With the worldwide fleet of gas-fuelled vessels growing, The Society for Marine Gas as a Fuel (SGMF) has published new guidance on work practices for maintenance, repair and drydock operations for such ships
Called Gas as a Marine Fuel: Work Practices for Maintenance, Repair and Dry-Dock Operations, the guide was developed using the experience and technical knowledge of SGMF’s extensive member network. The contents of the publication have been drawn from the specialist knowledge of many individuals from the SGMF membership including the principal safety advisor to SGMF David Haynes. In leading the development of the guidelines, Mr Haynes has, in many instances, drawn upon onshore good practice to help align and standardise the approach for the maritime industry.
“As more and more ships start to use gas fuels, the industry is now equipped with the reference document to ensure the safe maintenance and drydocking of gas-fuelled ships,” said SGMF general manager Mark Bell.
With 185 gas-fuelled ships in operation and another 212 vessels on order, the guide will provide important safety and gas fuel management insight for drydockings to shipowners, operators, managers and shipyard personnel.
This new guidance details techniques and precautions that can be applied to minimise the hazards of LNG/gaseous fuels – in many cases, allowing the use of traditional maintenance techniques. Where this is not possible, the guidance discusses alternative methods.
The guidance also offers a risk assessment approach and covers all aspects of LNG fuel management while preparing for the docking and during the docking process. Furthermore, it provides the required details and direction for shipowners to select prequalified shipyards.
Local, national, regional and international regulatory authorities can also all draw upon, or refer to, the philosophy methodology and content of this publication when it comes to the maintenance of gas-fuelled ships. Shipyards can also use the guidance to prepare and be LNG ready. Although this guidance will give the majority of detail required, SGMF advises that shipowners, operators and managers fully understand the implications of having LNG on board and appoint an LNG specialist within the fleet and the yard.
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