US Coast Guard Guides Use of LNG as a Marine Fuel
On February 7, 2014, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) announced the availability of two draft policy letters pertaining to LNG bunkering, for which it sought public comment. It has now issued notification of the availability of the finalized Coast Guard policy letters, including explanations of changes made to the policy letters and enclosures based on the public comments received.
The first letter — Policy Letter 01-15 (previously 01-14) — provides voluntary guidance for liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel transfer operations on vessels using natural gas as fuel in U.S. waters, and training of personnel on those vessels. It recommends transfer and personnel training measures that we believe will achieve a level of safety that is at least equivalent to that provided for traditional fueled vessels. It applies to vessels equipped to receive LNG for use as fuel, but not to vessels regulated as LNG carriers that utilize boil-off gas as fuel.
The second letter — Policy Letter 02-15 (previously 02-14) — discusses voluntary guidance and existing regulations applicable to vessels and waterfront facilities conducting LNG marine fuel transfer (bunkering) operations. The second policy letter provides voluntary guidance on safety, security, and risk assessment measures we believe will enhance safe LNG bunkering operations. Both policy letters are available on the public docket.
USCG explains it’s intent in issuing these policy letters is to assist the industry, public, Coast Guard, and other Federal and State regulators in applying existing statutory and regulatory requirements. Following the policy and guidance recommended in these policy letters is voluntary.