USCG releases LNG bunkering policy letters

Responding to the industry’s need for more guidance on procedures related to LNG bunkering, the US Coast Guard has published two new policy letters on LNG bunkering, personnel training and waterfront facilities.

With regard to simultaneous operations USCG points to DNV GL’s recommended practice for “Development and Operation of LNG Bunkering Facilities” for guidance, stands in the USCG statement.

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.

USCG’s LNG Expert Ken Smith, General Engineer at the Office of Vessels’ and Facilities’ Operating Standards, recently said that USCG recognizes and appreciates the vast experience and in-depth expertise of DNV GL when it comes to LNG as fuel, both in the US and internationally. He added that recommended practices and standards issued by DNV GL and the work done in other technical committees are helping to shape US policies and regulations.

“The early phases are essential when performing risk assessment in the context of LNG bunkering,” Tony Teo, Technology and Business Director North America, explains.

DNV GL set the boundaries for risk acceptance, defined the scope and lead either into a scenario-based or to a full quantitative risk assessment, he said. Simultaneous operations like loading/unloading of cargo or passenger movements at the terminal during bunkering operations require special attention.

“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,” concluded Teo.

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