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U.S. Coast Guard publishes LNG bunkering regulations

17 Mar 2015 14:15 GMT

Policy letters on LNG bunkering, personnel training and waterfront facilities are released.



Source: DNV GL

Responding to the industry's need for more guidance on procedures related to liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has published two new policy letters on LNG bunkering, personnel training and waterfront facilities.

Links to the two documents have been provided below.

- Guidelines for liquefied natural gas fuel transfer operations and training of personnel on vessels using natural gas as fuel

- Guidance related to vessels and waterfront facilities conducting liquefied natural gas (LNG) marine fuel transfer (bunkering) operations

With regard to simultaneous operations (SIMOPS), USCG points to DNV GL's Recommended Practice on the development and operation of LNG bunkering facilities for guidance.

Since U.S. ports do not have LNG liquefaction and storage facilities yet, ships will have to rely on small-scale bunkering for the time being. This practice harbours certain risks that had not been addressed by US legislation until now, but are covered in DNV GL's Recommended Practice RP-0006: 2014-01 on the development and operation of LNG bunkering.

In 2013, DNV GL developed the Recommended Practice to help facilitate the development of an international LNG infrastructure while waiting for the final release of the ISO 18683 workgroup document on systems and installations for supply of LNG as fuel to ships. It was released on January 15, 2015, and builds on DNV GL's Recommended Practice.

USCG's LNG expert Ken Smith, General Engineer at the Office of Vessels' and Facilities' Operating Standards, recently said: "DNV GL is already doing everything the USCG could hope for and more, and we recognize and appreciate the vast experience and in-depth expertise that DNV GL has when it comes to LNG as fuel, both here in the US and internationally. The recommended practices and standards that you issue and the work you have done in other technical committees are helping to shape our policies and regulations in this area."

"The early phases are essential when performing risk assessment in the context of LNG bunkering," Tony Teo, Technology and Business Director North America, explained. "They set the boundaries for risk acceptance, define the scope and lead either into a scenario-based or to a full quantitative risk assessment." Simultaneous operations like loading/unloading of cargo or passenger movements at the terminal during bunkering operations require special attention.

Teo added: "We recommend carrying out a full quantitative risk assessment with the aim to demonstrate that overall safety targets are met, evaluate and select safeguards and risk reducing measures and eventually confirm or develop safety zones. A quantitative or probabilistic risk assessment as against the consequence risk method is based on our 30 years data bank refined from the UK Health and Safety Executive."

Most of the LNG-fuelled ships and a large number of LNG tankers sailing the oceans today are built to DNV GL's classification rules. Further information on LNG safety as well as DNV GL's full Recommended Practice on the development and operation of LNG bunkering facilities can be found on the DNV GL website: www.dnvgl.com/maritime/lng/lng-safety.html






Related Links:

ARB's guidance for complying with fuel regulations
USCG discusses LNG at marine fuels conference
New LNG marine fuel report released
DNV GL's new Gas Ready notation
Guidelines for 2015 low sulphur compliance released

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