• 2020 February 14 18:07

    Canada plans to support ban on heavy fuel oil in Arctic shipping

    Canada will support a ban on the use of heavy fuel oil by ships plying Arctic waters at the upcoming meeting of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London, Transport Canada officials announced during a teleconference call Wednesday, according to people who participated in the call, RCI said yesterday.

    Transport Canada officials announced their commitment to a heavy fuel oil (HFO) ban “with certain caveats” during a stakeholder engagement call ahead of the 7th Session of the IMO’s Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR7) that begins on Monday, according to at least two participants of the call.

    A Transport Canada spokesperson would neither confirm nor deny the report.

    This would make Canada the seventh Arctic country to support the proposal that has been championed by environmental groups and the Inuit Circumpolar Council since at least 2015 but has faced stiff opposition from maritime shipping companies involved in sealift operations in the Canadian Arctic.

    The proposed ban on heavy fuel oil will apply to all ships operating north of 60˚N latitude off the coasts of Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, as well as parts of Nunavik in Northern Quebec.

    Internationally it will include waters off Alaska’s coast north of 60˚N latitude, almost the entire Arctic coast of Russia with the exception of waters off Kola Peninsula, Norway’s Svalbard Archipelago, and entire Greenland.

    Heavy fuel oil (HFO), a thick viscous residual fuel that produces high amounts of soot, particulate matter and black carbon, is already banned in ships operating in Antarctic waters since 2011.

    The Canadian submission to PPR7 obtained by Radio Canada International says banning HFO in the Arctic would bring environmental benefits but would come at a higher economic cost for northern communities dependent on the marine resupply from southern Canada.

    The announcement by Transport Canada officials that they plan to back the HFO ban drew the ire of Suzanne Paquin, president and CEO of NEAS Group Inc., a Montreal-based shipping company that serves communities in Canada’s Eastern Arctic.

    Paquin said, the company, which is jointly owned by Makivik Corporation, Nunavik’s Inuit Birthright Corporation, and Transport Nanuk Inc., provides sealift operations to all of the Inuit communities in Nunavut and Nunavik.

    The ships owned and operated by NEAS run on HFO, she said.

    “Not running on HFO will have an impact, especially given cold climate weather, which can have an impact on these engines and that’s what has not been tested,” Paquin said.

    Paquin said in more than 30 years of her professional experience related to maritime shipping she has never heard of an HFO spill in the Arctic and accused Ottawa to caving in to a “campaign of misinformation and misguidedness.”

    Environmental groups, on the other hand, applauded the government’s decision.

    Transport Canada should be commended for working towards protecting the marine environment and ensuring communities have access to a clean ocean for food and culture, Dumbrille said.

    HFO spills as a result of an accident present a big threat to the Arctic environment, according to experts.

    HFO has a high viscosity and density and does not evaporate quickly, and can stay in the environment for a long time, according to the Canadian submission.

    Clean-up efforts will be particularly challenging given the cold environment, the enormous distances and the lack of infrastructure and resources to mount a quick response, the report notes.

    Not all experts agree that substituting HFO by marine diesel would lead to less environmental damage in case of a spill.

    Merv Fingas, an Edmonton-based spill response expert who wrote a study for Transport Canada on this issue, said efforts by environmental groups to ban HFO in favour of lighter distillate fuels are “misguided” because these fuels have water-soluble components that are toxic to aquatic organisms.

    Canada should follow Finland’s example and move away from both HFO and diesel towards other fuels such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG) that don’t present the same risks in case of a spill, Fingas said.

    Transport Canada does not agree with Fingas’s view that marine diesel presents a higher risk in case of a marine spill.

    Paquin said instead of banning HFO the federal government should be investing in spill response measures and infrastructure in remote Arctic communities.

    Marine diesel fuels are up to 100 times more toxic than HFO fuels they will replace, she said.

    The increased cost of fuel due the HFO ban could result in additional price increases for community resupply products in the range of 0.7 per cent to 1.9 per cent, Canada’s submission to the IMO says.

    The potential financial impact on northern communities could be further compounded by the introduction of new measures to reduce air pollution generated by the maritime shipping industry worldwide that came into effect as of Jan. 1, 2020.

    The IMO has introduced the 0.5 per cent sulphur content cap in marine fuel with the aim of reducing harmful sulphur emissions from ships by 77 per cent by 2025.

    This means that as of Jan. 1 the shipping industry can no longer use heavy fuel oil, which was the cheapest fuel available and normally contained up to 3.5 per cent of sulphur, said Dumbrille.

    The shipping industry estimates that this could translate into an increase in the cost of the sealift of up to $700 per household for remote Arctic communities that get the majority of their goods during the short summer marine resupply season.

    The HFO ban would add another $700 dollars to this bill and will disproportionally affect Inuit communities that have much lower incomes and can ill-afford the price increase, the industry claims.

    Officials at Qikiqtani Inuit Association, a regional Inuit association that represents 13 Inuit communities in eastern Nunavut, also were not available for comment.

    William Tagoona of Makivik Corporation, which represents Inuit communities in Nunavik, said they are not ready to comment on the issue “until more information is made available.”

