The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), established by the European Parliament for the purpose of ensuring a high, uniform and effective level of maritime safety and security, has issued a guide for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering. By doing so, it aims 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.
Prepared in close cooperation with the European Commission (DG MOVE), member states and industry within the context of the European Sustainable Shipping Forum, the EMSA’s Guidance on LNG Bunkering to Port Authorities and Administration aims at harmonization of requirements throughout ports in Europe, in good respect of safe and environmental bunkering operations with LNG fuelled ships.
As stated in the guide, Port Authorities are regarded as fundamental players in the drive to increase the use of this significantly cleaner maritime fuel. The Ports are striving to meet this demand while being cognizant of the regulatory requirements set by Directive 2014/94/EU on the ‘Deployment of an Alternative Fuel Infrastructure’, the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code) and the IMO-imposed 0.50% global sulphur cap. The Directive 2014/94/EU provides legal certainty to all potential users that LNG will be widely available in EU ports by requiring Member States to put in place an appropriate number of refuelling points for LNG to enable LNG inland waterway vessels or seagoing ships to circulated throughout the EU TEN-T Core network by 31 December 2025.
EMSA says such requirements by necessity demand informed responses from the ports: “Notwithstanding industry preparations for LNG Bunkering it is important to provide Port Authorities with the necessary information and suggested good practice for this type of operation”, the agency states in the Guidance’s Forward.