Lead Chemical Engineer
United States Coast Guard
15:00 - 15:30
Tuesday, 17 September 2019
T1.1 Implementation of the IGC Code by the U.S. Coast Guard
The recent extensive increase in natural gas production from shale formations has transformed the United States from a net LNG importer into a major exporter. LPG and ethane export volumes are also rising. This situation has in turn significantly increased the number of liquefied gas carriers entering U.S. ports.
The U.S. requires that all gas carriers entering the U.S. meet U.S. regulations; however, a foreign flag gas carrier is generally assumed to meet these regulations if the vessel has valid Certificate of Fitness (COF) for IGC Code, together with attestations from Flag or Class that the vessel meets the specific additional requirements outlined in the U.S. regulations. A gas carrier wishing to enter a U.S. port must apply for a Subchapter O Endorsement (SOE) and pass a Certificate of Compliance (COC) examination.
Recently the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has dealt with four issues involving gas carriers entering U.S. ports. These vessels have equivalencies to IGC Code requirements or were not in compliance with the IGC Code. Three of these issues were discovered during COC exams, and one was brought to the attention of the USCG by the vessel operator. This presentation will cover the different issues that were raised and how the USCG handled each situation.
The outcome and the time to resolution differed for each situation. Using lessons learned from these situations, the presentation will discuss options for owner/operators to minimize the time required for resolution of situations that may arise in the future.
The availability of LNG and the introduction of emission restrictions on vessels has increased the demand for vessels using LNG as fuel. In the U.S. this will, in turn, lead to the construction of non-self-propelled vessels carrying LNG in bulk for the purpose of fueling LNG-fueled vessels. The IGC Code does not apply to non-self-propelled vessels, and limited U.S. regulations exist to guide vessel designers and builders in developing vessels to meet this market need. The USCG has published a policy letter to address this gap in the regulations. The presentation will discuss the recommendations of the policy letter and how designers and builders can be granted exemptions for specific designs.
The U.S. regulations for ships carrying liquefied gases in bulk, 46 CFR 154, at one time were harmonized with the Gas Carrier Code. Since that time, the IGC Code has been amended, but U.S. regulations have not changed. The USCG is working with the Chemical Transportation Advisory Committee to harmonize the U.S. regulations with the 2016 IGC Code. This presentation will discuss, to the extent possible, the plans for this update and how interested parties can participate in the revision.