A new ISO standard has been published that aims to ensure LNG-fuelled vessels globally are bunkered in a safe way.
LNG bunkering involves the participation of different stakeholders including ship’s crew, LNG supplier, port, safety personnel and administrations.
In recent years, ships and vessels fuelled with LNG have become larger, transited greater distances and may now bunker in an increasing number of ports in different countries. As a result, the number of parties involved in LNG bunkering is growing rapidly. Standardizing safety practices had become necessary to ensure that, no matter where the bunkering takes place, there is a common set of requirements that are understood across the board.
The new ISO 20519, Ships and marine technology – Specification for bunkering of liquefied natural gas fuelled vessels, will help operators select vessel fuel providers that meet defined safety and fuel quality standards.
ISO 20519 contains requirements that are not covered by the IGC Code, the prevailing international code for the safe carriage by sea of liquefied gases in bulk. It includes the following items:
• Hardware: liquid and vapor transfer systems
• Operational procedures
• Requirement for the LNG provider to provide an LNG bunker delivery note
• Training and qualifications of personnel involved
• Requirements for LNG facilities to meet applicable ISO standards and local codes
“The requirements of ISO 20519 can be incorporated as a management objective into existing management programs and provide verifiable compliance,” explains Steve O’Malley, Convener of the working group that developed the standard. This is important, he says, because “the requirement to comply with ISO standards is often incorporated into business contracts and may also be referenced by local regulations.”
The working group that developed ISO 20519 included specialists from the maritime industry, equipment manufacturers, the Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF), trading companies, class societies, international registries and the U.S. Coast Guard.
The use of LNG as a vessel fuel is relatively new, so the standard will need to be brought up to date periodically to incorporate lessons learned over time and technological changes. To facilitate this, a group has been created to track LNG bunkering incidents and help identify when the standard should be updated.
ISO 20519:2017 was produced at the request of the IMO, the European Commission and BIMCO.
The standard is available here.