SIGTTO launches latest initiative to promote efficient LNG bunkering

  • The Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel established to help enhance safety and best practices linked to LNG as a ship fuel

The Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO) has announced that it has established the Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF) – a non-governmental organisation (NGO) to help enhance the safety and best practices in the use of LNG as a marine fuel.

“The use of LNG as a marine fuel presents a major challenge for the shipping industry over the coming years,” said SIGTTO president, Luc Gillet.

“I am pleased that SIGTTO is playing a leading role in the launch of this new NGO.”

“We believe that our participation will yield benefits for not only the gas shipping industry but also the general maritime community.”

In a statement, SIGTTO said that despite LNG as a ship fuel falling outside their standard remit its extensive knowledge and experience in the handling of LNG “will be invaluable to the nascent LNG bunkering sector”.

With the absence of an official industry-wide body dealing with the technical and safety issues associated with the use of LNG as ship fuel, the SGMF becomes the second such group to take matters into their own hands and follows in the footsteps of the LNG Fuelled Vessels Working Group, which was formed earlier this year by a number of European ports and the Port of Los Angeles. The SGMF, much like the LNG Fuelled Vessels Working Group, will look into safe procedures for LNG bunkering operations and also provide a blueprint to all who have responsibilities for, or an interest in, the use of LNG as marine fuel.

“This new industry body is a major step forward in the enhancement of safety and best practices covering the use of LNG as marine fuel. All stakeholders are urged to support and join SGMF,” said SIGTTO general manager, Andrew Clifton.

In advocating measures to enhance safety in the use of LNG as fuel for shipping internationally, SGMF will represent the interests of its members at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) when its NGO status is formally recognised. It will consult with the IMO, government agencies and other NGOs in exercising its principal role.

SGMF membership will be open to the main stakeholders involved in the LNG bunkering supply chain, including bunker suppliers, ship-owners, bunker barge operators, port authorities and regulators.

The society will be a non-profit-making organisation registered in Bermuda and will have a London liaison office. SGMF is expected to be open for membership later in the summer and further details will be issued by SIGTTO in the coming months.

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