New Class Notation For Gas Bunkering Operation

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DNV GL, an international certification body and classification society, has released a new class notation for gas bunker vessels that ensures safe fuel transfer operations from one ship to another.

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DNV GL, renowned international certification body and classification society, has released a new class notation for gas bunker vessels.  This notation is in line with their objective of enabling organizations to advance the safety and sustainability of their business.  So far maritime industry has focused on developing the standards for gas-fuelled ships rather than bunkering arrangements.  The industry lacked the standards guiding the gas fuel transfer operations in ports.  This notation addresses the safety concerns of this sector covering the following aspects:

  1. Gas bunker vessels design.
  2. Additional requirements to support the development of gas-fuelled shipping.
  3. Bunker operations in ports for safe fuel transfer operations from one ship to another.
  4. Flexible ship-to-ship bunkering transfer operation in places with limited infrastructure and with demands for short turn-over times in ports.
  5. Includes flexible rules for a variety of gas fuels as well as the configuration of bunker transfer systems.

This new class notation reviews the requirements for liquefied gas carriers and barges equipped for carrying liquefied gas and supplying it to gas-fuelled ships on a regular basis.  Still, many port authorities consider ship-to-ship bunker operations as a risky proposition.  They are of an opinion that the efforts to increase the availability of gas fuels in ports should be curtailed.

The tougher limits on the sulphur content of marine fuels (0.1 per cent) in Emissions Control Areas (ECAs) have increased the demand for port infrastructure dedicated to bunkering alternative fuels such as liquefied natural gas (LNG).  Hence by 2020 onwards, the vessels sailing in all European waters need to comply with a 0.5 per cent sulphur cap.  In addition, the International Maritime Organization’s global sulphur limit of 0.5 per cent is expected to come into enforcement by 2020 or 2025.

DNV GL has also developed a GAS READY notation for owners who are intending to go for the conversion of their vessels to LNG operation at the new building stage.  The notation would help the owners to comply with all safety and operational requirements to meet the applicable global as well as class standards for gas fuelled operations.  At the same time, it would also support the owners in guiding with the investment they need to make.

Source: DNV GL

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