Québec National Assembly unanimously pushes Ottawa for more shipbuilding work

L'Assemblée nationale du Québec pousse unanimement Ottawa pour plus de travaux de construction navale


Québec's National Assembly has unanimously adopted a motion in support of the federal government's reform or 'refresh' of the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

The motion on Dec. 7 called upon the federal government to endorse the House of Commons and Senate's recommendations to proceed immediately with the construction at Davie Shipbuilding of a second Resolve-Class Naval Support Ship as well as a new fleet of icebreakers for the Canadian Coast Guard.

Seaspan shipyards in Vancouver and St. John-based Irving, chosen to carry out the major part of the shipbuilding contracts, have opposed additional contracts being shifted to Davie. Regarding the Resolve matter, federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau has gone on record for stating: " We cannot artificially create a need for something that doesn't exist."

During 2017, the Federal government conducted a review of the National Shipbuilding Strategy in order to reform the failed strategy and begin to deliver ships for Canada in a timely and cost-effective manner. The Québec marine industry workers and suppliers are now awaiting the widely anticipated policy adjustment.


Report of CN offer for Halterm

Rapport sur l'offre du CN pour Halterm


Canadian National Railway has reportedly made a preliminary offer to buy Halterm Container Terminal in the Port of Halifax. During an interview published by Canada's Financial Post, Jean-Jacques Ruest, chief executive of CN, said the goal of the potential acquisition is to create a "Prince Rupert of the East" - referring to the strong growth of the Port of Prince Rupert in recent years through notably a direct CN network connection with the US Midwest market. The Fairview Container Terminal in Prince Rupert is operated by DP World.

According to the media report, Mr. Ruest indicated CN has a partner in the bid for the Halterm Terminal owned by Australia's Macquarie Infrastructure, but did not identify this partner. He also said the railway was looking at possibilities at two other ports, one in Nova Scotia and another on the St. Lawrence River, without specifying which ports.

The Port of Halifax and the Halterm and Ceres container terminals rely exclusively on CN for reaching markets in Central Canada and the United States. The port currently handles container vessels in the 10,000 TEU class but could handle still larger box ships calling on the East Coast of North America at New York and other ports.

Mr. Ruest said that if CN were successful, it would make changes to the Halterm business model. "We're interested to get behind a terminal to make them ready for bigger things and run them in a way they have not been run in the past."

The CN told the Financial Post that CN wants to expand the terminal capacity to be able to service two large containerships simultaneously and accommodate long freight trains.

The Halifax Port Authority recently began construction of a temporary berth extension at Halterm (slated for completion in 2020), but it would seemingly not be big enough to assemble the longest double-stack trains. "We're willing to put in some of our rail infrastructure to create a solution for the big trains," Mr. Ruest said. (photo HPA)


Maersk's pledge: net Zero CO2 emissions by 2050

Maersk s'engage à réduire ses émissions nettes de CO2 à zéro d'ici 2050



A.P. Moller -Maersk aims at having carbon neutral vessels commercially viable by 2030 and calls for strong industry involvement

Aimed at accelerating the transition to carbon neutral shipping, Maersk announced on December 4th its goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. To achieve this goal, carbon neutral vessels must be commercially viable by 2030, and an acceleration in new innovations and adaptation of new technology is required says the boggest container shipping company in the world.

According to a Maersk release, climate is one of the most important issues in the world, and carrying around 80% of global trade, the shipping industry is vital to finding solutions. By now, Maersk´s relative CO2 emissions have been reduced by 46% (baseline 2007), approximatly 9% more than the industry average.

As world trade and thereby shipping volumes will continue to grow* efficiency improvements on the current fossil-based technology can only keep shipping emissions at current levels but not reduce them significantly or eliminate them.

"The only possible way to achieve the so-much-needed decarbonisation in our industry is by fully transforming to new carbon neutral fuels and supply chains," says Søren Toft, Chief Operating Officer at A.P. Moller - Maersk.

Maersk is putting its efforts towards solving problems specific to maritime transport, as it calls for different solutions than automotive, rail and aviation. The yet to come electric truck is expected to be able to carry max 2 TEU and is projected to run 800 km per charging. In comparison, a container vessel carrying thousands of TEU sailing from Panama to Rotterdam makes around 8800 km. With short battery durability and no charging points along the route, innovative developments are imperative.


Ocean vessels boosting Thunder Bay traffic

Des navires océaniques renforcent le trafic à Thunder Bay


The Port of Thunder Bay had very high ocean vessel traffic in the month of November, a trend that is continuing in December and making for a strong end to the shipping season. Twenty ocean vessels - commonly referred to as 'salties' - called the Port in November to load or unload with internationally trading cargo. Some of the ocean ships (per photo) carried project cargo which was continuing to show brisk business at Keefer Terminal, accounting for the bulk of general cargo totalling 25,156 tonnes.

This is the highest number of salties to visit the Port in any single month since 2015. Salties typically load grain in Thunder Bay after bringing steel into lower lakes ports through the St. Lawrence Seaway. Grain exported from Thunder Bay in November is en route to international ports in France, Egypt, Dominican Republic and North Africa, among others. Total cargo volumes in November were slightly lower than last year, but a rebound is expected before the season closes in mid-January. Strong saltie traffic, aided by milder weather than last December, will help to boost volumes.

The final month of the season is expected to be the busiest of the year, with a projected 1.4 million tonnes of cargo to be handled. That would be a 25% increase over last December, due mainly to higher grain shipments this time around. Annual 2018 grain volumes are anticipated to be slightly higher than the final tally in 2017. The Port of Thunder Bay is anticipating a total of 400 vessel calls for the season, which is also slightly higher than the 393 calls in 2017, when total cargo was 8.8 million tons. (Photo TBPA).


MSC explains new bunker recovery charge

MSC précise ses nouveaux frais de recouvrement pour le carburant


Swiss-headquartered Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) will introduce a bunker charge starting January first.

"MSC has estimated that the cost of the various changes we are making to our fleet and its fuel supply is in excess of two billion dollars (USD) per year. We have already had to start incurring these costs to be ready for 2020," the group said in a December 1 note.

"As a result of the regulatory changes we all support" MSC's new Bunker Recovery Charge (BRC),  will be a "transparent way of segregating, and passing on, the significant operating cost MSC faces from the 2020 sulphur cap", the company added.

The privately owned group has a fleet of 510 vessels with a total capacity of 3.3 million TEUs, which includes both owned and chartered vessels, the MSc spokesman said on Monday.
"Clearly, MSC will need to use a large amount of low-sulphur fuels to propel the fleet, in order to meet the 2020 low-sulphur cap," the spokesman said.

"At the same time, a significant portion of MSC's owned ships will be equipped with exhaust gas cleaning systems. For a shipping line of our size, with a global network, it makes sense to have a combination of these solutions." MSC is far advanced in installing these systems.

In September, Denmark's Maersk Line - the world's number one container shipping carrier - said it would introduce a new bunker adjustment factor surcharge from January 1, 2019. Maersk has said it expected extra fuel costs of at least $2 billion annually.

Apart from scrubbers and low sulphur fuel, shipping companies can also use LNG as an alternative marine fuel, although its usage is still at an early stage.
MSC's description of its BRC can be found HERE: https://www.msc.com/global-document-library/pdfs/low-sulphur-2020_update-on-charges ... Photo: MSC

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