Ports Join to Harmonize LNG Bunkering Standards
A group of ports spanning Europe, Asia and the U.S. have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop a set of harmonized LNG bunkering standards. The group includes Antwerp, Rotterdam, Singapore and Zeebrugge and has subsequently expanded to include Jacksonville, Norway, Japan and Ulsan.
Taking reference from documents by organizations such as the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH), the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and the Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF), the standards aim to ensure that key areas of the LNG bunkering process are aligned across ports carrying out LNG bunkering operations. The standards will also provide a guide to ports seeking to be LNG bunker-ready.
SGMF was established to promote safety and industry best practice in the use of gas as a marine fuel, and after consultation with the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), it is about to publish an update to its global bunkering guidelines. IACS has already published some guidelines, which the SGMF guidelines will incorporate.
Antwerp is in the process of creating an LNG bunker facility as is Rotterdam. This year, the Ternsund was the first sea-going vessel able to bunker LNG at Rotterdam. At the end of 2016, the Gate terminal will be opening a third LNG berth, which will be used to load LNG bunker barges. Next year, an LNG bunker vessel will be made available by Shell. By the end of 2016, Zeebrugge will be home to the world’s first seagoing LNG bunkering vessel, now under construction by Engie, NYK, Mitsubishi and Fluxys.
The Japanese government is taking necessary steps to strengthen the functional capability of the Port of Yokohama as a base for LNG Bunkering, where LNG bunkering first started last year.