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SGMF and IAPH in agreement to further explore future alternative marine fuels for vessels

02 Nov 2021

The Society of Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF) and the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) on Monday (1 November) said they have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) to work together to expand its understanding regarding the safe and effective use of all gases as marine fuel.

Specifically, the potential use of Ammonia will be investigated from source to ship with all related safety, operational and sustainability considerations.

The agreement effectively brings together the principal technical stakeholders needed to accelerate the adoption of alternative liquefied gas fuels at ports: SGMF with its energy majors, gas suppliers, equipment manufacturers, technology providers, classification societies, shipyards, ship owners and operators with the world’s principal port authorities and terminal operators from IAPH.
“The Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF) was formed in 2013 with the primary objective of advocating the safe and sustainable use of low flashpoint fuels for ships,” comments Mark Bell, General Manager and COO of SGMF.

“Safety is the prevalent factor and as the industry transitions towards an inevitable low carbon future, at SGMF we are looking forward to working with IAPH’s experts from ports, many of whom are either already operational or who are in the process of implementing infrastructure that provides alternative fuels to vessels.”

“As with the recent commenting paper submitted by IAPH to the IMO on the case for MBM revenue allocation to land-based infrastructure, it is our belief that ports may serve as the key link between the land-based fuel producers and the sea-based fuel consumers, as well as the link between fuel production and other non-shipping fuel consumers,” adds IAPH Technical Director, Antonis Michail.

“Ports have the potential to act as energy hubs as a cheaper and safer alternative than storing it elsewhere. SGMF members with their technical competences have the potential to help us make that happen.”

Applying a decade of experience in operational safety to new emerging sources of energy for ships
Capitalising on over a decade of knowhow on bunker checklistsaudit tools to evaluate terminal operator concessions and terminal readiness guidance with tried and tested procedures to ensure rigorous operational safety when handling LNG will now also be applied to new alternative fuels such as ammonia, hydrogen and methanol.
The project has become a major focus of the IAPH Clean Marine Fuels (CMF) Working Group.

 “Our Working Group is busy developing a generic audit tool as well as truck-to-ship and ship-to-ship bunker checklists for liquified gases, so being able to tap into the pool of experts from the SGMF will be extremely useful,” says Peter Alkema, Policy advisor to the Port of Amsterdam and Chair of the CMF.

“As an example, a recent study by the Port of Amsterdam and DNV concluded that spacial safety considerations are especially important when considering the deployment of bunkering infrastructure for ammonia at ports. How to handle these issues will be for all stakeholders, not just the ports.”

SGMF has proposed to include some of the IAPH CMF tools in an updated version of its own LNG Bunkering Safety Guidelines (ISBN 978-1-9996669-7-2), which will be published towards the end of the year in early December.

Photo credit: Marseille-Fos Port


Photo credit: Port of Antwerp
Published: 2 November, 2021

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