As demand grows, ISO issues new safety standard on LNG bunkering
Some ships in northern Europe have been using LNG as their fuel source for over a decade, with an extremely good safety record. But as the use of LNG-fueled vessels spreads to other parts of the worlds, and as demand for LNG-fueled vessels has increased, so has the demand for practical, cost-effective and efficient LNG bunkering, so there was an urgent need for an International Standard to ensure LNG bunkering operations could be conducted safely. The new ISO 20519, Ships and marine technology – Specification for bunkering of LNG fueled vessels, will help operators select vessel fuel providers that meet defined safety and fuel quality standards.
In recent years, the ships and vessels fueled with LNG have become larger, transit greater distances and may bunker in a greater number of ports in different countries. As a result, the number of parties involved in LNG bunkering is growing rapidly. Standardizing safety practices had become necessary to ensure that, no matter where the bunkering took place, there would be a common set of requirements that were understood across the board – from LNG provider to ship personnel.
ISO 20519 contains requirements that are not covered by the IGC Code, the prevailing international code for the safe carriage by sea of liquefied gases in bulk. It includes the following items: Hardware: liquid and vapor transfer systems, Operational procedures, Requirement for the LNG provider to provide an LNG bunker delivery note, Training and qualifications of personnel involved, and Requirements for LNG facilities to meet applicable ISO standards and local codes.
“The requirements of ISO 20519 can be incorporated as a management objective into existing management programs and provide verifiable compliance,” said Steve O’Malley, Chair of technical committee ISO/TC 8, Ships and marine technology, subcommittee SC 11, Intermodal and short sea shipping, and Convener of TC 8 working group WG 8 that developed the standard. “The requirement to comply with ISO standards is often incorporated into business contracts and may also be referenced by local regulations”.