The United States Coast Guard (USCG)’s Liquefied Gas Carrier National Center of Expertise (LGC NCOE) has updated its Memorandum on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering procedures, issued in October 2015, following observations of several LNG bunkering operations over the last few months. The revision Memorandum publishes “change one to Reference (a) to differentiate LNG bunkering recommendations specific for U.S. flagged vessels from recommendations for all vessels (U.S. and non-U.S. flagged vessels)”.
As the USCG noted last October, there is much to learn as the country embraces this cleaner cheaper fuel for waterways and ocean transportation. LGC NCOE has witnessed common errors/failures, some that have resulted in the release of LNG and/or near misses, but also others that have gone very well. “It is critically important for all parties involved to fully understand the risks that are presented when transferring LNG. While LNG can be handled safely, its cryogenic, asphyxiant, and flammability hazards must be recognized and mitigated in order to avoid serious personnel injury, vessel damage, and/or other harmful effects,” the Memorandum states.
USCG’s newly established LNG Fuel Workforce Development Committee (LNGFWDC) is in the process of creating LNG Bunkering Job Aids. These job aids will be first released as a LGC NCOE Field Notice and forwarded to respective program offices for potential Coast Guard-wide implementation. Once available as a field notice, these tools should be used in preparation of and during LNG bunkering operations.