(www.MaritimeCyprus.com) LNG as an alternative fuel for Shipping has been increasingly adopted as a strategy for environmental compliance, either sailing or at port. With an immediate significant impact on the reduction of Sulphur Oxides emissions (SOx), Particulate Matter (PM), and also of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) the motivations for the use of LNG as fuel in maritime transport are today highly favoured by a relevant multi-layered regulatory frame. At international level MARPOL Annex VI defines gradual and tiered approaches to the reduction of both SOx and NOx, respectively through Regulations 13 and 14.
On the Safety page the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code), entering into force on the 1st January 2017, establishes the requirements for safe design, construction, and operation, of LNG fueled vessels. On the EU frame the Sulphur Directive (Dir.2012/33/EU) and the Directive on the deployment of an Alternative Fuels Infrastructure (Dir.2014/94/EU) establish the particular European framework for the development of LNG as an alternative fuel for shipping. The Sulphur Directive by including LNG as a possible Emission Abatement Method, and Directive 2014/94/EU by establishing the clear obligation for EU Member States to make LNG, as an alternative fuel for shipping, available at maritime ports by the end of 2025 (for inland waterways ports the target objective is set for the end of 2030).
In the above context the development of LNG as an alternative fuel for shipping has been remarkably fast, with the involvement of ship operators, shipyards, Class Societies, different national competent authorities, including the obvious and fundamental active participation of Port Authorities.
The technological steps given in the design of LNG fueled vessels and LNG bunkering operations has been fast and keeping every stakeholder at the same pace in the development process is essential for a coherent, consistent and harmonized deployment of a safe LNG. The industry has been paramount in the whole process, adopting a good part of the LNG knowledge.
The full potential of LNG as Fuel for Shipping is yet to be explored. Many studies have been carried out to explore the technical and economic feasibility of this fuel and the results have shown promising conclusions leading to the inevitable assumption that further development of LNG ship fuel solutions will be seen in a very near future. Context driven aspects, such as fuel oil prices, are a possible “slowdown factor” for the adoption of LNG, nevertheless it is important to develop the tools and the understanding that LNG as fuel will be a reality which will grow in maritime transport. In the same inevitable way Ports will have to consider due facilitation of LNG, depending on specific technical (and business) feasibility, risk and safety, amongst other factors. The present guidance is proposed as an additional tool to assist Port Authorities to welcome LNG as fuel in a clear and safe manner.
European maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), released the below report, aiming to support port authorities and administrations backing the use of LNG as a ship fuel, as part of a joint effort to increase safety and sustainability. The guidance was prepared in cooperation with the European Commission (DG MOVE), member states and industry within the context of the European Sustainable Shipping Forum.
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