An unusual milestone was recorded earlier this month when the Canadian oil sands producer Cenovus Energy shipped oil from Kinder Morgan’s Westridge oil terminal via the Panama Canal to the Irving Oil refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick, on Canada’s east coast. The Panamax tanker Cabo De Hornos (Cape Horn) was chartered by Irving Oil for the 6,400 nautical mile voyage.
The world’s fleet of dedicated reefer ships has been in decline since the turn of the century on account of the expansion of containerized shipping which now dominates the carriage of chilled and frozen produce across the globe. Seaborne transport of fresh produce (fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy) is estimated to be in the region of 115-120 million tons per annum, some 80% of which is moving in containers.
The issue of livestock shipments is never far from the news in Australia where the government has come under enormous pressure to legislate improved carriage conditions, if not to ban the livestock trade entirely. The debate came to a head in 2017 when a shipment of 63,800 sheep from Freemantle to the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait incurred the loss of 2,400 sheep with the sub-standard conditions on the vessel being filmed by a whistleblower. This followed a similar incident in 2016, many of the deaths being attributed to the high temperatures and humidity in the Gulf during summer months. Government investigators pointed to inadequate manning and the complete absence of a heat stress management plan.
Following a cruise from Sydney to Auckland in February this year, my wife and I made a road trip through the North and South Islands of New Zealand including the picturesque city of Queenstown located on picturesque Lake Wakatipu. Since 1912, the freshwater lake has been the home of the magnificently preserved and operational TSS Earnslaw, reportedly the only commercial coal-fired passenger steamship in the southern hemisphere.
When delivered to her owners in July 2015, Höegh Target was the first in class of six “New Horizon Class” post-panamax auto carriers that are still the largest such vessels in the world. The vessel has 14 decks and a cargo opening to enable handling of units up to 6.5m high and 12m wide with a strengthened stern ramp allowing for handling of loads of up to 375 tonnes
In September 2019, Klaveness Combination Carriers took delivery of M.V. Barramundi from New Yangzi Shipyard in China. From a casual observation, this was not an exceptional event except that she is the third new build in a fleet of what will eventually be nine so-called “CLEANBU” combination carriers. That is to say, a series of high specification new builds capable of carrying wet or bulk cargoes. Deliveries are scheduled until 2021.
As construction of British Columbia’s first LNG export project moves ahead, we are reminded of a number of LNG export projects across the globe that have required courage and vision along with the acceptance of commercial risk to bring them to a successful final investment decision. The major LNG producers of Qatar, Australia, the United States, Malaysia, Nigeria, Russia and Indonesia and Norway have each overcome challenges unique to their geography and environment.
With COP 25 concluding this week in Madrid, it is perhaps worthwhile to recognize the technologies being employed over the past decade in pursuit of the exponentially growing demand for installation of offshore wind turbines. A good example of the purpose-built heavy-lift jack-up vessels employed in this trade is Pacific Orca owned by Swire Pacific Offshore (SPO).
In July this year, the Royal Boskalis Westminster owned semi-submersible heavy lift vessel BOKA Vanguard loaded the LOA 324m x 37m beam cruise ship Carnival Vista for drydocking and repair of the vessel’s azipod propulsion system in the Grand Bahama Bahama shipyard Freeport, Bahamas. The unusual operation was an emergency solution to the closure of one of Grand Bahama Shipyard’s three drydocks following a crane collapse which damaged Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas.
Based here in Vancouver, Canada, Methanex is the world’s largest producer and supplier of methanol. The company operates production sites in Canada, Chile, Egypt, New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States supported by a global supply chain of terminals, storage facilities and the world’s largest dedicated fleet of methanol tankers.