SGMF releases updated LNG bunkering guidelines

Thursday, 10 February 2022
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The Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF) has published updated operational guidance for LNG bunkering, calling the safe use of LNG as a marine fuel ‘a priority issue’.

The release of its ’LNG as a marine fuel - Safety and Operational Guidelines - Bunkering’ publication marks the third revision of its guidance and includes comprehensive coverage of all aspects of the LNG fuel bunkering process.

“The information contained in this publication is gold dust for anyone bunkering an LNG fuelled ship,” Chairman of SGMF and Chief Operating Officer of Nakilat Samir Bailouni commented. “These practices and insights are collated from the best the industry has to offer, and I extend my thanks to our members for providing this invaluable information not only for the benefit of the industry, but for society as a whole.”

Holistic approach

The publication was first introduced in 2014 and since then has been extensively updated to account for the rapid pace of development in the sector.

The latest guidelines incorporate operational experience in a holistic approach to the refuelling process, from the design of bunkering vessels and facilities to the planning and preparation of the bunkering operations and locations.

“The safe and sustainable use of gaseous marine fuels are the core objectives for SGMF and these bunkering guidelines for LNG are a cornerstone reference for the industry. As the industry grows, being able to supply new entrants with these guidelines provides them with a valuable head start in ensuring they can operate with maximum safety and efficiency, no maritime gas fuelled project should be without them,” Mark Bell, General Manager of SGMF, explained.

Sustainable bunkering

As well as providing a practical basis for day-to-day operations the new guidelines also give a comprehensive overview of the sector and allow firms to not only calculate risks associated with LNG but to benchmark against a range of alternative fuels, with reference to specific requirements for synthetic and bio-LNG.

“Whilst the industry currently debates other future gaseous marine fuels such as ammonia and hydrogen, be assured SGMF is currently working on and will produce further guidelines for these fuels in a similar manner to what it has done for LNG. Meanwhile, I strongly encourage and advocate the continued focus on safe and sustainable bunkering for all these fuels through support for the important work and leadership of the Society in these aspects.” Mark Bell, General Manager of SGMF.

The SGMF is headquartered in London and includes 148 members worldwide with a combined LNG-fuelled fleet of 251 vessels in operation and 431 LNG-fuelled ships and LNGBVs on order. It also include the participation of major bunkering hubs such as Antwerp, Rotterdam and Singapore.

“Bunkering LNG involves a range of potential hazards, but when good practice is applied and followed, the risks can be effectively mitigated. The overall aim of this new publication is to ensure that gas-fuelled ships can be bunkered safely, reliably, efficiently, and in an environmentally responsible way. It has only been made possible through the partnership, cooperation, support and open information from of our members,” Bell concludes. 

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