    Dumbrille said the commitment to banning HFO from Transport Canada is going to provide certainty for all involved and prepare operators and communities for the eventual ban.


2020 February 22

11:39 USCG Cutter Legare returns home after interdicting over 3,300 pounds of drugs
10:47 Ray Fitzgerald to rejoin Crowley as COO

2020 February 21

18:12 Digitization of KN: paper is no longer used in the operation of Klaipėda LNG terminal
17:48 NIBULON Shipyard is about to launch second non-self-propelled open type vessel
17:17 CMA CGM announces Emergency Space Surcharge from North Europe, Scandinavia & Poland to West Med, East Med, Adriatic & North Africa
16:59 New roll trailers put into operation at Bronka port
16:04 AS Tallink Grupp’s wholly-owned subsidiary AS Hansatee Cargo merged with Group’s wholly-owned subsidiary AS Tallink
15:25 Russia's Main Department of State Expertise approved adjusted design documentation under Nord Stream 2 project
15:02 OCEAN Industries orders MAN Propulsion Packages for Royal Canadian Navy tugs
14:13 Diana Shipping announces time charter contract for m/v Coronis with Koch and cancellation of the sale of a Capesize dry bulk vessel
13:01 COSCO SHIPPING Lines provides water and rail transport services
12:40 Wärtsilä LPG Fuel Supply System the first ever to undergo engine testing
12:12 ABS to class world’s largest B-Tank VLECs by Jiangnan
11:30 Coronavirus disease 2019 – IMO urges no unnecessary delays to ships
11:09 World’s first LPG-retrofit order exercises option for four additional engines
10:44 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Feb 21
10:43 Biofouling demands collective, urgent and ‘proactive’ approach, stresses Bellona
10:09 Cod farming set for rebound as savvy investors rush to back Norcod
09:55 Bunker prices are slightly down at the port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia
09:43 GTT acquires Icelandic company Marorka, an expert in Smart Shipping
09:35 BlueWater Reporting closely monitoring blanked sailings amid coronavirus outbreak
09:34 Brent Crude futures price is down 0.73% to $58.88, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.61% to $53.55
09:16 Baltic Dry Index is up to 480 points

2020 February 20

18:27 SMOOTH PORTS Partners met and discussed in Livorno
18:07 UNIIQ invests in Tetrahedron’s innovative crane for next-gen wind turbines
17:52 RF Navy’s Admiral Kasatonov frigate left for Barents Sea to continue testing
17:30 Evergreen issues notice for reefer cargo to Shanghai、Ningbo and Xingang, China
17:17 Tersan Shipyard (Turkey) delivers lead crab catching and processing ship of Project ST184
17:00 West Africa Container Terminal to commence Phase 2 upgrade
16:53 Port of Rotterdam increases sales of LNG and VLSFO
16:53 Indonesia hosts new national workshop on maritime security risk
16:29 UN agencies collaborate to promote seafarers’ rights treaty
16:04 INOK TM and Admiral Makarov SUMIS sign agreement on cooperation
15:38 Rosmorport reports on its icebreaker support in Russian seaports as of February 17, 2020
15:11 Rosmorport changes tariffs for services offered at the seaport of Kaliningrad
14:47 BIMCO joins Japan to regulate carbon intensity of existing ships
14:25 ESPO published its Position Paper on European Green Deal objectives in ports
14:02 CHIMBUSCO starts to supply China-produced low sulphur bunker oil to international ships
13:43 Top-level speakers announced for Unmanned Maritime Systems Technology 2020 in London
13:20 Throughput of Russia’s river ports fell by 11.6%, from 143.1 million tonnes in 2010 to 126.5 million tonnes in 2019
13:01 BC Ferries names and christens the first two Island Class ferries
12:46 Bunker prices are flat at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
12:31 National Marine Dredging Company and Royal IHC launch TSHD GHASHA
12:08 Port of Baku and Tamiz Shahar cooperate on environmental issues
11:48 Hapag-Lloyd improves operating result by more than 80 percent in 2019
11:41 Port of Gdynia widens its internal entrance to 140 m
11:15 CMA CGM announces PSS for exports from East Russia
10:52 Russian Maritime Register of Shipping introduces new scheme of oil and gas equipment approval
10:24 Main contractor Damen and more than a hundred companies contribute to Combat Support Ship
10:24 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Feb 20
09:53 Ships of RF Navy’s Baltic Fleet left for Atlantic to perform combat training tasks
09:35 Brent Crude futures price is up 0.32% to $59.31, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.45% to $53.73
09:14 Baltic Dry Index is up to 465 points

2020 February 19

18:37 Eni launches hull for Coral Sul FLNG in offshore Mozambique
18:06 Port of Rotterdam aims to become the most sustainable biorefinery in Europe
17:52 NOVATEK’s 2019 profit grew 5.3 times YoY to RUB 865.5 billion
17:31 Royal IHC launches TSHD GHASHA for National Marine Dredging Company
17:28 Wärtsilä and Carnival achieve real-time data exchange between ship and port
17:06 Jan De Nul finishes deepening works in the Port of Maputo
16:46 Port of Hamburg seaborne cargo throughput up 1.1 percent to 136.6 million tons in 2019