Port of Prince Rupert recognized for sustainable performance

Port of Prince Rupert celebrated a significant milestone when it recently received an enhanced rating by Green Marine, North America’s leading marine environmental stewardship organization. In addition, Don Krusel, the Port Authority’s President and CEO, was invited to take a leadership role on Green Marine’s Board of Directors as Vice-Chair of the international organization.

“This recognition by Green Marine is an important acknowledgement of the value the Port Authority places on environmental stewardship,” said Gary Paulson, Vice-President of Operations and Harbour Master for Prince Rupert Port Authority. “Since becoming Canada’s first West Coast port to join Green Marine in 2010, we have made our commitment to environmental leadership a key priority. We are working to ensure that existing terminals and future developments demonstrate ecological sensitivity and sustainability.”

Mr. Krusel addressed Green Marine’s fifth annual GreenTech Conference, speaking about the importance of ensuring that the Port’s operations are characterized by sustainability and responsibility.

“We are keenly aware that while our activities benefit communities significantly, we also have a considerable impact because of traffic and industrial activity,” said Krusel. “The support of our communities for the Port’s development is one of our most important strategic assets. The support of Prince Rupert’s citizens makes us unique compared to many other ports, and we want to maintain and enhance that relationship of trust.”

During the Quebec City conference, Krusel was invited to sit on Green Marine’s Board of Directors, an offer he readily accepted.

“I am proud that Port of Prince Rupert will play an important role in defining high environmental standards for North America’s marine sector,” Krusel said.

Canadian Forces’ submarine hitches a ride

Canadian Forces’ HMCS Ojibwa completed its 12-day journey from Halifax to Hamilton with a little help from Heddle Marine Service Inc. and McKeil Marine Limited.

“Hamilton Port Authority is proud that Heddle Marine and McKeil Marine call the port of Hamilton home and we are delighted to welcome Ojibwa into Hamilton, one of many interesting cargo types to move through the port.” says Ian Hamilton, Vice-President, Business Development.  The 2,500-tonne underwater giant entered Canadian services in 1965 and served the Royal Canadian Navy and NATO throughout the Cold War until its decommissioning in 1998.

Planning for the submarine’s 1,200-nautical-mile voyage required innovative marine solutions and a detailed engineering study of each step to verify stability, deck loading, sea fastening and effects that weather would have on the transportation process. Ojibwa traveled through the St. Lawrence River and across Lake Ontario on Heddle Marine’s floating drydock towed by the Florence M, part of McKeil Marine’s fleet.  “We are proud to be part of Project Ojibwa,” said Rick Heddle, who was in Halifax to supervise the loading of the submarine for its safe journey to Hamilton where it will spend the summer at the Heddle shipyard receiving some early restoration work and permanent cradles to assist in the transportation to its final destination.

On September 7th, Ojibwa will arrive by barge in Port Burwell where the 300-foot-long, five-story-high submarine will be transported overland to the Elgin Military Museum in St. Thomas, where it will be on permanent display. After extensive restoration over the upcoming winter, Ojibwa will open for tours in the summer of 2013.

Edward Norwich, a medic who served onboard Ojibwa for three years says, “Ojibwa is an important part of Canadian Heritage, one that deserves to be displayed proudly.  It had many great adventures, and its sailors were true-blue deep-sea submariners at their best.”

Heddle Marine Service Inc. is a full-service ship repair yard that provides repair services to all types and various sizes of vessels in the marine industry, and is the only marine repair firm that operates multiple floating dry docks on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes.

McKeil Marine’s core business is providing marine transportation and project services for a wide array of industries.  With its skilled sailing and support crew, marine architects and engineers, the company works closely with customers to provide marine transportation solutions throughout the Great Lakes to Eastern Canada and the Arctic.

Cargo shipments through St. Lawrence Seaway up 5 per cent in May

Cargo shipments of commodities through the St. Lawrence Seaway, such as iron ore, coal, aluminum and construction materials, totalled 4.5 million tonnes in May, an increase of 5 per cent over the same month last year.

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) also reported that year-to-date shipments through the system from March 22 to May 31 totalled 8.9 million tonnes, up 3.7 per cent over the same period in 2011. All cargo categories experienced increased volumes, except grain and liquid bulk.

The growth continues to be driven by a healthy demand by U.S. and Canadian manufacturers and construction firms for raw materials, along with increased exports of iron ore and coal.  Shipments of aluminum ingots from Quebec to manufacturers in Ontario and the U.S. have also increased, while international vessels shipped in wind turbine components for projects in Western Canada and the U.S. Midwest.

