Precautions during LNG bunkering operations

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In 2018, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted an initial strategy on the reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from ships, setting out a vision which confirms the IMO’s commitment to reducing and eventually phasing out GHG emissions from international shipping.

With this in mind, the shipping industry is exploring alternative fuels which can be used on board ships – not only to comply with sulphur regulations but to also take a step forward towards decarbonisation. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is one such alternative fuel currently being used to help reach this goal.

Due to the properties of LNG, there are specific design requirements necessary for it to be safely carried as fuel on board. Bunkering of LNG comes with its own set of unique hazards and therefore requires more safety measures when compared to bunkering of fuel oils. Consequently, it is important that the IMO IGC Code[1], IMO IGF [2] Interim guidelines for LNG bunkering operations, requirements and recommendations laid down by local port authorities and industry best practices are carefully assessed and incorporated into Member’s procedures.

To assist Members where the use of LNG as a fuel is taking place or being considered, this article by Marine Insight provides guidance on the associated hazards and precautions for LNG bunkering operations.

We welcome all feedback on this or any other Loss Prevention guidance. Therefore, please feel free to contact the team should you have any further queries on this matter.

[1] The International Code of the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk
[2] The International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low flashpoint Fuels