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US Coast Guard completes LNG bunkering regulations with reference to DNV GL’s Recommended Practice

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US Coast Guard completes LNG bunkering regulations
The port of Jacksonville could become a key LNG bunkering centre in the United States. (Credit: Ramunas Bruzas)
Responding to the industry’s need for more guidance on procedures related to liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering, the US Coast Guard (USCG) has published two new Policy Letters on LNG Bunkering, Personnel Training and Waterfront Facilities. With regard to simultaneous operations (SIMOPS) USCG points to DNV GL’s Recommended Practice for “Development and Operation of LNG Bunkering Facilities” for guidance.
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Since US 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 harbors 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 15 January 2015 and builds on DNV GL’s RP.

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, explains. “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. Says Teo: “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 for Development and Operation of LNG bunkering facilities can be found on the DNV GL website

The USCG Policy Letters on Guidance for the Use of Liquefied Natural Gas as a Marine Fuel are available for download here

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