COS Weekly News - Friday, 5 January 2024

COS Weekly News - Friday, 5 January 2024

‍‍COS Weekly News - Friday, 5 January 2024

In the news..

‍Local News

Historic moment for SAAM Towage as all-female crew complete tug voyage

SAMM Towage, a tugboat service provider operating in British Columbia, marked a historic moment for the maritime industry with its first all-female tugboat crew on a journey from Prince Rupert to Stewart. Captain Hailey McIntyre and deckhand Ocean Rutherford embarked on the 12-hour voyage, assisting with vessel docking and undocking upon arrival. This milestone reflects the coastal industry's openness to diversity, offering many opportunities for those interested in pursuing careers in the marine industry. SAMM Towage Canada's director of operations, Brook Walker, expressed pride in celebrating this unique occurrence in the company's 70 years of history, highlighting the company's commitment to inclusivity. Recruiting local mariners is becoming increasingly difficult and we are working with the Western Marine Community Coalition members and governments in evolving and executing a workforce recruitment and retention strategy. For more information on the career pathway, visit the Canadian Marine Careers Foundation website.

Floatel arrives for Woodfibre LNG project

The MV Isabelle has arrived in the Port of Vancouver this week following a 40-day, 22,563 kilometre journey from Estonia through the Panama Canal. As reported earlier Bridgemans Services Group is providing the 652-cabin vessel to serve as a floating hotel, for workers at the Woodfibre LNG project. Following some updates at the shipyard, including games tables and equipment for a fitness facility, the MV Isabelle will make its way up Howe Sound to the site of the former pulp and paper mill in Squamish. MV Isabelle will offer a wide array of advanced environmental systems including an ultraviolet water purification system, the ability to run on shore hydro power, industrial-sized heat pumps, and sewage treatment that includes ultrafiltration and shipping to a waste management facility in BC.  In addition, Bridgemans is designing MV Isabelle to eliminate waste and recycle as much as possible. Bridgemans will have a crew on board at all times to inspect the ship and ensure fire, water, and other safety systems meet Canadian regulations. Workers are expected to start occupying the ship this spring.

Negotiations between Port Montreal and dockworkers continue

Negotiations between the Maritime Employers Association (MEA) and Local 375 of the Canadian Public Employees (CUPE), representing 1,100 Port Montreal dockworkers, are ongoing with both parties participating in mediation meetings supported by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service leading up to the holidays. More meetings are planned in January while no labour disruption can occur as the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) reviews the MEA application to declare some longshore services as "essential services" under the Canada Labour Code. The CIRB has requested more information from the parties due at the end of the month and until a ruling is made, no disruptions can happen.  It is business as usual at the Port of Montreal for now.  The collective agreement expired on December 31st. The MEA is seeking greater operational flexibility and adjustments to the number of workers with guaranteed job security, while the union is reportedly seeking a 20% wage increase over four years and permanent job security after three years.

Canada's first ship-recycling yard receives Hong Kong Convention approval from Lloyds Register

Nova Scotia recycling facility R.J. MacIsaac Ltd. (RJMI) has become the first Canadian facility to be certified according to the requirements of the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (Hong Kong Convention) by Lloyd's Register (LR). The Hong Kong Convention, which is set to enter into force in June 2025, ensures ship recycling adheres to strict safety and environmental conditions. RJMI had to demonstrate that its environmental protection, workforce safety, and emergency preparedness systems exceed the convention's stringent conditions. RJMI is focused on maintaining its status as Canada's leading green marine ship recycler.

Belledune Port Authority and Port of Rotterdam sign MOU on Green energy export

The Belledune Port Authority (BPA) and the Port of Rotterdam have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on the transportation of dry and liquid bulk commodities, manufactured products, and green products, with a focus on hydrogen. The agreement aims to establish a direct trade route between Canada and the Netherlands, specifically for clean hydrogen exports from the Port of Belledune. Both ports will explore infrastructure development, technology advancements in the maritime transport sector, best practices in bulk product storage and shipping, and the development of relationships between importers and exporters in Canada and the Netherlands.

Cedar LNG awards EPC contract for its floating LNG production unit

The Haisla Nation and Pembina Pipeline Corporation announced that Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) and Black & Veatch have been selected to provide engineering, procurement, and construction for the design, fabrication, and delivery of the Cedar LNG Project's floating LNG production unit (FLNG), subject to a Final Investment Decision (FID). Cedar LNG, the first Indigenous majority-owned LNG project in the world, is advancing towards an FID, expected by the end of the first quarter of 2024. Construction work could begin as early as the second quarter of 2024, with the FLNG delivery and substantial completion expected in 2028. The construction has been estimated to have a capital cost of $3 billion.

