IAPH and SGMF team up to accelerate progress on safe provision of liquid gas fuels

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A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by The Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF) and the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) to work together to increase understanding about the safe, effective and sustainable use of all gases as marine fuel. In particular, the potential use of Ammonia will be investigated from source to ship with all related safety, operational and sustainability considerations.

The agreement effectively brings together the principal technical stakeholders needed to accelerate the adoption of alternative liquified gas fuels at ports: SGMF with its energy majors, gas suppliers, equipment manufacturers, technology providers, classification societies, shipyards, ship owners and operators with the world’s principal port authorities and terminal operators from IAPH.

Mark Bell, SGMF General Manager and COO commented: “SGMF was formed in 2013 with the primary objective of advocating the safe and sustainable use of low flashpoint fuels for ships. Safety is the prevalent factor and as the industry transitions towards an inevitable low carbon future, at SGMF we are looking forward to working with IAPH’s experts from ports, many of whom are either already operational or who are in the process of implementing infrastructure that provides alternative fuels to vessels.”

IAPH Technical Director Antonis Michail commented, “As with the recent commenting paper submitted by IAPH to the IMO on the case for MBM revenue allocation to land-based infrastructure, it is our belief that ports may serve as the key link between the land-based fuel producers and the sea-based fuel consumers, as well as the link between fuel production and other non-shipping fuel consumers. Ports have the potential to act as energy hubs as a cheaper and safer alternative than storing it elsewhere. SGMF members with their technical competences have the potential to help us make that happen.”

Capitalising on over a decade of knowhow on evaluating safety when handling LNG, the same procedures will now also be applied to new alternative fuels such as ammonia, hydrogen and methanol, which has become a major focus of the IAPH Clean Marine Fuels (CMF) Working Group.

Policy advisor to the Port of Amsterdam and Chair of the CMF Peter Alkema comments: “Our Working Group is busy developing a generic audit tool as well as truck-to-ship and ship-to-ship bunker checklists for liquified gases, so being able to tap into the pool of experts from the SGMF will be extremely useful.

“As an example, a recent study by the Port of Amsterdam and DNV concluded that spatial safety considerations are especially important when considering the deployment of bunkering infrastructure for ammonia at ports. How to handle these issues will be for all stakeholders, not just the ports.”

SGMF has proposed to include some of the IAPH CMF tools in an updated version of its own LNG Bunkering Safety Guidelines (ISBN 978-1-9996669-7-2), which will be published towards the end of the year in early December.