LNG Bunkering of Vessels in North America

The effect of increasingly stricter air emissions legislation implemented through International Maritime Organization (IMO) Annex VI and other local air quality controls, together with favorable financial conditions for the use of natural gas instead of liquid fuel oil as a bunker fuel is increasing the number of marine vessel owners that are considering the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a fuel.

2014.03.19 - LNG Bunkering in North America

Existing United States Coast Guard (USCG) regulations address the design, equipment, operations, and training of personnel on vessels that carry LNG as cargo in bulk and address fueling systems for boil-off gas used on LNG carriers. The use of LNG as fuel for ships other than those carrying LNG as cargo is a relatively new concept in North America. United States (U.S.) and Canada regulations and USCG policy for vessels receiving LNG for use as fuel are in development to address this option for marine fuel.

ABS released a study which was developed to assist LNG stakeholders in implementing the existing and planned regulatory framework for LNG bunkering. This study helps owners and operators of gas-fueled vessels, LNG bunkering vessels, and waterfront bunkering facilities by providing information and recommendations to address North American (U.S. and Canada) federal regulations, state, provincial and port requirements, international codes, and standards.

LNG has different hazards than traditional fuel oil; therefore, operators must clearly understand the risks involved with LNG bunkering. An assessment of various bunkering operations and the associated hazards and risks is provided. Templates are provided for stakeholders to use in conducting appropriate hazards identification and analysis.

Details on LNG production in the U.S. and Canada and LNG sources in various geographic regions provide an overview of the current North American infrastructure to support LNG bunkering operations. Local regulations are widely varied in maturity and content. To assist stakeholders in planning and execution of LNG bunkering projects, this study provides a structured process for implementing an LNG project with regard to seeking compliance with local regulations.

The ABS Report “Bunkering of Liquefied Natural Gas-fueled Marine Vessels in North America” can be found by clicking HERE.

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