Tag Archives: International Maritime Organization

BC Ferries urged to chart a new course around LNG

Editor’s note: The MV Tacheck, which sails between Heriot Bay and Whaletown, has a 200 kW-hr battery bank and is considered BC Ferries’ first ‘hybrid ferry.’ However it was built in 1969 and The Tachek’s primary power source is conventional diesel engines. It is currently scheduled to be replaced by one of the six Island Class hybrid-electric ferries in 2027. BC Ferries CEO Nicolas Jimenez told Cortes Currents that as the infrastructure to go fully electric is not in place, the new ferry will initially have to rely in its diesel engines.

 “I would say the technology hasn’t quite caught up  to us, but in 20 years, 40 years, 60 years, 80 years, I think that would be a very different proposition.  We might have different energy sources like hydrogen (and others) that today aren’t really being explored as viable in this industry, that could be with advances in technology. I think we have to be open minded about the whole thing, but it’s definitely going to be a cleaner, greener future.”

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

BC Ferries has launched a bid to build up to seven green flagship vessels but climate groups are urging the company to abandon liquified natural gas to fuel ships and speed electrification of its fleet to reach its emissions targets. 

The ferry service recently revealed it has teamed up with a naval architectural firm to develop an early design to replace six large aging vessels and expand capacity on the busiest routes between the mainland and Vancouver Island. 

Continue reading BC Ferries urged to chart a new course around LNG

New emissions targets may sink LNG’s pitch as a shipping fuel

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The fossil fuel and shipping industries just got a serious shot across the bow over relying on liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a transition fuel.

On Friday, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) finalized stricter global emissions standards for the maritime industry while closing a significant regulatory loophole driving up the use of LNG as a shipping fuel.

LNG has lower CO2 emissions than other fossil fuels used in shipping but it also emits significant amounts of methane, a short-lived but powerful greenhouse gas responsible for more than 25 per cent of current global warming.

Continue reading New emissions targets may sink LNG’s pitch as a shipping fuel

Most Canadians on board with government cash for zero-emission shipping

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Canadians are generally pretty foggy about how much shipping emissions are fuelling the climate crisis. 

But as soon as they learn that the sector produces a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, the majority are on board with government investment in zero-emission ports, an Abacus Data poll indicates. 

Continue reading Most Canadians on board with government cash for zero-emission shipping

West Coast engineers aim to clear up acoustic smog impacting endangered killer whales

National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Editor’s note: In addition to being marine tourist destinations close to a principal British Columbian shipping lane, Cortes, Quadra and Read Islands are visited by both the northern and southern pods of Killer Whales

University of British Columbia engineers are working to help clear up the acoustic smog that hinders endangered orcas’ ability to gather information vital to their survival. 

Chronic underwater noise from shipping can drown out sounds marine mammals — such as the southern resident killer whales — use and rely on to communicate with each other, navigate, avoid danger or locate their prey. 

Continue reading West Coast engineers aim to clear up acoustic smog impacting endangered killer whales

Cruise ships self-reported compliance with new wastewater guidelines to Transport Canada

National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The federal government says cruise ships operating in Canadian waters have overwhelmingly met the more stringent wastewater guidelines put in this spring.

However, critics say Transport Canada’s report is very light on details and the industry’s largest source of water pollution remains untreated. 

Continue reading Cruise ships self-reported compliance with new wastewater guidelines to Transport Canada