Italian classification society RINA has won a framework contract from the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to support initiatives aimed at boosting LNG bunkering infrastructure in 22 countries.
Under the contract, RINA said it would support initiatives to increase the availability of LNG in the medium term with small-scale bunkering and depots to expand the use of LNG throughout the Mediterranean, Black and Caspian Seas.
Moreover, this strategic project looks to reduce environmental impact by making LNG more widely available for a variety of uses including ferries, cruise ships and tourist activities, as well as promoting LNG road supply chain.
RINA would provide a flexible selection of services dealing with safety and feasibility to match project needs in different locations.
Angelo Lo Nigro, energy engineering solutions senior director at RINA, said, “LNG is an important fuel on our way to decarbonization.”
“The services we will be providing as part of the frame agreement with EMSA will help make LNG storage and bunkering available in port areas and will also bring consistency and guidance for economically developing nations that do not yet have strong experience with small-scale LNG,” he said.
Wider adoption of LNG as fuel
RINA said its services would help port authorities determine which locations are feasible, both in terms of safety and technical and financial viability, to install small-scale LNG bunkering or depot facilities.
The Genoa-based firm is providing a total of eight different services, from which each port authority can choose according to its goals.
The activities include gap analysis of regulatory frame and evaluation of applicable standards, feasibility study, definition of risk acceptance criteria, site analysis, nautical analysis, hazard identification, quantitative risk assessment, and ship collision risk study.
“Having a common methodology and framework will give nations, where there is a gap in LNG infrastructure, access to a high standard of qualified guidance, regulatory compliance, and safety,” RINA said.
Moreover, increasing the number of ports with LNG refueling capability would help support the wider adoption of this more environmentally friendly fuel and meet MARPOL regulations, it said.
“This contract will reduce the capacity gap between countries and ensure a coherent, effective and uniform implementation of the international rules for maritime safety, security and prevention of pollution from ships in the Mediterranean, Black and Caspian Seas,” Lo Nigro said.
The framework contract will run for a period of four years and currently covers 22 countries in the regions detailed.
EMSA may add other countries during the period of the agreement, according to RINA.