Unique agreement in Canada to protect killer whales


VANCOUVER - As Canada continues to increase its focus towards sustainable trade growth, nine key groups have come together in support of conservation on the nation's west coast. The first of its kind in Canada,  the Conservation Agreement, announced by the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast supports the continuation of the Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation Program (ECHO), a Port of Vancouver-led initiative aimed at better understanding and mitigating the impact of shipping activities on the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW) in the Salish Sea.

Commercial shipping accounts for nearly 50% of the acoustic noise in the Salish Sea. The Conservation Agreement encourages large commercial vessels to slow down in key foraging areas for the SRKW to reduce underwater noise that may disrupt their ability to find prey. The agreement also pledges ongoing support to the ECHO program from the signatories, and details joint efforts to grow international engagement and collaboration while also collecting and sharing data and research between key groups.

The coalition brings together the Department of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, Transport Canada, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA), Pacific Pilotage Authority (PPA), and the commercial marine sector.

"We appreciate the Government of Canada's continued support in implementing effective, protective, and flexible measures that respect the inherent challenges of safe and responsible trade," said Robert Lewis-Manning, President of the Chamber of Shipping. "This significant commitment by ship operators comes at a period of unprecedented trade volatility, and at a time when ship operators are implementing costly technical changes to their practices and fleets as they prepare to transition to low-sulphur fuel in 2020, in addition to installing ballast water treatment systems to stop the spread of invasive species. With the support of the Government, our industry has banded together to commit to tackling problems efficiently, effectively, and transparently".

The agreement extends the voluntary measures designed to reduce the impact of large commercial vessels and hopes to attain an 80% participation rate. Since the Salish Sea is bi-national waters, shared between Canada and the USA, these voluntary measures can establish effective measures and guidelines in a way that traditional regulation cannot, as it would be outside the Government of Canada's jurisdiction. (Photo VFPA)



Talks continue after ILWU strike vote by BC dockers


Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (Canada) voted overwhelmingly (98.4%) at the end of last week to strike against the BC Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) to replace an eight-year contract expired on March 31, 2018 but have agreed to continue negotiations throughout May.
Any such strike would hit cargo traffic at Vancouver, Prince Rupert and other BC ports accounting for over half of Canada's maritime trade. The last major strike was called in 1935. Neither side would say what issues are holding up agreement.

"We have dates scheduled to continue bargaining through to the end of May with the assistance of the federal Conciliation and Mediation Services," said Jeff Scott, BCMEA chairman.
Rino Voci, President of ILWU Local 500 previously indicated that a "yes" vote does not mean dockworkers will go on strike immediately. "It means the union can go on strike in the next 60 days with a 72-hour strike notice to the employer." (photo VFPA)



DP World purchases Fraser Surrey Docks


Dubai-based DP World PLC has announced the acquisition of Fraser Surrey Docks terminal at Canada's Port of Vancouver from Macquarie Infrastructure Partners (MIP). MIP is a fund managed by the Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) division of Macquarie Group.  Earlier this week, Macquarie sold its ownership stake in Halterm Container Terminal to PSA International.

The acquisition will be effected through DP World's Canadian subsidiary, DP World Canada Investment Inc. which is owned 45% by Caisse de dépot et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and is subject to customary completion conditions. DP World expects the transaction to be earnings accretive from the first full year of consolidation and to close in the first half of 2019.

Fraser Surrey Docks is a large, multi-purpose marine terminal located in the greater Vancouver area of British Columbia, Canada. It operates over 1,200 meters of berth and 189 acres of yard and is one of Vancouver's major steel import terminals. It also handles over 1 million tons of grain and serves several container lines, handling approximately 250,000 TEU in 2018.

The acquisition of Fraser Surrey Docks complements DP World's footprint in Canada and provides an attractive platform to better serve its customers' break-bulk and dry bulk requirements. DP World's existing facilities at Centerm terminal in Vancouver and Fairview container terminal at Prince Rupert have enjoyed strong growth in recent years. (photo VFPA)



Fednav's Paul Pathy addresses Conseil des relations internationales de Montréal


By Leo Ryan, Editor Maritime Magazine

Addressing an industry luncheon, Paul Pathy, President and CEO of Fednav Limited, summed up the successes of the Montreal-based shipping line marking its 75th anniversary year and commented on the "challenging grind" facing shipowners in the current global environment.