Heddle Shipyards rebrands to Ontario Shipyards

On January 1, 2024, Heddle Shipyards rebranded itself as Ontario Shipyards to reflect its growth and future expansion plans. The company's new name signifies its commitment to harnessing the capacity and capabilities of Ontario's shipyards to become a reliable provider of ship repair and shipbuilding services in Canada. This move aligns with the province's shipbuilding legacy and the need to support the Canadian government's National Shipbuilding Strategy by modernizing operations and building a skilled workforce.

Retirements and losses

At the end of 2023, our Liner Committee celebrated the year-end retirement of contributing members Richard Chappell, Director of Operations - Canada for Westwood Shipping Lines, and Victor Yim, Assistant VP of COSCO Shipping Lines.  Richard has served as a Chamber director for over 20 years and was recently awarded the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Maritime Achievement. Victor has been a longstanding member and Vice Chair of the Liner Committee since China Shipping joined the membership in 2006 (later merged with COSCO in 2016).  Both have indicated that will be busy grandparents in their retirement.  We look forward to working with their successors.

We are saddened to report the passing of both Gerry Bloomer, formerly with Maple Shipping and Fjord Maritime Enterprises in Kitimat, and Peter Woodward who served as Vice President of the Council of Marine Carriers between 1990 and 2003.  We learned that Gerry, an avid outdoorsman with a passion for the environment, passed away at the age of 65 on December 30th after a battle with cancer.  Peter, who we had a very close association with over his years at CMC passed on January 2nd at the age of 86.  Our condolences to their families and loved ones.

‍Government News

Ship Safety Bulletin- North Coast Waterway Management Guidelines

Transport Canada's latest Ship Safety Bulletin advises that the BC North Coast Waterway Management Guidelines, effective since September 1, 2022, apply to all vessels navigating the route between Kitimat and Browning Entrance, including areas like Douglas Channel, Wright Sound, Lewis Passage, Otter Channel, Nepean Sound, and Principe Channel. These voluntary guidelines aim to enhance water safety by reducing conflicts between First Nations' marine activities and commercial vessels. The guidelines cover various aspects, including inshore safety zones, routing measures, speed reductions, meeting and passing guidelines, special operating areas, and procedures for mechanical or electrical breakdowns. Masters of vessels in First Nations Areas of Concern should ensure safe transit for local community users.

Vessel Construction and Equipment Regulations updated

The Minister of Transport, Pablo Rodriguez, announced that new Vessel Construction and Equipment Regulations, which apply to the construction and equipment of new vessels 24 metres or more in length (excluding fishing vessels and pleasure craft), have come into force. The regulations update and consolidate requirements that previously existed in various regulations under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, and the Canada Labour Code, into one set of regulations and add penalties for non-compliance. The regulations are wide-ranging, setting updated requirements with respect to structural strength, stability, machinery, electrical systems, lifesaving equipment, and crew accommodations, as well as fire protection on vessels without mechanical means of propulsion.

‍US News

Port of Virginia achieves clean energy milestone

The Port of Virginia is the first US East Coast port to be powered entirely by clean energy.  All of its terminals are powered with electricity from clean resources.  The port was already sourcing some of its electricity for its on-terminal cargo operations from renewable sources and a power purchase agreement approved by the Virginia Port Authority Board of Commissioners provided an additional 10% of the energy from 345 MW of solar projects from Dominion Energy along with the port’s proportionate share of the original contract. This allocation (along with other solar, nuclear, and wind resources provided by Dominion Energy) supports the port’s load of 130,000 MWh of electricity each year and allows the port to maintain 100% clean energy sourcing as its load grows. The port said using clean electricity helps it offset its carbon footprint by reducing carbon emissions at a rate of 45% per container.

‍International News

Houthi attacks in the Red Sea defy international pleas

A Houthi drone boat ladened with explosives detonated in the Red Sea on Thursday but failed to cause any damage or casualties according to the US Navy. The latest attack came one day after 12 countries, including Canada and the United States, issued a joint statement cautioning the Houthis of unspecified “consequences” unless it halts its attacks in response to Israel’s military operations in Gaza.  It has been reported that there have now been 25 attacks by the Houthis on ships transiting the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. Data from Drewry shows that global container shipping rates surged 61 percent in the past week alone.

