SEPTEMBER 19, 2014 — An IMO panel has agreed a draft International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code).
The code, which would become manadatory under proposed amendments to SOLAS, sets out mandatory provisions for the arrangement, installation, control and monitoring of machinery, equipment and systems using low flashpoint fuels, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG). The aim is to minimize the risk to the ship, its crew and the environment.
The code addresses areas that need special consideration using a goal-based approach, with goals and functional requirements specified for each section forming the basis for the design, construction and operation of ships using this type of fuel.
The code would apply to new ships and to existing ships converting from the use of conventional oil fuel to the use of gases or other low-flashpoint fuels. It would not.not apply to cargo ships of less than 500 gross tonnage, but its provisions could be applied to such ships on a voluntary basis, based on national legislation.
The draft SOLAS amendments along with the draft IGF Code, will be submitted to IMO's Maritime Safety Committee, at its next session (November 17 to 21, 2014).
As the draft IGF Code focuses, as a first step, on the specific requirements for ships using LNG as fuel, the panel also agreed a work plan for the next phase of development of the code, to take account of the need to consider future proposals for the use of additional fuels for inclusion in the code. The IGF Correspondence Group was re-established to: further develop guidelines for ships using ethyl or methyl alcohol as fuel; further develop measures for fuel cells for inclusion in the IGF Code as and when appropriate; further develop measures for ships using low-flashpoint diesel oil for inclusion in the IGF Code.
The U.S. Coast Guard has made the draft IGF Code and proposed SOLAS amendments available HERE