NSCA Foundation

Safe bunkering standard developed

Wednesday, 15 February, 2017

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A new ISO standard has been introduced for the safe bunkering of LNG-fuelled ships.

ISO 20519, Ships and marine technology – Specification for bunkering of liquefied natural gas fueled vessels’ is designed to help operators select vessel fuel providers that meet defined safety and fuel quality standards.

The standard contains requirements that are not covered by the IGC Code, which is the prevailing international code for the safe carriage by sea of liquefied gases in bulk.

It covers hardware, liquid and vapour transfer systems; operational procedures; requirements for the LNG provider to provide an LNG bunker delivery note; training and qualifications of personnel involved; and 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,” said Steve O’Malley, chair of technical committee ISO/TC 8, Ships and marine technology, subcommittee SC 11, Intermodal and short sea shipping, and convener of the TC 8 working group WG 8 that developed the standard.  

“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 US Coast Guard. This sharing of knowledge was important to produce a standard that was practical and would promote safety during LNG bunkering operations.

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 International Maritime Organization (IMO), the European Commission and the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO), the world’s largest international shipping association.

ISO 20519:2017 was developed by ISO/TC 8, whose secretariat is held by SAC, the ISO member for China, twinned with DIN, the ISO member for Germany. It can be purchased from national ISO members or through the ISO Store.

Image credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Sjoerd van der Wal

NSCA Foundation is a member based, non-profit organisation working together with members to improve workplace health and safety throughout Australia. For more information and membership details click here
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