Setting standards for LNG bunkering

Malcolm Latarche
Malcolm Latarche

14 February 2017


Acceptance of LNG as a marine fuel has been held up over the years because of the lack of international regulations on board ships and the lack of bunkering facilities. The first was addressed with the adoption by the IMO of the IGF Code and its coming into force on 1 January this year and the second is gradually being resolved with a number of bunker stations planned for the future. Meanwhile, the several vessels operating on LNG at the moment are mostly operating on scheduled services and bunkered at dedicated stations at a very small number of ports using procedures that have been devised on a case by case basis. To aid wider development of LNG bunkering stations, the IMO requested the International Standards Organisation to develop a universal standard for safe bunkering procedures. The result of that work has resulted in the publication on Monday of ISO 20519:2017. ISO 20519 contains requirements that are not covered by the IGF and IGC Codes, including hardware, operational procedures, the requirement for the LNG provider to provide an LNG bunker delivery note, training and qualifications of personnel, and requirements for LNG facilities to meet applicable ISO standards and local codes. As LNG as a marine fuel is relatively new, ISO notes that the standard will need to be updated periodically to incorporate lessons learned over time and technological changes. The new standard will provide a template for new LNG bunker stations globally.