The Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF) holds second technical committee meeting

Mon, 07 July 2014

SGMF (The Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel) held its second technical committee meeting in London at the end of June. With an attendance of over 20 individuals selected from the fast growing membership a number of pressing topics were considered. It was noted from the committee that an incident in Norway had hit the headlines on just the same day as the meeting which only confirmed the urgent need within the industry for guidelines and policy.

As an update, five current Work Group Items are:


LNG Bunkering Safety Guidelines

Interim guidelines are out amongst the membership for final comments now and the production progress is at full speed to get the guidelines issued this summer. Intended as guidelines for the ‘flange to flange’ part of the process, whether shore, truck or barge to ship, the committee wants to help ensure the fundamentals of the process are right from the start.

Expected Output: Summer 2014


Safe Working Distances

Two fundamentally approaches exist for deciding what should be a safety zone around a live LNG bunkering operation. A deterministic or probabilistic approach can lead to wildly different distances for the same operation and these results can be manipulated to allow dangerously close proximity of operations. There are pros and cons to each method of course however the policy from this organisation is going to be one of safety first and this guide will inevitably be a table of exclusion zones depending amongst others upon volume, manifold size, transfer rate, type of transfer to name but a few.

Expected Output: Autumn 2014


Salvage of LNG in a Marine Environment

This work group is made up of representative Salvors both from around the world and SGMF’s membership, they are tackling a complex subject and it is likely to develop into a JIP of which SGMF itself will be a member and facilitator. The committee is very interested to understand all of the issues surrounding a salvage situation in any scenario should it happen and now is good time to make sure these are at least referenced.

Expected Output: 2015


Training and Competence

No doubt the largest subject under consideration, this work group is formed of pioneering operators, training organisations and experienced operators all trying to get fundamentals of the so called ‘human factor’ right. Whilst LNG is understood within a relatively small sector of the maritime industry, the committee wants the rest of the maritime and bunker industry to start on the right footing with handling LNG. Guidelines on training are important, ensuring competence in the industry for LNG as it becomes more widely used is another matter and this is the long term aim of this group.

Expected Output: Spring 2015


LNG Quality and Quantity

As a fifth work group under this new committee, the objective is to disseminate the fundamentals of Q&Q to all parts of the LNG supply chain when it is being used as a marine fuel. There are well known pit-falls within the bunker oil fuel sector around this topic but when it comes to LNG as a marine fuel what are the differences and how is it going to be managed. There are many stakeholders here but the common bottom line is the commercial risk and the committee wants to highlight the intrinsic benefits that can be had from the beginning if this is done in the right way.

Output: Winter 2014


Other Topics Discussed and on the rolling work list;

Gas for ships mini guide, Risk Assessment Guide, Methane Slip, Efficiency Aspects, Dry Break Couplings and Emergency Release couplings, LNG availability, Air Quality Impact, Emergency Procedures, Well to Wake Costs.

SGMF Members / Observers of this Committee

ABS, Antwerp Port, Argent Marine, Bernard Shulte Group, BP, BG Group, Bureau Veritas, Exxon Mobil, FMC, GDF Suez, Harvey Gulf, MOL, Moran Towage, NYK Line, REVLNG, Rolls Royce, Shell, SIGTTO, Smit Lamnalco, Total Marine Fuels

Next Committee Meeting: October 2014 Houston

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