‘There Is No Single Bunkering Option,’ Says DNV GL Document
The federal Maritime Administration has released a “comprehensive” study, written by DNV GL, examining the options for liquefied natural gas bunkering “and the necessary infrastructure, safety, regulatory, and training factors of each in supplying LNG to ships as a propulsion fuel in the maritime sector.”
MARAD describes its new LNG bunkering study with DNV GL as ‘comprehensive.’
The study examines the pros and cons of four bunkering options (truck-to-ship transfer, shore facility-to-ship transfer, ship-to-ship transfer, and transfer of portable tanks) based on such factors as the number and type of vessels to be served, local availability of LNG, port size, congestion and level of activity.
“Because the development of infrastructure is acutely dependent on the needs of specific ports and stakeholders, there is no single bunkering option,” the study notes.
Among the recommendations are
- an analysis of vessel types that utilize ports in the U.S. to determine what bunkering methods will be necessary;
- evaluation of LNG bunkering site availability for increases in demand, considering transfer volume and frequency, including an optimization study that assesses the optimal infrastructure build-out to provide LNG bunkering for both high-frequency, low volume transfers and low frequency, high volume transfers more efficiently;
- a comprehensive analysis of road transportation safety and security risks from initial infrastructure build-out, with a traffic study to assess LNG transport safety/security risks, investigate acceptable limits on national, regional, and local scales, and identify possible practical risk reducing measures;
- completion of a port risk assessment at each port where LNG bunkering will likely take place;
- development of a methodology for and completion of a quantitative port-wide navigational risk assessment; and
- development of effective security and safety zone enforcement procedures to promote a safe environment for the port population.
‘A Lack of Framework”
DNV GL notes that although the use of LNG marine fuel is not a new concept, “there exists a significant regulatory gap for bunkering and associated infrastructure operation.
“The establishment of uniform standards and guidelines for state and local lawmakers,” the MARAD report states,” will allow for a consistent and predictable regulatory framework.
“Regulatory gaps were identified for LNG metrology, local vs. federal jurisdiction over bunkering operations, and a lack of framework for the review of potential risks related to LNG bunkering from non-self-propelled barges.
“One of the primary conclusions identified the need for greater clarity in regulations addressing simultaneous operations (SIMOPS).”
MARAD’s LNG bunkering study by DNV GL (PDF)
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Source: MARAD with HHP Insight follow-up