Toronto Port Authority moves forward on Bay Street development

Toronto Port Authority (TPA) announced that it has selected a consortium led by Oxford Properties Group, the real estate investment arm of the OMERS Worldwide Group of Companies, as its preferred proponent for the redevelopment of its property at Bay and Harbour Streets.

Known as the 30 Bay/60 Harbour Project, the 1.8-acre site is anchored by the landmark Toronto Harbour Commission building at 60 Harbour Street, which will be maintained and preserved. The otherwise vacant site is currently used for surface parking.

Mark McQueen, Chairman of the Port Authority’s Board of Directors, said, “This significant development initiative is a major element of the long term financial sustainability of TPA, and will increase the agency’s flexibility as it undertakes various essential public works projects over the coming years.”

Mr. McQueen said TPA undertook a rigorous procurement process, noting that the submissions were reviewed by an evaluation team and independent advisors under the oversight of a fairness consultant.

TPA President and CEO Geoffrey Wilson said that the agency was “pleased to be moving forward with Oxford, a company that understands the exciting potential of the property. TPA will be able to showcase the historic Harbour Commission Building in an enhanced public realm while creating new and exciting space to support the city’s expanding financial services sector and the overall growth in the South Core.”

The proposed development will focus on high quality office and commercial opportunities, which Wilson noted was consistent with the City of Toronto’s goal to achieve the right balance of office, commercial, and residential mixed use in the South Core area.

Oxford and TPA will work to formalize their business arrangement over the next few months.

Following those negotiations, the partners will undertake a thorough public consultation process as part of the planning and design phase. TPA hopes to have construction commence within the next few years following required approvals and site planning.

The National Shipping Company unveils new identity

New brand promotes company as total logistics solutions provider
The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (NSCSA) marked its evolution into a global force by launching its new brand, Bahri, at an event at the Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on April 15.
From the NSCSA’s humble beginning in 1979 as a national carrier, the Bahri brand now represents an organization that is one of the largest shipping conglomerates in the world with a keen understanding of diverse client needs in many markets.
“Our new brand reflects the nature of our organization – we are adaptive. The business landscape is changing at a tumultuous pace and requires nothing short of reinventing ourselves to be agile and responsive to the critical needs of our stakeholders in the national, regional and global arena. Today, as Bahri, we can proudly say that we do not only excel in marine transportation alone, but that we are realizing NSCSA’s dream to be a total logistics solutions provider,” said Saleh Al Jasser, Bahri’s CEO.
Bahri has expanded and diversified to include business sectors that span across oil and gas, chemicals, general cargo, dry bulk, and ship management. Bahri’s new brand will also be bolstered by a new and improved online presence. Presently, Bahri owns and operates 19 chemical tankers, 17 VLCCs and 4 general/ro-ro ships, with new-builds to join the fleet between 2012 and 2014. Bahri is one of the top 10 VLCC owners in the world.
“The developing demand around the world necessitates more responsive delivery. New requirements need innovations to match. Bahri today is a much larger and more able business than when we started and we plan on holding our course and staying true to these values while simultaneously assisting in the achievement of our nation’s goals,” says Mr. Al-Rubaian, Bahri’s Chairman.

Canfornav vessel first “saltie” to enter Port of Toronto in 2012

By Errol Francis
On Friday, March 22, Cyprus-registered M/V Barnacle became the first ocean-going “saltie” to enter the port of Toronto during the 2012 navigation season, arriving at the Redpath terminal, carrying a cargo of 19,350 tonnes of raw sugar from Corinto, Nicaragua. This cargo represented the first lifting under a new 3-year contract.
A vessel from Canfornav’s fleet has been the first “saltie” to call at the port during each of the past four shipping seasons. Built in China, the M/V Barnacle was delivered to Canfornav in July 2009. Since delivery, she has completed 27 voyages, of which 12 have been to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence.
The vessel is commanded by Captain Yuri Bodrov of the Ukraine. Yuri took command and delivery of Canfornav’s first new-build in 2002 and was proud to add another feather to his cap by having the distinction of being in command of the first ocean-going vessel to call at Toronto, to open the 2012 navigation season.
Captain Yuri Bodrov and Chief Engineer Andriy Bondar were welcomed to the City in an on-board traditional and historical “Beaver-Hat” ceremony, the origins of which date back to 1861, by Angus Amstrong, Harbour Master, on behalf of Toronto Port Authority. The ceremony was followed by a reception that was attended by several Redpath employees and guests, who were pleased to be given guided tours of the ship.
As part of Canfornav’s present fleet of 33 ocean-going vessels, 28 of which are suitable to trade in the St. Lawrence Seaway, the M/V Barnacle is a prime example of Canfornav’s commitment to its customers, agents and the ports they call on, providing modern bulk carriers for trading in this environmentally sensitive region.
With a continuing new-build ­program, active participation in environmental initiatives, its long-standing relationships and history in the Great Lakes, Canfornav is dedicated to continuing this tradition well into the future.
The M/V Barnacle also became the first ocean-going “saltie” vessel to enter the port of Thunder Bay during the 2012 navigation season, arriving at 8 a.m. on April 1.
The vessel took on a total of 19,600 tonnes of grain destined for San Juan, Puerto Rico.

