Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/578020
55 Fall 2015 Proceedings www.uscg.mil/proceedings and developing a design basis that lays out the framework of standards and requirements in the absence of fed- eral regulations. Requirements under this process are project-specific, can be based on a mix of standards, and reviews can tend to be very time-inten- sive. In an effort to streamline this process and provide up-front design criteria that the Coast Guard will accept, in early 2012 the Coast Guard Offce of Design and Engineering Standards published Commandant Policy Letter 01-12, which provides one avenue to determine an equivalent level of safety to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The policy uses the IMO interim guide- lines as a baseline standard, and pro- vides additional requirements to ensure an equivalent level of safety. It also lays out one set of design criteria for dem- onstrating equivalency, and is very pre- scriptive in some areas. We recognize, however, that there may be other means to achieve equivalency, and if a vessel design falls outside the policy's limits, the designer can still apply for concept review and a design basis approval on a case-by-case basis. The good news is designers can skip the headquarters concept review and go straight to the Coast Guard Marine Safet y Center for plan review and approval if they plan to meet the design criteria detailed under the policy letter. Regulating Fueling Infrastructure While the industry is still in the early stages of developing the infrastructure necessary to fuel such vessels, there are basically three different methods envisioned for supplying fuel to LNG- powered vessels. These include: • using a fxed shore-side fueling terminal, • refueling by tank truck, • refueling by bunker barge/bunker vessel. The Coast Guard has regulations in place under 33 CFR to address LNG transfer at shoreside terminals as well as regulations that cover bunkering traditional liquid fuels. However, there are some gaps with regard to applying these requirements to LNG fuel transfers. Also, existing liquefed natural gas facility and transfer requirements were developed with large-scale cargo terminals in mind, not the smaller-scale fueling facilities expected to support LNG- fueled vessels. LNG-Fueled Vessel Projects by Region Over the past four years, we have seen tremendous interest from industry in using liquefed natural gas as a marine fuel, with more than two dozen vessel projects in the planning, design, or construction phases. The following is a summary of the most active LNG fuel projects by geographic region. Gulf Coast In February 2015, a dual-fuel ofshore support vessel became the frst U.S.-fagged vessel to bunker with liquefed natural gas as well as the frst LNG-powered vessel in the U.S. feet certifcated by both the U.S. Coast Guard and the American Bureau of Shipping. Main propulsion for this diesel-electric vessel is supplied by three dual-fuel diesel engines, rated at 7.5MW each. A single vessel storage tank, located amidships under the cargo deck, aft of the accommodations, supplies the engines with methane gas. The vessel is chartered to work in the Gulf of Mexico and will be homeported in Port Fourchon, Louisiana. The operator is also constructing the frst U.S. LNG vessel bunkering facility at Port Fourchon, slated to become operational during the second half of 2015. Also in February 2015, a shipyard in Orange, Texas, was awarded a construction contract to build an LNG bunker barge, which will be the frst of its kind in the United States. This single-cargo tank barge will initially operate in the Puget Sound area to provide LNG fuel to two vessels that trade between Tacoma, Wash- ington, and Anchorage, Alaska. Florida, Puerto Rico Construction began on the frst of two LNG-powered ConRo vessels in January, 2015, at a Pascagoula, Mississippi, shipyard. Expected delivery of the frst vessel is the second quarter of 2017. Cargo capacity will be approximately 2,400 TEUs, with space for nearly 400 vehicles in an enclosed roll-on, roll-of garage. Both vessels will trade between Jacksonville, Florida, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. At a shipyard on the West Coast, construction is well underway on two liquefed natural gas-powered containerships, the frst of their kind in the world. These 3,100-TEU vessels will sail between Jacksonville, Florida, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Main propulsion will consist of a single, slow-speed, dual-fuel diesel engine. The LNG will be stored in two insulated storage tanks located aft of the accom- modations and above the main deck. Pacifc Northwest During the winter of 2015, one industry operator will convert existing roll-on, roll-of vessels to use LNG as fuel. They will feature 12-cylinder, dual-fuel engines and generator sets for the diesel-electric main propulsion system, and will use specialized technology to supply the associated automation and fuel gas- handling systems. The vessels will be ftted with two LNG storage tanks, and they will trade between the ports of Tacoma, Washington, and Anchorage, Alaska.