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Singapore LNG bunkering – safeguarding standards and regulations

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Author(s): Phil Ryan, London Offshore Consultants – LNG, (Singapore)

Due to forthcoming Emission Control Areas (ECA) and Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) regulations, the necessity for clean and justifiable propulsion systems for ships is imperative. To ensure compliance, numerous options are available with one being liquid natural gas (LNG). LNG worldwide is renowned for its exceptional safety record. The main reason for this is due to the prevailing strong standards, regulations and the commitment to a culture of riskmanagement. The key factor to the LNG industry’s safety awareness is the ability to recognise methods of protection to ultimately minimise any likelihood of any consequences. With industry regulations and standards, it is possible to have a strong foundation for a safe operational environment in LNG services. The safe process of LNG operations such as shipping is directed by government-regulated protocol for the purpose of safe control. This has been developed over time by distribution of experiences and development of best practices and standards which has resulted in a safer standard within the LNG industry. By means of strict observance to these codes, standards and regulations have led to the high safety record. However, although it is vital that regulations, standards and codes are adhered to, it is only the correct hiring and training of qualified personnel that will meet – and in particular cases exceed – these regulations.

Background

With this period of eco-friendly awareness on a global scale, traditional energy sources are in a decline due to the new regulatory controls. The progression towards the fuel of the future – liquid natural gas (LNG) – has been discussed considerably throughout the past few years. But with the upcoming environmental regulations in 2015, the time has come for action. Not more so than in Singapore, where the country’s recent aspirations in liquefied natural gas, including LNG bunkering, has highlighted the fact that it intends being the frontrunner but not at a cost – and that includes the safety aspects. The Lion Republic’s stability has always revolved around clear economic and societal principles, and its ability to identify the imperatives of governance to ensure successful guidance. These imperatives include the need for proactive leadership, to optimise available resources, adapt relentlessly and remain relevant in an ever-changing world. In short, to continually examine and evolve its pivotal role in the world. An example of Singapore living up to the standards it set itself comes directly from its responsibility to meet the energy needs of its own populace. Just 10 years ago, a disruption of natural gas import flow caused serious interruption to electricity supply which resulted in the loss of 30% of power systems. There was an outcry at all levels, from parliamentary to grassroots. With high accountable standards of governance at stake, the Singapore government engaged decisively and proactively: its main focus became reliability of supply.


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