LNG is one of the cleaner alternative fuels for meeting the 2015 IMO environmental sulphur regulations. By using LNG as fuel, a vessel can reduce its sulphur and particle emissions to almost zero, its nitrogen oxide emissions by 85-90 percent and it may also reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, ports around the world are actively pursuing LNG as a fuel and are working to develop bunkering facilities for seagoing and inland vessels in a safe way. Focusing on the use of LNG as a marine fuel, the “LNG Fueled Vessels Working Group” has been established under the auspices of IAPH’s World Ports Climate Initiative (WPCI) in 2012. The participant ports were Antwerp, Amsterdam, Bremerhaven, Brunsbüttel, Fujairah, Gijon, Gothenburg, Hamburg, Le Havre, Los Angeles, Rotterdam, Stockholm, Wilhelmshaven and Zeebrugge.

The WPCI LNG working group launched a dedicated website that provides a detailed overview of the use of LNG as a ship’s fuel, illustrates the technical requirements for seagoing vessels, and provides a detailed overview of bunkering infrastructure and vessels under development and the business case. The website is targeted in particular at port authorities giving consideration to the rollout of LNG as a shipping fuel.

On the technical side, the group has developed guidelines on safe procedures for LNG bunkering operations, providing ports around the world with implementation guidelines to pursue this technology. In specific, three bunkering checklists for implementation in ports, for ship-to-ship, shore-to-ship and truck-to-ship bunkering scenarios, were produced and released in 2014. These checklists reflect the extra requirements with regard to LNG bunkering operations in or near port environment. By using bunkering checklists, a high level of quality and responsibility of the LNG bunker operators can be obtained. The harmonization of bunkering checklists in ports is of further benefit to the vessels (and their crew) because it reduces confusion caused by having to comply with different rules and regulations in different ports.

In addition to the bunkering checklists, the WPCI LNG working group also delivered in 2014 a conceptual model for the accreditation of Bunker Facility Operators (BFOs) in view of further enhancing safety also on a system level. The focus of the working group at present lies on the implementation of this accreditation model. A relevant IAPH Accreditation Audit Tool for Bunker Facility Operators is foreseen to be released by mid 2018. Ports may use this tool to assess the issuing of BFOs’ licenses to operate in their port.

The further development and update of the bunker checklists and the website are also part of the working group’s agenda for 2018.