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Gastech 2021 Presentations by TotalEnergies Marine Fuels: Safety Considerations for LNG Bunkering of Passenger Ships and Ensuring High Compatibility of an LNG Bunker Vessel

Blog Article - October 06, 2021


I have been delighted to attend and give two presentations at this year’s Gastech 2021 at the Dubai World Trade Centre in UAE, focusing on the safety aspects of LNG bunkering of passenger ships in SIMOPS (simultaneous operations) and addressing compatibility of the receiving and bunkering vessel for ship-to-ship LNG bunkering operations.

As the industry witnesses how quickly the actual LNG bunkering “ramp-up” phase is progressing and that bunkering operations are becoming more flexible and dynamic as with conventional fuels, ensuring a safe bunkering operation becomes even more paramount.

While safety studies are an important part of the development and commercialization of LNG bunkering, other aspects of safety also have to be duly considered. These considerations include the design of the LNG system, including containment, personnel training and ensuring the right operational procedure.

Additionally, dealing with LNG bunkering physical and chemical properties of the fuel as well as new equipment involved must be factored in for safety engineering and when defining operational and safety procedures.

With safety being a core value at TotalEnergies, we are involved in various working groups that define standards and guidelines for LNG bunkering, and are constantly seeking to take the industry’s best practices a step further.

During my presentation, I highlighted how TotalEnergies Marine Fuels puts safety studies results into practice for our operations. Here is a short excerpt from my presentation to give you an example of our approach to deal with safety analysis within and beyond the safety zone:

One of the critical here-and-now questions is around whether the LNG bunkering can ever reach the same level of flexibility as with bunkering conventional fuels, via just the use of checklists?

At Gastech, I highlighted how LNG compares to conventional fuels, and acknowledge that despite LNG’s excellent safety record in the maritime industry, the potential hazards to be addressed are different from conventional fuels, and therefore require other types of mitigation measures during its bunkering operation.

Based on our pioneering experience and expertise in handling this cryogenic fuel, there is no doubt that when it comes to addressing safety issues around the handling and bunkering of future cryogenic fuels, additional actions will need to be made to ensure safety associated with managing the tank pressure, the BOG management, and if cooling down activities will be required prior to a bunkering operation of these future fuels.

Finally, I enjoyed presenting our thoughts on the need for industry consensus around how standardised operational guidelines would allow for a wide range of vessel sizes, ship types, trade profiles and fuels, to be part of the future fuel mix.

Providing confidence and reliability for customers, liners, suppliers and authorities is critical. In 2022, we anticipate that passenger ships could make up 26% of the LNG-fuelled vessels fleet and could use about 36% of global marine LNG demand, making them the largest consumers of marine LNG ahead of containerships.

The development of future marine fuels to reduce vessels’ GHG emissions will thus require even more technical and safety reliability studies and analysis, in order to form a consistent and coherent body of standards and rules.

Mireille Franco, Head of HSEQ and Technical, TotalEnergies Marine Fuels


To find out more on my presentations at Gastech 2021, you can contact us via the contact form or by email at [email protected].

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