World’s largest online database for cargo transportation goes live

BMT De Beer, a subsidiary of BMT Group Ltd, has launched CargoHandbook.com (www.cargohandbook.com), an online database for cargo transportation in the marine industry. As a rich source of knowledge, BMT De Beer aims to provide and share information on cargo transportation with the wider market and therefore help to reduce the number of cargo incidents and claims that occur.
Jeroen De Haas, Managing Director at BMT De Beer explains: “While every mode of transport has its own challenges and limitations, it is particularly during marine transportation that cargoes are often exposed to extreme conditions such as the forces caused by a rolling vessel or the constantly changing atmosphere. A strong understanding of cargoes and their specific transportation requirements is the key to ensuring the cargo arrives at its destination undamaged. This subscription-free, online platform will provide quick and easy access to information that isn’t readily available to the market today.”
The development of CargoHandbook includes a number of industry partners such as the Container Owners Association and GDV Transport Information Services. As well as a basic description and photograph of the cargo product, people can access information on the shipment/storage requirements including optimum temperature/humidity and moisture and the risk factors associated with the particular product.
Users of the website will be able to contact BMT to share additional information on a particular product, helping to expand the data available.
Jeroen De Haas continues: “This will be an evolving process, and we invested in this initiative because we are committed to collaborating with the wider market to ensure that CargoHandbook becomes the recognized source of knowledge on anything related to cargo transportation. Digitising this information will allow informed decisions to be made quicker and in turn will help to minimize the number of claims made.”

Plan Nord: major benefits expected for Montreal area

By BRIAN DUNN
The Montreal area is ex­pected to be the principal beneficiary of Quebec’s Plan Nord development plan to the tune of $52 billion over the next 25 years, according to a study commissioned by Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.
Announced in May 2011, Plan Nord is Premier Jean Charest’s ambitious $80 billion project to open Quebec’s North to mining, renewable energy, forestry products and tourism by 2036.
The Board will have to ensure the right strategies are put in place to maximize the spin-offs from Plan Nord, Board President and CEO Michel Leblanc said while presenting the study to the media on April 18, two days before Charest addressed a luncheon during a two-day Salon Plan Nord strategic forum. The forum and job fair involved over 800 participants at Montreal’s Palais des congrès convention centre.
“It’s up to us to ensure that Plan Nord is also a Plan Sud,” said Leblanc. The study calculates the exploitation of Quebec’s natural resources will create or maintain around 14,335 jobs in the Montreal area per year for 25 years.
In addition to Charest and Leblanc, guest speakers included Jean Simard, President, Aluminium Association of Canada, Jacynthe Côté, CEO, Rio Tinto Alcan, Yves Laflamme, Senior Vice-President, Resolute Forest Products, Thierry Vadal, President and CEO, Hydro-Quebec, and Alain Cauchon, Vice-President, ArcelorMittal.
It’s major projects like Plan Nord that drive infrastructure and not the other way around, according to Laflamme. “If there are no new projects, there’s no new infrastructure. And the (existing) roads are not big enough to accommodate all potential new projects. We also don’t know if new infrastructure will be paid for by the public or private sector.”
The four biggest challenges facing Plan Nord are related to manpower, logistics, financing and milieu (environmental issues), Laflamme added.
In terms of infrastructure, Charest noted the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (the province’s pension fund manager) said it was interested in financing infrastructure development as part of the Plan Nord. It is currently working with Canadian National Railway Co. on an estimated $5-billion project to build a new 800-kilometre railway stretching from Sept-Îles past Shefferville and into the Labrador Mining Trough. The partners need firm transport commitments from mining companies before they can proceed.