Vancouver Island city of Nanaimo lands European auto manufacturer vehicle processing centre for Western Canada

By R. Bruce Striegler

At first glance, the Vancouver Island city of Nanaimo may seem to be an unusual location for a yet un-named European auto manufacturer to establish a vehicle processing centre (VPC) for Western Canada. However, Ewan Moir, President and CEO of Nanaimo Port Authority, assures us that is exactly what is taking place. “Historically, the way European autos reach Western Canada is after unloading from ships at Eastern Canadian ports, they are shipped across the country by rail, then moved into holding yards and moved again by truck to the dealerships. Logistical challenges, delays, and costs coming across Canada opened people’s eyes to the need for change.” Moir mentions land prices in the Vancouver area as a further issue. “Dealerships were turning to the manufacturer and expressing concern about holding large inventories which were becoming an expensive proposition.” (more…)

Oil pipeline approval also generates Federal initiatives to protect and restore B.C.’s coast

Oil pipeline approval also generates Federal initiatives to protect and restore B.C.’s coast

By R. Bruce Striegler

Little did Prime Minister Justin Trudeau realize in November 2016 as he stood before a crowd of reporters in Vancouver announcing his government’s $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan, that he would ultimately have to declare in May 2018 the government would be spending a further $4.5 billion to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline and all of Kinder Morgan Canada’s core assets.

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First Nations Eagle Spirit project offers an alternative to the troubled Kinder Morgan proposal

By R. Bruce Striegler

While the public and the national media have been focused on the controversy over the Kinder Morgan Pipeline Expansion, another, quite different, proposal has been gaining considerable attention. A venture lead by noted B.C. First Nations writer and entrepreneur Calvin Helin, is proposing a $16 billion project to carry Alberta oil to tidewater in British Columbia. Five years ago, Eagle Spirit Energy Holdings Ltd., began investigating the notion of creating the Eagle Spirit energy corridor, whose concept is to move Alberta bitumen, B.C. natural gas and B.C. hydroelectricity along a route from Alberta to northwestern B.C. terminating near Prince Rupert. The acrimony over the Kinder Morgan expansion has brought the focus of their idea directly onto the oil pipeline portion of the plan. (more…)

Merger of Japan’s three largest container lines creates world’s sixth largest liner shipping company

Merger of Japan’s three largest container lines creates world’s sixth largest liner shipping company

By R. Bruce Striegler

Marine shipping analyst Alphaliner notes the recent major Japanese container line merger, comprising NYK, Mitsui OSK Lines and K Line, is set to go with an outstanding bright magenta colouring, far removed from the usual dark, plain colours generally seen in the industry. ONE, (Ocean Network Express Pte. Ltd.) announced in 2016, and started trading under its new name as of April 1, 2018. The new company will operate from a global headquarters in Singapore, regional headquarters in the United Kingdom, the United States, Hong Kong and Brazil and a holding company office in Tokyo. All approvals for the merger from antitrust authorities in all regions and countries were completed in January 2018. (more…)

West coast terminals

West coast terminals

By R. Bruce Striegler

Viterra Inc.’s Vancouver Cascadia and Pacific Terminals

Viterra operates six port facilities in its network, shipping grains, oilseeds and pulses to customers in over fifty countries. This includes the Cascadia and Pacific Terminals at the Port of Vancouver. The Cascadia terminal handles wheat, durum, canola, barley and rye, with a storage capacity of 280,000 tonnes. Over the past several years, Viterra invested more than $100 million in the Pacific Terminal, which opened in 2016 and tripled the terminal’s annual handling capacity to more than six million tonnes. Originally constructed in the 1920s, the Pacific Terminal is comprised of the original National Harbours Board facility and the original Alberta Pacific Grain Co. Viterra assumed ownership in 2007.

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Coal survives in a market full of change and consolidation

By R. Bruce Striegler

Centred on a theme of “A Sustainable Future: Coal and the Environment”, the 2017 conference of the Coal Association of Canada, held in Vancouver in late September, heard keynote speaker Ernie Thrasher say, “I was here in June last year, and I think most of us were sitting here praying we were at the bottom of the price curve, and there were presentations about the demise of the U.S. coal industry. One of the topics was how there were no U.S. coal mines that could survive in an $84 (per tonne) coking coal market and the debate was whether anyone could survive.” Thrasher outlined how many of those companies in the U.S. and Canada were undergoing financial restructuring, and how capital markets were closed to the coal industry, with large mining companies having decided that coal was not the place to be. With more than 40 years in the coal industry, Thrasher is the founder of XCoal, the largest exporter of U.S. coal to Asia, and has held various positions in mine operations and mine management, as well as marketing.

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