USCG issues LNG bunkering recommendations

The United States Coast Guard’s Liquefied Gas Carrier National Center of Expertise recently issued a set of LNG bunkering recommendations.

According to LGC NCOE, it is critically important for all parties involved to fully understand the risks that are presented when transferring LNG. LGC NCOE witnessed several LNG bunkering operations over the last few months and seen common errors/failures, some that have resulted in the release of LNG and/or near misses, it said in its filing.

While LNG can be handled safely, its cryogenic, asphyxiant, and flammability hazards must be recognized and mitigated in order to avoid serious personnel injury, vessel damage, and/or other harmful effects.

The LGC NCOE Field Notice augments the two policy letters issued earlier on LNG bunkering and adds recommendations based off best practices and lessons learned observed during recent LNG bunkering operations in order to prevent future incidents.

LGC NCOE recommends that all vessels engaged in LNG bunkering operations should have Coast Guard reviewed procedures and that if LNG bunkering preparations and operations last longer than 8 hours, a duty rotation should be developed to ensure personnel involved received appropriate rest.

Other recommendations include the local Coast Guard’s investigation in the event of an LNG bunkering equipment failure to determine the cause and identify measures to prevent future failures.

Additionally, the newly established LNG Fuel Workforce Development Committee is in the process of creating LNG Bunkering Job Aids that should, in the future, be used in preparation of and during LNG bunkering operations.

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LNG World News Staff; Image: ABS