SGMF releases new guidelines for LNG-powered vessels

The London-based industry coalition Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF) has published two new guidelines to improve the safety of LNG-powered ships.

SGMF said in a statement the documents would assist “greater standardisation in crew competency and vessel design.”

The coalition’s “Operation of ships with Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) – competency and assessment guidelines defines the skills required for any party involved in the preparation, storage, handling but also use of gas as a marine fuel,” it said.

Moreover, organisations developing training in these competencies can also use the guidance, SGMF said.

Ray Gillett, general manager, GTT Training and chair of SGMF working group 14 said: “The use of LNG as a fuel on marine vessels is expanding quickly.

To ensure safe and efficient operations of these vessels, crews need to “fully understand what they are dealing with.”

“These guidelines provide a basis for operators and training organisations to implement the necessary training to achieve that aim.”

“More efficient LNG bunkering operations”

A new technical guidance note recommends on the best locations for bunker manifolds or bunker stations on gas-fuelled ships.

In addition, the guidance complements existing SGMF documentation on manifold arrangements. It would promote compatible bunkering operations across a widening range of bunkering facilities and installations, the coalition said.

Bob Kamb, a member of SGMF working group 6.5 and formerly manager, LNG services ABS Group Consulting, said: “Seafarers frequently complain that ship designers don’t have to sail the ships they build.”

He said this guidance alleviates that complaint by providing a decision support framework for optimizing bunker manifold location.

“This is a useful tool resulting in safer, easier to implement and more efficient LNG bunkering operations,” he said.

Also, working groups comprising SGMF members have prepared both of the publications.

They, along with an “extensive library” of other guidance, are available freely as part of SGMF membership, the coalition said.

Mark Bell, general manager, SGMF added: “The rhetoric around LNG is rising to fever pitch, but SGMF remains a calm voice calling for consistent safety standards to be applied to the most widely available of shipping’s alternative fuels.”

SGMF has 149 members including Maersk, Avenir LNG, BP, Chevron, CMA CGM, DSME, EPS, Elengy, Excelerate, ExxonMobil, Gate, Inpex, Kogas, MOL, Novatek, Nakilat, RINA, Shell, TotalEnergies, and Woodside.

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