Commercial Vessel Compliance

5/20/2015: Status of national policies regulating LNG fueled vessels and LNG bunkering processes

The Coast Guard’s Liquefied Gas Carrier National Center of Expertise, or LGC NCOE, recently presented at a summit hosted by FC Gas Intelligence titled, ‘The Future of Marine Fuels: Natural Gas for Off Road Applications Canada Summit.’

The remarks focused on services provided by the LCG NCOE and the status of national policies regulating LNG fueled vessels and LNG bunkering processes.

Written by Lt. Dallas Smith


Located in Port Arthur, Texas, the LGC NCOE is one of six NCOEs nationwide focusing on providing industry specific consultation and services to the Coast Guard and maritime industry. The LGC NCOE provides technical advice on all matters related to foreign and U.S. flagged vessels and barges that carry liquefied gases in bulk and the marine transfer systems associated with liquefied natural gas, or LNG, and liquefied petroleum gas terminals.

LGC NCOE efforts include:

• Providing liquefied gas training and outreach opportunities
• Liquefied gas workforce forecasting and performance development
• Technical expertise for the establishment of local and national liquefied gas guidance, policy and regulations.

Current Projects

The LGC NCOE projects that liquefied gas carrier arrivals to the U.S. will grow from approximately 1,000 carriers per year to 3,800 carriers per year by 2020 as proposed LNG export facilities gain federal and state approval and complete construction.

To meet this projected demand the LGC NCOE is working to ensure proper and timely training and personnel qualifications are being accomplished within the Coast Guard.

The LGC NCOE is also actively engaged in LNG as a marine fuel and LNG bunkering. There are currently 10 dual-fuel vessels under construction or scheduled for construction. The LGC NCOE has been actively following construction of vessels in Mississippi and California.

Current Policy

Current Coast Guard policy includes

CG-OES Policy Letter 01-15: Guidelines for LNG fuel transfer operations and training of personnel on vessels using natural gas as fuel

CG-OES Policy Letter 02-15: Guidance related to vessels and waterfront facilities conducting LNG marine fuel transfer, or bunkering, operations

CG-ENG Policy Letter 02-15: Design standards for U.S. barges intending to carry LNG in Bulk

CG-ENG Policy Letter 01-12: Equivalency determination – Design criteria for natural gas fuel systems

International Maritime Organization Resolution MSC.258(86): Interim guidelines on safety for natural gas-fuelled engine installations in ships

This IMO guideline is in force until the new International Code of Safety for Gas-Fueled Ships (IGF Code) is approved, which is expected in January, 2017.

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.

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