The International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) – which promotes the interest of some 200 ports worldwide – has presented guidelines for the safe handling of LNG-powered vessels at port terminals. These guidelines not only describe the required procedures and operational actions; they also set out how to maintain safety during the ship-to-ship bunkering of LNG-powered vessels.
The new guidelines are in line with IAPH’s policy of equipping port authorities with the necessary instruments to safely organize bunkering in their ports, which receive a growing number of calls from LNG-powered new build vessels and ships that have been converted to LNG.
The guidelines come out of the efforts of the IAPH Clean Marine Fuels (CMF) working group, which includes representatives of 13 IAPH member ports including Amsterdam, Antwerp and Rotterdam. The working group has translated the concepts of system safety, allocation of space and operational safety into practical instruments.
The guidelines are already in place in the port of Rotterdam, where they have been incorporated in a framework that guarantees safety during LNG bunkering in the port area.
The increasing uptake of LNG-fuelled newbuild and retrofitted vessels means terminals need to be ready to receive them and to be able to do safe cargo handling during LNG bunkering operations. Although these vessels are safe by design, terminals need to prepare by reviewing their existing (terminal – vessel interface) safety procedures given the risk level associated with this fuel compared to conventional fuel types.
The IAPH CMF workgroup has compiled a guidance document on procedural and operational preparedness of a terminal to assure a safe handling of LNG-fuelled vessels, including a safe ship-to-ship LNG bunkering of the LNG-fuelled vessel alongside the terminal.
This will enable terminals to qualify as “LNG-ready terminal”, i.e. a terminal that has successfully aligned the procedures of its safety management system, the skills of its personnel, and the preparedness of visitors such that it may handle LNG-fuelled vessels in a safe way.
Reference: portofrotterdam.com / sustainableworldports.org