The third generation head of the family enterprise spoke to some 300 attendees from the Canadian financial, maritime industry, and business circles as well as from the legal fraternity at the event staged on May 8 at a downtown Montreal hotel by the Conseil des relations internationales de Montréal (CORIM).

"As someone said, success is not where you are, but how you have come to get there," said Mr. Pathy who fully took over the helm of the largest international bulk shipping firm in Canada in 2016. Previously, he had shared the chief executive role for six years with his brother, Mark, who decided to step down.

His prime goal is "to step on the shoulder of something that is  (already) great and make it spectacular. We like to be a leader in everything we do."

Fednav, Mr. Pathy noted, operates up to 120 vessels worldwide, including 63 owned vessels, and moves over 30 million tons of bulk and breakbulk cargo annually.

Employing 300 direct office staff around the world and 3,000 onboard crew, Fednav ranks second in the world as an owner of Handysize ships, is the top international operator on the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway System, and is the only carrier operating year round in the Canadian Arctic unescorted with ice-class vessels (notably to and from mining sites).

As part of further fleet development, two Lakes-suitable bulk carriers being built in Japan will be delivered later this year. One has been named the Federal Montreal.

"It is the first time one of our ships has been named after a city," indicated Mr. Pathy, who made clear it was a symbolic gesture falling in the context of Fednav's long history with Montreal. He also announced that Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO of the Montreal Port Authority, will be the ship's godmother.

Regarding markets and market trends, Mr. Pathy said "we go everywhere, though more on the Atlantic trades than the Pacific trades."

He pointed out that rates were such that it was easier to "make money on the Atlantic Ocean than the Pacific. Rates are very good when you want to send a ship out to Asia but terrible when you want to send a ship back from Asia."

Generally speaking, Mr. Pathy said, the past two decades have been marked by big swings in dry bulk markets and timecharter rates. Fednav, he said, is striving to navigate through all the complexity by "growing organically" in the hope that business will recover stability. (photo Sylvie-Ann Paré).



CN investing to maximize rail into Prince Rupert


Montreal - As part of its growth strategy, CN announced it is increasing its operations in Western Canada with two additional major export supply chain projects coming online as well as a record month of April for the movement of Canadian grain. Both of the new projects are focused on maximizing the use of rail into the Port of Prince Rupert in British Columbia.

The first train of thermal coal from Coalspur's Vista Mine in Hinton, Alberta has shipped to Ridley Terminals. CN is also delivering the first unit train of propane from Alberta for export via the new AltaGas Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal.

"I'm very proud to announce the start of these new export supply chains to Asia," said JJ Ruest, president and chief executive officer of CN. "Our objective is to help create export supply chains that get national resources to the best markets for our customers.  These projects support jobs and increase Canada's role as an international energy provider into Asia. As these new projects and our record grain movements for the month of April demonstrate, our capital investments are strengthening our existing network and expanding our capacity to move more western Canadian natural resources to market safely and efficiently."

In the month of April, CN total tonnage of grain moved out of Western Canada was an all-time record 2.72 Million Metric Tons (MMT) compared to the three-year average of 2.23 MMT.

"With 21.1 MMT moved in the first nine months of the crop year, our results are +8.2%, or 1.6 MMT ahead of the three-year average," declared Allen Foster, CN's vice-president of Bulk, based in Calgary. "This record result is further proof that our infrastructure investments in capacity benefit all natural resources supply chains."

The AltaGas Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal benefits from excellent railway service and a marine jetty with deep-water access to the Pacific Ocean. The facility has been receiving propane since mid-April and will provide access to more attractively priced markets in Asia for the propane derived from the natural gas industry based in British Columbia and Alberta. CN and AltaGas have been working closely with local communities and stakeholders in the Prince Rupert area, setting the foundation for a successful project.

"CN is a valued and strategic partner who plays a critical role in the success of our Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal," explained James Shelford, Senior Vice President, Commercial for AltaGas. "Ensuring the safe and reliable delivery of propane to our facility is an integral component of our integrated asset platform that is designed to provide maximum value to our customers."

The brand new Vista Mining Complex is a low-cost world-class surface mine operation expected to employ in excess of 350 people full-time. With committed rail and terminal capacity, the project is focused on the serving the growing demand for thermal coal in the Asian markets. Coalspur has targeted initial annual production of upwards of 7 million tons, with plans to grow. (photo PRPA)

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