Until now, the development of standards guiding gas fuel transfer operations in ports has lagged behind, as the maritime industry focussed on developing standards for gas fuelled ships rather than bunkering arrangements.
DNV GL’s new notation addresses safety concerns in this field and covers gas bunker vessels design and additional requirements to support the development of gas fuelled shipping and bunker operations in ports. The rules are flexible and include a variety of gas fuels as well as the configuration of bunker transfer systems.
“Complying with DNV GL’s new class notation increases the acceptance of safe gas fuel bunkering operations by ports and local authorities and puts bunker ship owners in a stronger position in the market,” said Yury Ilchenko, principal engineer, DNV GL.
In places with limited infrastructure and with demands for short turn-over times in ports, flexible ship-to-ship bunkering transfer operations are an efficient solution. DNV GL’s new class notation outlines requirements for LNG carriers and barges that are equipped for carrying LNG and supplying it to gas fuelled ships on a regular basis.
“The class notation covers safety issues on the gas bunker vessel, its gas bunker related equipment and installations on board. It includes requirements for design, construction and operational procedures with regard to the connection and disconnection of transfer arrangements, bunker transfer and vapour return,” added Mr Ilchenko.
As limits on the sulphur content of marine fuels in Emissions Control Areas (ECAs) get stricter – from 2020 onwards, all vessels sailing in European waters will need to comply with a 0.5% sulphur cap – DNV GL has also developed a ‘Gas Ready’ notation for shipowners looking to prepare their vessel to a potential conversion to LNG operation at the newbuilding stage.
The notation helps owners ensure that their vessels comply with all safety and operational requirements to meet the applicable global as well as class standards for gas fuelled operations. DNV GL says it also supports owners in specifying and quantifying the level of investment they need to make.