News: Interferry: New IMO Rules on LNG Fuel Tanks Will Safeguard LNG Development

Ship & Bunker - November 25, 2014

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Maritime Safety Committee's (MSC94) decision to set in place new rules on the location of fuel tanks on liquefied natural gas-powered ships will "safeguard further development of the LNG option," Interferry has said in an emailed statement.

The international ferry association said that it welcomed the new rules approved by MSC94, which will see ships either adopt the same standards for tank placement as large LNG tankers, or be able to place tanks closer to the hull, provided that design alterations to the tanks are made.

The rules were put in place to minimize the fire hazards of LNG in case of collision or grounding, which is more of a risk among LNG-powered ships, as LNG required larger tank systems.

Previous rules had tank position determined through various calculation models, but faced opposition from ship designers and owners, who claimed that the space restrictions meant that ships would have to refuel at every port of call.

"While we strongly advocate safe designs and solutions, we also support the development of new technologies that will help increase the sustainability of our industry," said Interferry regulatory affairs director Johan Roos.

"The IMO decision provides a predictable framework for the protection of LNG tanks and removes concerns over rules that in effect would have made LNG non-accessible as a fuel for ferries due to too restrictive requirements on tank location and size."

It was previously reported that LNG as a fuel has had a large impact on ship design, given its lower density and its need to be stored at cryogenic temperatures.

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