COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 08 May 2020


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          COS Weekly Newsletter
          Friday, 08 May 2020

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Local News


Irving Oil gets approval to ship Alberta oil through the Panama Canal

Irving Oil has received approval to ship Alberta oil to their refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick via the Panama Canal. The move will allow them to circumvent provincial and environmental opposition that was faced when they were hoping to secure oil through the now-scrapped West-to-East Energy East pipeline back in 2017. The oil will be shipped on foreign tankers from British Columbia. Irving filed an application to the Canadian Transportation Agency on April 16, requesting permission to use the roundabout route “on an urgent basis”, though they were already in discussions “for prompt acquisition” of Canadian oil “for immediate delivery to its refinery through the Panama Canal,” using Aframax sized crude tankers.

NAME faculty receive NSERC/Seaspan industrial research chairs for intelligent and green marine vessels

Faculty from UBC’s Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (NAME) program have received Industrial Research Chairs from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to study next-generation intelligent and green marine vessels (IGMVs). Dr. Rajeev Jaiman and Dr. Jasmin Jelovica bring their respective expertise in computational fluid mechanics and fluid-structure interaction as well as advanced techniques for analysis and optimization of multifunctional structures for marine vessels to this exciting new project. Their research on IGMVs aims to create efficient vessels that not only produce less greenhouse gas emissions, but also less harmful underwater noise. The two chairs will take on the project from different angles, collaborating to develop simulations that predict the characteristics of ship behaviour in motion. This will allow them to then create new design tools, that not only look at how to build a greener ship but how it can be operated in a more efficient and sustainable way.

Tackling COVID-19 Together - Western Stevedoring

Western Stevedoring Group of Companies has started a campaign in support of several BC communities in which they operate.  Recognizing that families, seniors, and communities are struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Western Stevedoring has started a campaign to match donations dollar for dollar in support of various charities and not-for-profit organizations.  Please join Western in supporting those in need by donating today at:  





Government of Canada extends MTSC Expiries through end of November

The Government of Canada has announced the extension of expiry dates for Marine Transportation Clearance (MTSC) holders. Any MTSC that expires between July 06, 2020 and August 31, 2020 inclusively will have its expiry extended for a period of 90 days.

Government of Canada announces second year of enhanced measures to protect Southern Resident killer whales

The Government of Canada has announced the second year of enhanced measures to protect Southern Resident killer whales (SRKW). This year’s measures include:
  • Protecting access to Chinook salmon with minimal disturbance in key foraging areas through area-based closures in the Juan de Fuca Strait and Southern Gulf Islands for recreational and commercial salmon fisheries. Specific dates will be announced in June. This year, all fish harvesters will also be asked to voluntarily stop fishing within 1000 metres of killer whales throughout B.C. waters.
  • Creating interim sanctuary zones off Pender Island, Saturna Island and at Swiftsure Bank, which are in effect from June 1 to November 30, 2020.
  • Prohibiting vessels from approaching any killer whale within a 400-metre distance, effective June 1, 2020.
  • Asking all vessels to reduce speed to less than seven knots when within 1000 metres of a whale, turn off echo sounders and fish finders when not needed, and turn engines to neutral idle if a whale is within 400 metres.


US News


Norwegian Cruise Line may go out of business

Norwegian Cruise Line has indicated that they may be forced to go out of business, as it tries to raise the money it will need to weather the coronavirus crisis. In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday, the company said its accounting firm has "substantial doubt" about their ability to continue as a going concern because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Norwegian has also announced that it arranged to borrow US$400 million from investment firm L Catterton through notes due in 2026, and plans to raise nearly $1.35 billion more in a private placement of other notes due in 2024, and up to $400 million more through the sale of additional shares of stock. Altogether that should provide the company with $3 billion in additional cash reserves, which is enough to keep the company alive for the next 18 months.

Port of Savannah saw good April volumes, but have concern for coming months

Container volumes in Savannah fell 6.7 percent in April, less than half of original estimates for the month. Port officials are now looking for May and June with concern as there are more than 60 voided sailings over the next 60 days. Volumes in May and June could plunge more than 20 percent in Savannah due to factory orders that were canceled in March and April when lockdowns to combat the pandemic in the US began to take hold.


International News


Philippines bans all passenger flights

Last weekend, the Philippines banned all commercial flights in an out of the country as their quarantine sites have become congested. The Philippines account for over 25 per cent of crew on board merchant ships and the move will add to the ongoing global challenge of crew changes. Passenger flights will be suspended until May 9th at the earliest, with many local carriers cancelling flights out to May 15th.

Carnival Cruise Line to Resume Some Sailings in August

Carnival Corp plans to restart some of its cruise trips from North America in August. Cruises are set to resume on eight ships from Miami, Port Canaveral and Galveston on Aug. 1, while operations in all other North American and Australian markets will remain suspended through Aug. 31. This decision comes as Carnival recovers from the reputational damaged caused when at least three of the company’s Princess Cruise vessels became hotbeds for coronavirus infections. The Princess cruise ships are not among the vessels Carnival plans to restart operations.

Suez Canal facing a $10 Million loss in revenue

The Suez Canal Authority is set to lose over $10m in revenue from container lines routing vessels through the Cape of Good Hope rather than its waterway. The cause looks to be a unique combination of a container tonnage surplus and rock-bottom bunker prices which have increasingly prompted ocean carriers to avoid the canal. While carriers very rarely choose this longer route for the time-sensitive cargo, but the low bunker price and lack of demand in European markets due to Covid-19 lockdowns made the longer route a viable option.

Floating Power Plants Are Taking to the High Seas

As economic lockdowns complicate efforts to bring electricity to all corners of the planet, Karpowership is putting generation units on ships that can sit offshore and plug into local grids at short notice. The floating power plants seek to service the developing world, where governments are seeking extra voltage to power hospitals and other facilities during the coronavirus pandemic. Vessels can hook into an onshore grid quickly, sidestepping the red-tape and construction issues involved with building a traditional power plant. And these ships come with their own fuel — liquefied natural gas and fuel oil — tapping into markets that are currently oversupplied.


Upcoming Events


May 26 - COS Owners Committee Meeting

May 27 - PACMAR / NANs Committee Meeting

May 29 - COS Liner Committee Meeting

June 3 - COS Board of Directors Meeting

June 11 - VMAA Annual General Meeting

June 17 - ICS Annual General Meeting


Ship of the Week




The MV Beate Oldendorff is a 62,500-dwt vessel that arrived in Vancouver, BC on its maiden voyage on April 3, 2020.  Named after the Chairman’s wife, the vessel is one of four newbuilds that were christened within two hours in March 2020.  The vessel is the Oshima-62k design with upgrades including CO2 fittings and a stronger tanktop. She is equipped with “Yara” Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems and “Techcross” Ballast Water Treatment Systems.
  • Oldendorff Carriers GMBH
  • Builder: Oshima Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.
  • GT: 35200
  • Length: 200m
  • Beam: 32m
  • Built: 2020
Photo credit: Nancy Bayley