Friday, June 26, 2020

Olvera Joins Long Beach Harbor Commission

Bobby Olvera Jr. participated in his first meeting on Monday, June 22, as the newest member of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, which oversees the Port of Long Beach and the City’s Harbor Department.

Olvera, a fifth-generation dockworker, serves as International Vice President (Mainland) of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and was appointed to the Board in May by Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia.

The Long Beach City Council unanimously confirmed Olvera to complete the term of Commissioner Lou Anne Bynum, which ends in June 2021. Bynum resigned from the Board in March to serve as interim superintendent-president of the Long Beach City College District. Olvera is eligible to serve two full terms after the expiration of his current partial term.

“I am honored to be part of this Commission. I look forward to serving on this Board during a time filled with challenges.” Olvera said.

A Marine Corps veteran, Olvera has served in a variety of leadership roles within ILWU Local 13 in Southern California, the largest ILWU local on the West Coast that includes the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. He was elected ILWU International Vice President in 2018.

103 Tons of Plastic Removed From the Pacific

Ocean Voyages Institute’s marine plastic recovery vessel S/V Kwai returned to port of Honolulu this month after a 48-day expedition, successfully removing 103 tons (206,000 lbs.) of fishing nets and consumer plastics from the North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone, more commonly known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch or Gyre.

“I am so proud of our hard working crew,” says Mary Crowley, founder and executive director of Ocean Voyages Institute. “We exceeded our goal of capturing 100 tons of toxic consumer plastics and derelict ‘ghost’ nets, and in these challenging times, we are continuing to help restore the health of our ocean, which influences our own health and the health of the planet.”

During the expedition, the Kwai’s multinational crew collected marine plastic pollution with the help of GPS satellite trackers designed by Ocean Voyages Institute and Pacific Gyre, Inc. These beacons are placed on nets by volunteer yachts and ships. Drones, as well as lookouts up the mast, enable the ship’s crew to home in on the debris. They then recover the litter, place it in industrial bags, and store it in the ship’s cargo hold for proper recycling and repurposing at the end of the voyage.

One tracker can lead to many nets, as the ocean frequently collects debris in such a way that a tagged fishing net can lead to other nets and a density of debris within a 15-mile radius.

Port of Seattle Police Protocol Changes

The Port of Seattle Executive Director Steve Metruck has announced immediate changes to Port of Seattle Police Department protocols regarding hiring practices, commitment to diversity, and use of force. Executive Director Metruck also endorsed a proposal by the Commission for a comprehensive assessment of police policies and practices and recommendations for reforms.

The Commission proposal would create a new Task Force on Policing and Civil Rights to guide the comprehensive police department assessment and report recommendations to the public. The Task Force will include two Commissioners, representatives from the Port’s Blacks in Government employee resource group, the Office of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, Port Police, Legal, Labor Relations, and other Port corporate and business divisions. External representatives on the task force may include community leaders, including civil rights advocates, and experts on criminal justice and law enforcement.

The immediate actions implemented by the Executive Director include:

• An immediate ban on use of vascular or airway neck restraints, termed by the public as “chokeholds.”

• Police hiring evaluation panels will be diverse in their membership and include at least one person of color.

• Police officer applicants will be disqualified automatically based on a finding of the use of excessive force against a member of the public or racial discrimination against another employee.

• De-escalation training, anti-discrimination training, and “bystander” intervention (where an officer observes another officer acting in violation of the law or Port of Seattle policies), will be required for all officers on a regular basis.

• The Port will review the issue of “qualified immunity’’ as it applies to police officer conduct.

• The Port will also continue its moratorium on police use of facial recognition technology.

The Commission will convene a Public Forum on June 30 from 10:30 a.m.—1:30 p.m. to review its proposal and take public comment.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Joins Zero Carbon Shipping Partnership

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) will participate as a partner in the establishment of The Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, a research and development institute to promote decarbonization in the shipping industry being created at the suggestion of integrated transport and logistics company A.P. Møller - Mærsk A/S. The Center will be headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark with MHI and six other business corporations and institutions participating in its founding. The Center will mainly target the development of new fuels and technologies for achieving zero carbon in the shipping industry, which currently accounts for roughly 3% of the world’s carbon emissions. MHI Group will cooperate primarily through provision of human resources.

Besides A.P. Møller – Mærsk and MHI, participants in the Center’s establishment include: the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS); Cargill, Incorporated, a major American producer of grain and other foodstuffs; MAN Energy Solutions, a longstanding manufacturer of large-bore diesel engines; NYK Line; and Siemens Energy. The Center will be operated as a nonprofit organization (NPO) funded by the A.P. Møller Foundation, a charitable foundation commemorating A.P. Møller – Mærsk’s founder, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller. Bo Cerup-Simonsen, former Vice President and Head of Mærsk Maritime Technology at A.P. Møller – Mærsk, will serve as the Center’s CEO. The Center will undertake development of carbon-neutral fuels and new propulsion technologies in collaboration with global partners gleaned from the industrial and academic sectors and related authorities.

Initially the Center will operate with a staff numbering approximately 100, including employees assigned from the founding partners as well as the Center’s own hires. In addition to experts in energy, fuels and shipping technologies, staff will also include personnel in charge of regulatory issues, marketing, etc. The Center’s activities will focus on achieving the target announced by the shipping industry to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions substantially by 2050.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Stena Bulk to Introduce Low-Carbon Shipping Options

Following up on a successful biofuel trial in April, shipping company Stena Bulk is now introducing low-carbon shipping options for its customers.

