IMO approves Interim LPG Guidelines and LNG bunkering UIs

The IMO has taken another step forward in building a regulatory framework for alternative fuels.

The 107th session of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 107, 31 May to 9 June) approved circular MSC.1/Circ.1666 containing Interim guidelines for the safety of ships using LPG as fuel.

These Interim Guidelines will provide an international standard similar to the IGF Code to form the basis for the design, construction and operation of ships using LPG as fuel.

The IGF Code is a comprehensive regulatory framework to facilitate the safe use of LNG as fuel.

IMO has previously developed and approved interim guidelines based on the IGF Code framework for methyl/ethyl alcohols (covering methanol), followed by interim guidelines fuel cell power installations. These guidelines were developed by the IMO’s Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC), which is currently working on interim guidelines for hydrogen and ammonia. (More information on THIS LINK)

MSC 107 also approved MSC.1/Circ1668 containing a Unified interpretation of bunkering manifold arrangements fitted on LNG bunkering ships in the ICG Code. The interpretation clarifies issues related to the risk of leakage and associated safety protection for LNG bunkering vessels, some of which have cargo transfer arrangements in addition to traditional cargo manifolds.

Moreover, the Committee approved MSC.1/Circ1668 containing a Unified interpretation in the IGF Code for fuel preparation rooms not located on and open deck, and MSC.1/Circ1670 containing a Unified interpretation of paragraph 9.2.2 of the IGF Code – functional requirements of fuel transfer to consumers. The latter clarifies issues around safety barriers and flange connections.

MSC also approved draft amendments to the IGF Code and agreed to issue a circular on the early implementation of amendments to paragraphs 4.2.2 and 8.4.1 to 8.4.3 of the IGF Code with focus on the bunkering manifold and use of a drydisconnect /connect coupling at the bunkering station as well as an emergency release coupler. The IGF Code amendments are expected to be adopted at MSC 108 in the spring of 2024.

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