to enter service during the 2024 operating season until two new ferries, including the permanent replacement for the MV Holiday Island
, are built at Chantier Davie Canada Inc. The new vessels are anticipated to be delivered by 2028.
Port of Saguenay to receive $20 million for infrastructure improvement
The Quebec government is investing
$20 million to enhance infrastructure at the Port of Saguenay. The Marcel-Dionne Quay project includes the addition of a berth with a multi-user section capable of accommodating different types of vessels, as well as a new space designed for heavy or oversized cargo handling. The expansion aligns with the Saguenay Port Authority's goals and enhances its role in bulk transportation in Quebec. This investment supplements the $33 million announced in 2021 for the construction of a mechanized multi-user bulk transport system powered by electricity.
North America's LNG export capacity poised to more than double by 2027
North America's liquefied natural gas (LNG) export capacity is expected
to more than double by the end of 2027, reaching 24.3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), up from the current 11.4 Bcf/d, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Canada, the United States, and Mexico collectively have ten projects contributing to this capacity expansion, with Canada's LNG Canada and Woodfibre LNG, the US's Golden Pass, Plaquemines, Corpus Christi Stage III, Rio Grande, and Port Arthur, and Mexico's Fast LNG Altamira, Fast LNG Lakach, and Energia Costa Azul LNG terminal.
Maersk secures biggest ever Green Methanol supply agreement
Maersk has entered into the shipping industry's first large-scale agreement
for green methanol with China's Goldwind. The deal involves half a million tonnes of green methanol annually and will power 12 large ocean-going container ships. The deliveries from Goldwind are expected to begin in 2026. Maersk is investing in green
fuels to power its fleet as part of its goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040. The shipping industry, responsible for 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions, aims for net-zero emissions by 2050. The green methanol volumes from Goldwind will be produced using wind energy in northeast China.
Cruise industry adopts cold-ironing and data monitoring strategies
The cruise industry, along with the wider shipping sector, is adopting strategies
to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by or around 2050. One significant strategy is shore-side electricity (SSE), also known as "cold ironing" or shore power systems. Up to 98% reductions of CO2
and other pollution emissions can be achieved by shutting down onboard power generation from diesel engines and connecting to shore power. The Cruise Line Industry Association (CLIA) indicates that 40% of its global members’ ships are set up to operate in SSE in 29 ports, which is up 20% year over year, and 98% of new builds ordered through to 2028 will be fitted with SSE systems or be configured to add it in the future.
Unfortunately, determining exactly how much emissions are reduced by shore is complex. In the US, there are nine regions, with each region employing its own calculation tool. The EPA has its Shore Power Emissions Calculator (SPEC), but many calculations begin with the number of KWH consumed. Meanwhile, cruise lines are tracking their usage as part of their environmental reporting.
MOL adopts AI to counter car carrier fire hazards
Japan's Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) is turning to an AI solution developed by Captain’s Eye, based in Haifa, Israel, to enhance car carrier fire protection
. MOL plans to install Captain’s Eye's AI system in the cargo areas of most of its LNG-fueled car carriers to provide early fire detection capabilities. The technology will be installed on 10 vessels currently on order, with delivery scheduled for 2024 or later, and MOL will consider retrofitting current in-service vessels with the system. Captain’s Eye's AI system sends alerts to crewmembers and onshore ship management when it detects abnormal images captured by cameras, enabling faster smoke detection.
NYK leased car carrier highjacked by Yemeni Houthi militia
M/V Galaxy Leader
, a car carrier leased by Japan's NYK Lines, has been hijacked
by Iran-affiliated Houthi militia and taken to a Yemeni port. The ship, flagged in the Bahamas, was described as "an Israeli ship" by the Houthi militants. The seizure was reportedly in response to what the militants called "heinous acts against our Palestinian brothers in Gaza and the West Bank." There were 25 crew members onboard, of various nationalities, but no Israelis. Iran has denied involvement in the hijacking, with its Foreign Ministry stating that "resistance groups in the region act independently and spontaneously based on their interests."
Increased thermal coal demand triggers demand for bulkers
The global dry bulk market has experienced a boost from increased seaborne coal demand
, with Indonesia emerging as a major exporter. Indonesian exports of thermal coal for the first ten months of 2023 grew by nearly 12% compared to the same period in 2022, exceeding 413 million metric tons. Indonesia accounted for over 50% of global thermal coal exports during this period, surpassing Australia and Russia. China was the largest customer of Indonesian coal, receiving about 44% of the total exports. The Panamax South China, Indonesia round voyage rates increased significantly, indicating strong freight rates in the dry bulk market until the end of the year.
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 24 - Silver Queen
The MV Silver Queen
returned to the Port of Nanaimo for its second visit this year. Earlier this year in mid-May MV Silver Queen
vehicle arrived in the Port of Nanaimo and unloaded 781 examples of VinFast's VF8 sport-utility. Since then the automaker has obtained Canadian regulatory certification and is expected to be a frequent visitor to the south coast. VinFast is a member of the Vin Group, a company focused on technology, industry and services. In 2019, the new vehicle processing facility opened at the Port of Nanaimo and has since successfully served several international automakers.