The IMO invited ISO to develop a standard for methyl/ethyl alcohol as a marine fuel and a standard for methyl/ethyl alcohol fuel couplings. ISO will work on these standards and provide them as soon as possible, but noted that there was limited experience with such fuels in practice.
Currently there are eight large ships (7 tankers and a ro-pax ferry) which operate on methanol as fuel and at least four more are expected to enter into service in 2019.
A comment was made during MSC 99 that fuel standards should be developed before ships begin using such low-flashpoint fuels so that safety concerns are addressed before ships start using them.
The decision to call ISO to develop standards for methyl/ethyl alcohol fuel for ships was taken when MSC 99 discussed the report from the fourth session of the Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC).
CCC was responsible to draft technical provisions for using methyl/ethyl alcohol as a ship fuel under an ongoing item on its agenda regarding amendments to the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code).