The company says biofuel has the potential of putting shipping on the trajectory toward IMO’s greenhouse gas reduction targets, without having to wait for new technology and zero-carbon fuels to emerge as commercially viable options.

Stena Bulk’s recent trial, where a cross-Atlantic voyage was conducted with 100-percent waste-based biofuel, proved the technical and operational feasibility of using biofuels in regular tanker operations, and the company is now introducing a set of low-carbon shipping options for its customers. The options will range from 20 percent to 100 percent biofuels and will be based on an offsetting program where the biofuel is used within the Stena Bulk fleet. This allows customers to make use of low-carbon shipping options regardless of fuel availability on the specific route. It also guarantees that operation is performed without any disturbance to the shipment.

Stena Bulk MR vessel Stena Immortal ran on 100% biofuel during a 10-day sea trial.

World Record Held For 30 Years

Thirty years ago, a ship built in Hobart by Incat Tasmania, Hoverspeed Great Britain, challenged for the coveted Hales Trophy that recognizes the fastest commercial passenger ship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The 74-meter Hoverspeed Great Britain left New York on her Transatlantic Challenge voyage arriving in at Bishop Rock on England’s south coast on 23rd June 1990. The crossing achieved in 3 days, 7 hours and 54 minutes.

The previous record had held for 38 years, the USS United States having taken it in 1952 after a long list of transatlantic challenges by the great passenger liners over the previous century. Two Incat built ships have since shaved time off the 1990 transatlantic record, the 91-meter Catalonia (Incat 047) in June 1998, and another Incat 91 meter Catlink V (Incat hull 049) in July 1998. The 2 day 20 hours and 9 minute record set by the Danish Catlink V is still held today. It is the first time in the history of Transatlantic records (dating back to the 1860s) that three ships to win the trophy in succession had been built by the same shipyard.

Although the records began in the 1860s the Hales Trophy was created and first awarded in 1935. The original 1-meter high gilded Hales Trophy is on display in Denmark, but a full replica made in 1990 is on display at Incat Tasmania’s shipyard in Hobart.

The Hales Trophy is awarded to "The Ship which shall for the time being, have crossed the Atlantic Ocean at the highest average speed", and the voyage must be without re-fuelling.

The three Incat record-holders are still in service 22 years after breaking the Transatlantic record.

California Pilotage Rate-Setting Reform Proposed

California Assemblymember Rob Bonta has introduced legislation to change the process for setting pilotage rates under the authority of the California Board of Pilot Commissioners.

Assembly Bill 1372 would bring California’s rate-setting process in line with practices from across the state and the country, and allow the California Board of Pilot Commissioners to set rates in a process overseen by an administrative law judge. California’s current rate process is unique in two ways: First, California is the only state in which the legislature must act after its pilot commission has already conducted a comprehensive and lengthy administrative hearing process. Second, of the few states that set rates legislatively, it is the only state that does not adopt new rates on a regular cycle.

Assemblymember Bonta says this cumbersome and sometimes contentious process has resulted in deferred investment in the State’s pilotage system, and the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the adverse consequences of this deferred investment to light.

The San Francisco Bar Pilots, one of California’s essential transportation partners, is a key supporter of this legislation. The Bar Pilots navigate commercial ships to and from the nine Bay Area ports, and support at least $130 billion in trade and 84,000 Bay Area jobs. The services this organization provides have been crucial in growing maritime trade throughout the region.

Assembly Bill 1372 is scheduled to appear in front of the Senate Governmental Organization in July after the legislature returns from summer recess.

Grounded Airliners Could Provide Hope for COVID-19

A coalition of professionals from the medical, advanced nursing, hyperbarics, military, aviation, and business fields have developed a plan to use large commercial and military aircraft as hyperbaric treatment facilities for use in the mass casualty treatment of those affected by COVID-19 respiratory crisis.

Current therapies are insufficient at overcoming the deadly hypoxemia (low oxygen) caused by the Novel Coronavirus. While many carriers are asymptomatic or only have minor symptoms, severely affected people require hospitalization. Currently, emergency treatment for the profound oxygen deprivation of COVID-19 respiratory crisis includes the use of mechanical ventilators, which has a mortality rate as high as 80 percent.

In response to the difficulties found in treating the virus, the group has suggested Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) as a non-invasive and effective way to help patients maintain their oxygen levels so that the difficult and oftentimes damaging mechanical ventilation is not required. HBOT has already been shown, in US hospitals and elsewhere, to be a successful treatment for the virus. While purpose-built hyperbaric chambers should be used to their maximum capacity for this treatment, they are limited in availability relative to the anticipated number of COVID-19 patients. Fortunately, aircraft can be utilized as hyperbaric chambers and are currently readily available.

The Aviation Industry has seen a 95 percent reduction in air travel leading to the grounding of almost two-thirds of the world’s passenger aircraft. Through the adaptation of aircraft around the world, many of which currently sit idle, into hyperbaric chambers, the coalition says HBOT can be delivered to any community that needs it.

The fuselage of a commercial airplane is designed to sustain the pressures of up to 9 psi in order to compensate for reduced air pressure and oxygen at high flight altitudes. Therapeutic pressures of 1.5 – 1.6 ATA (7.34 or 8.81 added psi) are safe and achievable on the ground and are well within safe structural tolerance.

These passenger aircraft deployed to regional and executive airports would provide easy access for EMS transport to and from local hospitals. Remote hospitals could be established for patient support during HBOT treatment periods. These aircraft could mobilize and treat hundreds if not thousands of patients per day in the regions with greatest need.

Contact for more information.