COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 13 December 2019


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          COS Weekly Newsletter
          Friday, 13 December 2019

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Local News


WWF Canada seeks ban on scrubbers

Yesterday the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Canada released a study concerning the use of open-loop exhaust cleaning systems (often referred to as scrubbers) and their potential impact on the endangered and iconic Southern Resident Killer Whale. WWF-Canada is encouraging a ban on the use of open-loop scrubbers and/or discharge from hybrid scrubbers in Canadian waters, especially in marine protected areas and critical habitats.  In the Vancouver Sun article today, the Chamber of Shipping President, Robert Lewis-Manning challenges the basis of the campaign and explains that the international shipping community is expending significant resources to meet the global sulphur cap on January 1, 2020 and continues to work aggressively on the transition to cleaner fuels and GHG reductions through the International Maritime Organization.

Corvus Energy receives R& D funding

Corvus Energy will receive funding of up to $6 million from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program to support a research and development project to create the next generation of energy storage and digitalization technologies for marine vessels. The multi-year project will be undertaken in Corvus Energy’s main research, engineering and product development centre in Richmond, BC.

Tough year for Canadian farmers

Heavy rain and colder temperatures in the East, overly dry conditions in the West and an early snowfall in the Prairies slowed the growing season, leaving record amounts of potatoes unharvested in fields and pushing canola and soybean production to their lowest levels in years. Challenges brought on by global trade wars and diplomatic frictions between Canada and China have taken a significant toll on both exports and pricing of canola and soybeans, leaving canola farmers with a record oversupply of the oilseed. Canola production fell 8.3 per cent to 18.6 million tonnes in 2019, its lowest level since 2015. Cold temperatures and snow arrived before the crop was ready, leaving farmers to harvest just 20.6 million acres, an 8.8 per cent decline.

Chevron to seek buyer for its 50% stake in Kitimat LNG project

Chevron is looking to sell its 50 per cent stake in the Kitimat LNG Project in British Columbia as it writes down assets by $10B because lower long-term prices for oil and natural gas will reduce the value of its assets.  The announcement comes just days after the National Energy Board approved Chevron Canada's application for a 40-year licence to export natural gas from the proposed Kitimat LNG facility.  Chevron said the decision is part of its global portfolio optimization effort focused on improving returns and driving value. Chevron will work with its joint venture partner Woodside, government and First Nations partners during the process.  The export licence doubles it previous license, allowing for up to 997 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year. The project is in its pre-front-end engineering design phase and has not yet been given the go-ahead.  

PRPA announces Green Wave Program Award winners

The Prince Rupert Port Authority has announced four commercial vessel owners recognized for achieving the highest level of environmental performance and participation in 2018 under the Port of Prince Rupert’s Green Wave vessel incentive program. They are COSCO, Maersk, Yang Ming, and BC Ferries. Since 2013, the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s Green Wave program has offered discounted harbour dues to commercial vessels that implement air emission and underwater noise reduction measures. Using a three-tier criteria system, vessels are scored for their level of achievement in one of the recognized environmental programs or for technological advancement. Participation in the program is entirely voluntary.

ECHO Program hits five-year mark

The Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) Program, led by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has reached a significant milestone, marking five years of collaboration and research to better understand the effects of marine shipping on at-risk whales. The ECHO Program uses underwater microphones to measure noise levels, including the sound of more than 10,000 ship movements in the Salish Sea. Over 5,000 large ships have voluntarily slowed down in, or moved away from, important southern resident killer whale feeding areas to reduce underwater noise in those areas. The ECHO Program also provides resources to help mariners build awareness of local whale species and the effects ships may have on them, as well as best practices for navigating in the presence of whales.

CP train derailments sparks concerns

Early Monday morning, a CP train carrying 34 tank cars laden with crude oil from Rosyth, Alberta derailed near Guernsey, 115 east of Saskatoon. The train destined for Oklahoma resulted in a spill of an estimated 1.5 million litres of crude that quickly become engulfed in flames.  No injuries or damage to waterways have been reported.  The Transportation Safety Board said the derailed cars included a mix of Class 117R and CPC-1232 Class 111 tank cars.  The Class 117R cars are an upgraded version considered to have improved safety features over the cars that were involved in the 2013 fatal explosion and fire in Lac Megantic, Que.

Work gear developed to fit shipbuilding women

With the increasing the number of women working in shipbuilding, Seaspan has partnered with Helga Wear to develop work clothes specifically for the needs of women. Helga Wear has developed a coverall for the women of Seaspan that meets safety requirements, offers a fit proportioned for a woman’s body, has zippered legs to facilitate going to the washroom, as well as other features such as adjustable collar widths, elasticated waists, and knee pad pockets. Field-testing of the coveralls took place this summer at Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyard. Helga Wear will be providing Seaspan with three pairs of coveralls for each of the Shipyards’ women trade workers.




