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GL - Final report European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) - Study on Standards and Rules for bunkering of gas-fuelled Ships


Author: Germanischer Lloyd 

Page Count:160

Date: February 2013

From the Document:

Executive Summary: Maritime environmental regulations and the continuous development of the economic operation of ships let to the development of numerous gas-fuelled ships and ship designs. Currently about 30 gas-fuelled vessels are operating mostly in the Baltic Sea and Norwegian waters most of them on the authority of the Norwegian administration. 

Hence, Norway had early on experience with gas as fuel for ships and initiated the development of the IMO’s international ‘Guidelines on Safety for Natural Gas-Fuelled Engine Installations in Ships’ in 2004. These interim guidelines (MSC Resolution 285.(86)) were adopted in June 2009 and focus on the use of natural gas on board of vessels and the requirements for the installations on board. Besides the interim guidelines, the use of LNG as a maritime fuel for ships is not formally recognized by IMO rules. To facilitate the approval process for gas-fuelled vessels a code for the use of gas as ship fuel is being developed.

This ‘International Code of Safety' for ships using gases or other low flashpoint fuels (IGF Code)’ is still under development and will cover safety and operational issues for gas-fuelled seagoing vessels. In comparison to the above mentioned guidelines, the IGF Code will have the status of an internationally adopted and legally binding regulatory instrument. Regarding the bunkering of LNG, the IGF Code will define requirements for the bunkering systems onboard the receiving vessel and general operational requirements regarding the preparation, post processing, responsibilities and communication focusing the (receiving) gas-fuelled ship. No specific operational guidance taking into account all types of bunkering modes and requirements for each kind of transfer system for all facilities involved are considered.

To close the gap regarding the bunkering of LNG as fuel for ships in the regulatory framework, another Norwegian initiative led to the establishment of the Working Group 10 (WG 10) within the Technical Committee 67 (TC 67) of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) in 2011. The objective of the ISO TC 67 WG 10 is the development of international guidelines for bunkering of gas-fuelled vessels focusing on requirements for the LNG transfer system, the personnel involved and the related risk of the whole LNG bunkering process. The members of the WG 10 decided to develop a technical report as a high level document to be finalized by 2014. For the time being, with experiences of bunkering of LNG being not widespread, Working Group 10 is not able to develop an international standard for bunkering LNG.