AMSA bans LNG carrier for 6 months after inadequate compliance

The Australian Maritime Safety Agency (AMSA) has imposed a 180-day ban on the Chinese-owned LNG tanker CESI Qingdao after an incident in which the vessel tied up one of Australia's busiest LNG export terminals for nearly a week before being assigned to an anchorage. The ban, which runs until late June 2024, was issued following a power failure on the vessel in November 2023 that identified four generators requiring repairs. A "contravention of AMSA Detention Notice" was issued as the agency felt that "the response of the master and ship managers throughout the repair process necessitated stronger compliance action.” This is the ninth ban imposed by AMSA in 2023 as part of its strict enforcement of regulations to ensure safety and operational integrity.

European Union launches Emissions Trading Scheme

The European Union's emissions trading system (EU ETS) has introduced the largest regional green regulations in shipping history, mandating vessels visiting EU ports to offset their applicable CO2 voyage emissions by purchasing EU Allowances (EUAs). Data estimates by Clarksons Research, based on a $90-per-tonne CO2 average EUA price and 2022 trading patterns, reveal that for a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) traveling from Ras Tanura to Rotterdam, EU ETS costs will amount to around $200,000 per voyage in 2023, equivalent to 4% of current freight costs. These costs are projected to increase to $0.5 million, or 10%, by 2026 when the regulation is fully phased in at 100%.

European Community Shipowners' Association elects first female president

Karin Orsel has been appointed as the first female president of the European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA). She began her two-year term on January 1, 2024, succeeding Philippos Philis. Additionally, Mikki Koskinen has joined ECSA as the new vice president. Orsel, a shipowner and maritime entrepreneur, has been CEO of MF Shipping Group since 2001 and was appointed president of the Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners in 2017. Koskinen has been the managing director of ESL Shipping since 2013 and was the chairman of the Finnish Shipowners’ Association from 2021 to 2023. Orsel and Koskinen aim to promote the energy transition of shipping, meet climate targets, and enhance the competitiveness of European shipping on the global stage.

Pacific Basin Shipping recognized by The Zubin Foundation

Pacific Basin Shipping has received a Certificate of Appreciation from The Zubin Foundation to recognize its support of the 2023 EMerging Talent Internship Programme in Hong Kong. This program provides internship opportunities to ethnic minorities, aligning with Pacific Basin Shipping's commitment to various charitable causes, including education, mental health, and public welfare. Through this collaboration, Pacific Basin aims to make a positive impact on the communities it serves.

‍Upcoming Events

Salish Sea Symposium - January 24-25

Transport Canada is hosting the 2024 Salish Sea Strategy Symposium at the Vancouver Convention Centre on January 23 – 24, 2023, with limited in-person and virtual sessions. The Symposium is an event held under the Oceans Protection Plan's Salish Sea Strategy, which aims to establish a shared level of understanding of existing work across the Salish Sea.  The theme of this event is “Building on our past, advancing our future” and discussions include shared priorities to protect the Salish Sea, opportunities to capitalize on, and the challenges we need to overcome. The two-day Symposium will include a session with our VP Policy and Partnerships - Vida Ramin, along with other presentations, panel discussions, fireside chats, workshops, information booths and opportunities for networking. Further details at Salish Sea Symposium Registration (

‍Jan. 9 - ISSC Board of Directors Meeting @ 13:00 

Jan. 10 - COS Board of Directors Meeting @ 12:00

Jan. 16 - AVTM User Committee Meeting @ 14:00

Jan. 18 - ICS Board Meeting @ 11:00
Jan. 23/24 - Salish Sea Strategy Symposium

Jan. 24 - COS Operations Committee Meeting @ 12:00

Jan. 25 - WCMRC User Group Meeting@ 09:00

Jan. 31 - WMCC PACMAR/NANS Meeting @ 10:00



‍Ship of the Week

5 January - Seaspan Garibaldi

CIMC SOE held a launching ceremony for the LNG bunkering vessel, Seaspan Garibaldi (S1062). The Canadian-flagged ship measures 112.8 meters in length, 18.6 meters in width, has a draft of 5 meters, and a design speed of 13 knots. It will feature the latest ship technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The bunkering vessels will provide ship-to-ship LNG transfer and supply LNG fuel for the Seaspan’s ferries, and cruise ships, tankers, and containerships visiting the West Coast of North America. CIMC SOE expects to deliver this bunkering vessel, along with its second sister vessel, in 2024, while the third ship will join the fleet in 2025.


Click to view online