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DNV GL recommends safe LNG bunkering

LNG Industry,

One of the major issues facing the increased global use of ships fuelled by liquefied natural gas (LNG) is the lack of harmonisation of bunkering operations.

“DNV GL is therefore today launching a Recommended Practice for authorities, LNG bunker suppliers and ship operators which provides guidance on how LNG bunkering can be undertaken in a safe and efficient manner,” says Lars Petter Blikom, DNV GL’s LNG director.

Stable fuel for ships

LNG has long been recognised as an attractive and stable fuel for ship operations. Operators, suppliers and regulators across the world have gained significant experience in all aspects of LNG fuelled ship operations over the last few years. However, the process for developing the necessary infrastructure has yet to be standardised.

DNV GL is proposing a solution to this problem, recognising the need to standardise development processes, designs and operations. Blikom explains: “An ISO committee brought together the experience and know-how of more than 30 industry professionals in 2011 and its draft guideline was published in June 2013. The ISO guideline defines the overall philosophies of designs and operations relevant to LNG bunkering and suggests a list of 24 functional requirements. However, it is not intended to be concrete and descriptive about how to achieve the requirements’ objectives”.

LNG bunker guide

DNV GL proposes to put its own knowledge and experience of how to meet the ISO guideline’s requirements into a more practical format. This is now available in the form of a Recommended Practice (RC) which will serve as a practical guide for authorities, LNG bunker suppliers and ship operators. The guide will help them to develop design solutions and operating procedures to undertake LNG bunkering safely and efficiently.

The RP document is now open for comment during an external six week consultation period. At the end of this period, DNV GL will update the document based on the input received, before formal publication.

Jan Tellkamp, project manager for the RP explains the purpose of the Recommended Practice: “The development of the RP is based on extensive experience of LNG bunkering-related projects over the past decade, as well as on knowledge that can be drawn from other relevant industries, in particular from the large-scale LNG industry. The RP covers all modes of bunkering a ship with LNG and provides guidance on how to work on the three key topics suggested by the ISO guideline – planning, design and operation; safety management systems; and risk assessment. The concept of ‘layers of defence’ is detailed on both the equipment and procedural levels”.

Safe and efficient bunkering

Blikom concludes: “These documents, both the ISO guideline and DNV GL RP, represent significant steps forward in taking operational and technical risk off the table for operators looking at investing in LNG-fuelled ships or LNG bunkering terminals. Our aim is to lead the way in meeting the needs of this new, innovative and growing sector. The Bunkering RP is one of our very important deliveries.”

DNV GL forms the world’s largest ship and offshore classification society, a leading technical advisor to the oil and gas industry and a leading expert for the electrical power industry value chain.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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