Bruce Hodgson, Director of Market Development for SLSMC, said: “It’s encouraging to see that manufacturers, construction and resource companies in the Great Lakes-Seaway region are continuing to find business opportunities both domestically and internationally despite continuing global economic uncertainty. The St. Lawrence Seaway remains the most efficient way for these companies to transport their goods.”

Coal shipments through the Seaway in May increased by 22 per cent to 528,000 tonnes compared to the same period last year due to export demand from power utilities in Europe.  Year-to-date figures for coal total 1.1 million tonnes, an overall improvement of 31 per cent over 2011.

Iron ore volumes were 1.3 million tonnes in May, up 40 per cent compared to the same month last year. Year-to-date figures for iron ore are up 23 per cent to 2.5 million tonnes. These included U.S. iron ore for international export, and inbound traffic from Labrador for steel manufacturing in Hamilton. Year-to-date cement exports from Ontario to the U.S. also increased 30 per cent to 393,000 tonnes.

Hamilton-based McKeil Marine Limited, which transports products such as aluminum ingots and project cargo through the Seaway on its articulated tug barges, said it was optimistic about the future prospects for shipping in the Great Lakes-Seaway region.

“We continue to be cautiously optimistic as tonnage increases in some market segments, however, there is little clarity on a long-term basis. The good news is that we are seeing increases month to month, which is encouraging and we continue to attract a number of project cargoes driven predominantly by the construction of the Vale Inco nickel processing plant in Long Harbour, Newfoundland”, says Steve Fletcher of McKeil Marine Limited.

Disney Magic visits Canada and hosts first-call ceremonies

The 2,700-passenger Disney Magic recently set sail from New York, taking cruisers on the first of nine 5-night Canadian – New England coast itineraries with stops in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Saint John, New Brunswick. “Canada and the New England coast are alluring destinations for our guests,” said Disney Cruise Line Captain John Barwis. “This region’s history, quaint charm and scenic vistas will provide our guests with a unique and memorable vacation, and sailing from New York is convenient for many families who reside in the Northeast.”

To celebrate the inaugural calls on Halifax and Saint John, Captain Barwis and his shipboard officers hosted local port officials and community leaders aboard the vessel for a plaque exchange ceremony, in accordance with maritime tradition. “It’s an honour for us and our tourism partners to host Disney – one of the world’s most iconic brands – for the 2012 cruise season,” said Cathy McGrail, manager of Cruise Development for Halifax Port Authority. “We’ve been eagerly awaiting this day since it was announced over a year ago and we’re excited to showcase our city to a new demographic.”

Disney Magic crew members surprised more than 130 children in two hospitals in Halifax and Saint John with character visits during this initial cruise. Over the years, these visits have grown into a tradition for crew members to demonstrate Disney’s commitment to the local community.

Maersk-Rickmers transports coal shovels for client in Russia

Maersk Line, Limited and Rickmers-Linie of Hamburg, Germany, have formed a partnership to provide worldwide breakbulk and project cargo shipping using two newly built 19,592-dwt multi-purpose ships, the Maersk Illinois and the Maersk Texas, to be operated under the U.S. flag.

The Maersk Illinois recently departed Milwaukee with a load of two P&H 2800XPC electric rope shovels destined for a coal mine in the Russian Federation.

Freight forwarders Dialog Freight International (Canada) Inc. of Calgary, in partnership with Universal Cargo Services of St. Petersburg, Russia, have transported five P&H electric rope shovels in the past two years for P&H Mining (Joy Global) customers in Russia. Of these, four 2800 series shovels have been shipped directly from the Port of Milwaukee through the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

The two shovels are part of an ongoing supply relationship linking Milwaukee-based companies like Joy Global and Caterpillar with the coal industry in the Russian Federation. By the end of 2012, Joy Global will have placed a total of 23 modern P&H-brand electric mining shovels in Russia’s Kuzbass coal mining  operations since 2005. Russia is investing in modern infrastructure to help its coal industry expand.

With reserves estimated at 200 billion tons – the world’s third largest – coal has long been a dominant energy source supporting Russia’s economy and industrial base. Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin announced from Kemerovo, Siberia in January 2012 a plan to spend 3.7 trillion rubles (US$120 billion) on the coal industry through 2030. Russian companies produced 336 million tons of coal in 2011 and may reach 430 million tons by 2030, Putin said.

Russia’s Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko told Putin that Russia would more than double coal exports to Asia to an annual 85 million tons by 2030, including nearly 15 million tons to China. In comparison, Russia shipped 32 million tons to India, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and China during 2011. Exports to Europe will rise by an annual rate of 5 million tons to 85 million tons by 2030 and sales in Russia will increase 11 per cent to 219 million tons.