EMSA released a report aiming to support port authorities and administrations backing the use of LNG as a ship fuel, as part of a joint effort to increase safety and sustainability. The guidance was prepared in cooperation with the European Commission (DG MOVE), member states and industry within the context of the European Sustainable Shipping Forum.
LNG has been increasingly adopted as a strategy for environmental compliance. The use of LNG as fuel in maritime transport is highly favoured by a relevant multi-layered regulatory frame. At international level MARPOL Annex VI defines gradual and tiered approaches to the reduction of both SOx and NOx.
This reports presents the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code), which will be launched on 1st January 2017. This Code sets the requirements for safe design, construction, and operation, of LNG fueled vessels. On the EU frame the Sulphur Directive and the Directive on the deployment of an Alternative Fuels Infrastructure establish the European framework for the development of LNG as an alternative fuel for shipping.
EMSA says that the adoption of LNG as an alternative fuel for shipping has been remarkably fast, with the involvement of ship operators, shipyards, Class Societies and different national competent authorities. This can be seen by the technological advancements for the design of LNG fueled vessels and LNG bunkering operations, which have been fast. In this development, shipping industry played a key role, by adopting a good part of the LNG knowledge.
However, the report adds that the full potential of LNG has not yet been discovered. According to numerous studies regarding LNG, they present foundings that show that the adoption of LNG as a ship fuel will be seen in the near future. Factors that will slow down the adoption of LNG, such as fuel oil prices, will exist. But, despite this, LNG as a fuel is a reality which will soon be established in maritime transport.
The same applies to port as well. EMSA mentions in its reports that ports have to consider aspects that will ensure the promotion of LNG, such as specific technical and business feasibility, risk, and safety.
“The present guidance is proposed as an additional tool to assist Port Authorities to welcome LNG as fuel in a clear and safe manner,” EMSA noted.
For further information regarding EMSA’s guidance about the use of LNG as a ship fuel, you can consult the PDF herebelow