$2000 fine issued under new Marine Mammal Regulations

In August 2019, Honourable Judge George Leven found guide Scott Babcock guilty of a violation under the Marine Mammal Regulations. Babcock had to pay a fine of $2,000 and completed two days of community service in educating the public on boater safety around whales. Babcock was observed by DFO employees in an unmarked boat as he approached a Humpback whale at a distance of less than 100 metres in the Work Channel, 50 kilometres north of Prince Rupert. This is the first conviction under the amended Marine Mammal Regulations as part of the modernized Fisheries Act.

Decision pending on Teck's Frontier Project

The Government of Canada will decide if it will approve Teck’s $20.6 billion Frontier project in northern Alberta by the end of February. The project includes an open pit mine that will eventually produce 260,000 barrels per day from 2026 through to 2067.  Teck’s $20-billion Frontier oilsands project has won the backing of First Nations groups in the area, including the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, which has previously opposed oilsands expansion but signed an impact benefit-agreement with the company for Frontier. Teck has pledged to build a power cogeneration facility and ensure the oil produced at Frontier would have an emissions intensity half of the average barrel produced in the U.S.  More broadly, the company has pledged to reduce its emissions by 450,000 tones of CO2 per annum by 2030.

New Coast Guard Commissioner Named

Mario Pelletier has been appointed as the new Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard.  He was previously Deputy Commissioner of Operations and is the first Commissioner that is a graduate of the Canadian Coast Guard Collect.  Pelletier has spent 34 years with the agency.  Jeffery Hutchinson, the previous Commissioner, has moved on to become the Senior Advisor to the Privy Council Office.


US News


US & China reach phase one trade deal

Today China and the US have agreed to rollback tariffs as a deal was reached on the first phase of the new trade deal with both sides will be restructuring tariffs.  US President Trump has tweeted that China has agreed to “massive purchases of Agricultural Product, Energy and Manufactured Goods, plus much more,” estimating US$50B in agricultural product purchases alone.  US tariffs will be reduced to 7.5 percent on $120B of imports and with 25 percent tariffs on about $250B of Chinese imports, both sides are motivated to being phase two of negotiations immediately.

US Coast Guard starts ice-breaking work in Great Lakes

In response to expanding ice in commercial ports, the US Coast Guard has started ice-breaking operations were launched in the western Great Lakes. In what has been deemed “Operation Taconite”, teams have been working in Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, northern Lake Huron, Georgian Bay, Green Bay, the Straits of Mackinac and St. Marys River.


International News


MSC to use up to 30% biofuel in ships calling in Rotterdam

MSC has started to use biofuel in its vessels calling in Rotterdam following successful trials with biofuel blends earlier this year. Those were completed with a minimal 10% blend fuel and, following further trials, MSC is now using much higher 30% blends. MSC predicts that they expect an estimated 15-20% reduction in absolute CO2 emissions and that using biofuel on containerships could significantly help reduce emissions and improve air quality.

Looking to LNG-Battery hybrids for the future of shipping

Using a hybrid of LNG and battery power has become an increasingly popular strategy for ship owners. Hybrid ships save up to 30% on fuel, see reduced maintenance requirements since for much more of the time the engines are running at a steady rate, and can switch to battery when entering and leaving port to easily complying with just about any ECA regulation in existence. Norway recently issued a law that ships travelling in its UNESCO World Heritage Fjords must have no emissions of any kind. The law becomes effective in 2026 and newer vessels are being designed to meet this standard – at least during the time it takes to transit the fjords. Corvus and PBES are currently working on products that will reduce battery size, increase energy storage, and require less cooling.


Upcoming Events


Dec. 16 - Joint PACMAR / Harbor Safety Committee Meeting

Dec. 19 - WMCC Board of Directors Meeting

Dec 25 -  Office Closed (Christmas Day)

Dec 26 -  Office Closed (Boxing Day)

Jan. 1 -   Office Closed (New Year's Day

Jan. 9 -   VMAA Board of Directors Meeting

Jan. 15 - ICS Board Meeting

Jan. 21 - ISSC Board of Directors Meeting

Jan. 20 - COS Board of Directors Governance Meeting

Jan. 29 - PACMAR / NANs Committee Meeting

Jan. 30 - Winter 2020 OPP Dialogue Forum

Feb. 4 -   Cargo Logistics Canada Conference


Ship of the Week


Dec. 13 - Suiso Frontier

Suiso Frontier, the world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier was unveiled this week at Kawasaki Heavy Industries’ Kobe dockyard, marking the first stage in the Australia-Japan pilot hydrogen energy supply chain (HESC) project to produce liquified hydrogen from brown coal. The HESC project at Port Hastings in Australia will see liquefied hydrogen produced from Latrobe Valley brown coal transported to Japan for use in fuel cell electric vehicles and power generation.
The Suiso Frontier will transport liquefied hydrogen at 1/800 of its original gas-state volume, cooled to –253°C. Kawasaki Heavy plans to install a 1,250 cu m vacuum-insulated, double-shell-structure liquefied hydrogen storage tank on the ship and complete the vessel’s construction by late 2020. Length: 116m Capacity: 1,250 cu m Built: 2020