IAPH To Issue Standards for LNG Bunkering

IAPH Audit Tool

The International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) will publish an internationally agreed standard for LNG bunkering later this month: "The IAPH Audit Tool for Bunker Facility Operators (IAT-LNG)."

According to Peter Alkema of the Port of Amsterdam and chair of the IAPH’s working group on LNG fueled vessels, the new audit tool will be able to support port authorities in their decision-making process of issuing licenses to operate LNG bunker facilities in their port. A safety check list was already published in 2014.

Alkema said the tool supports a systematic and independent audit process for objectively assessing the extent to which pre-defined system safety criteria have been met. The tool ensures that, at the front-end, the responsibilities of the bunker facility operator with respect to safe and sustainable operations are clearly defined, and that careful consideration is given to the way LNG bunker operations are organized.

In addition, the audit tool may also used as a central repository of international standards, guidelines and best practices, such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF), and the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), within the context of LNG bunker operations in a port.

A port authority may use the audit tool in its decision-making process on whether to issue a license to a LNG bunker facility operator (BFO), cooperating (IAPH) ports may share their audit results and information on the safety performance of a BFO so that there would be no need for a port to go through the entire audit process again once a BFO has been audited.

The advantage for a BFO would be that, once audited, the BFO would not necessarily have to be re-audited when applying for a license to operate in another port. For instance, Alkema said, the Shell bunker vessel Cardissa has been audited in Rotterdam based on a beta version of the IAPH audit tool and the results of this audit could be used by other ports to base their license to operate on.

Alkema added that the audit tool is also to be a blue print for the support of the upcoming new clean marine fuels, like hydrogen and methanol.

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