IMO Finalizes LNG Use Rules
United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO) has finalized draft consolidated, internationally binding regulations on the use of liquefied natural gas. The regulations were finalized at the annual session of the IMO Sub-Committee on the Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC 1), where the member States agreed on the contents of the new international code.
The Code of Safety for Ships Using Gases or Other Low Flash-Point Fuels (the IGF Code) contains, inter alia, design instructions for the correct location of fuel tanks, fire-technical measures as well as requirements for additional protection of the machinery space. The new set of regulations is expected to enhance safety, and at the same time save many shipowners both time and costs since it will become easier to make individual risk analyses.
The reason for the increased focus on liquefied natural gas and other more environmentally friendly fuels is the stricter regulation of sulphur and nitrogen emissions that will take effect on 1 January 2015 for Special Emission Control Areas, such as the Baltic.
“As a part of the Plan for Growth in Blue Denmark, focused efforts are being made to support and launch initiatives that will make it easier to use liquefied natural gas.
The Danish Maritime Authority has collaborated closely with a number of different stakeholders from the industry and continuously contributed to the final result which is now ready,” Danish Maritime Authority said in a release.
It is expected that the Sub-Committee’s proposal for the IGF Code will be approved by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) in November 2014 with a view to adoption in 2015. Subsequently, the regulations will take effect in 2017.