Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
Fuel cells, fuel flashpoints, draft amendments to the IMDG and IMSBC Codes and more, were on the agenda for the seventh session of IMO’s Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC 7), which was held from 6 to 10 September. The text here is based on material kindly provided by the IMO media service.
Draft interim guidelines for ships using fuel cells agreed by Sub-Committee
Draft interim guidelines aimed at providing international standard provisions for ships using fuel cell power installations have been agreed by IMO’s Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC 7).
These draft interim guidelines cover issues including fire systems and gas/vapour detection. The guidelines are intended to ensure the safe and reliable delivery of electrical and/or thermal energy through the use of fuel cell technology.
A fuel cell is a source of electrical power in which chemical energy is converted directly into electrical and thermal energy by electro-chemical oxidation. Fuel cells can operate using hydrogen (which has the potential to be explosive) as the fuel source.
The draft interim guidelines will be forwarded to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) for approval at its 105th session, scheduled to meet in April 2022.
The development of these interim guidelines for safety of ships using fuel cells is part of the important work being carried out by the Sub-Committee in the context of shipping’s need for new fuels and propulsion systems1 to meet decarbonisation ambitions set out in the Initial IMO GHG Strategy2.
Matters relating to newer types of fuel are considered under the agenda item on the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code).
The IGF Code, which entered into force in 20173, aims to minimize the risk to ships, their crews and the environment, given the nature of the fuels involved. It has initially focused on liquefied natural gas (LNG), but work is now underway to consider other relevant fuel types.
Interim guidelines for the safety of ships using methyl/ethyl alcohol as fuel have already been developed by the Sub-Committee and were approved by the MSC in 2020. (MSC.1/Circ.16214).
Amendments to guidelines relating to low flashpoint fuels requiring low temperatures
The Sub-Committee agreed various draft amendments to guidelines and Codes in relation to ships using or carrying fuels such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), which is cooled to very low (cryogenic) temperatures for carriage. The draft amendments relate to the use of high manganese austenitic steel, including corrosion testing for ammonia compatibility.
The Sub-Committee agreed:
Austenitic steels, known to resist corrosion, are non-magnetic stainless steels that contain high levels of chromium and nickel and low levels of carbon.
Development of guidelines for the safety of ships using hydrogen as fuel initiated
The Sub-Committee considered a proposal to develop guidelines for the safety of ships using hydrogen as fuel. With overwhelming support from the Member States and international organizations, the Sub-Committee agreed to initiate the development of guidelines for the safety of ships using hydrogen as fuel.
Updated work plan to address new low flash-point fuels agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed an updated work plan for the development of safety provisions for new low-flashpoint fuels under the IGF Code, for consideration by MSC 105 (scheduled to meet in April 2022).
The work plan envisages, among other items, the development of guidelines for ships using hydrogen as fuel; the development of guidelines for ships using liquefied petroleum gas as fuel, the possible development of guidelines for ships using ammonia as fuel; and the development of draft amendments to the IGF Code for ships using natural gas.
The work plan also envisages future discussions on the development of mandatory instruments regarding the use of methyl/ethyl alcohols as fuel and the development of mandatory instruments regarding fuel cells.
Draft amendments to the IMDG and IMSBC Codes agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed the next set of draft amendments to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code and the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC Code), which will be submitted to MSC 105 for adoption, following finalization by the Editorial and Technical (E&T) Group.
The draft amendments to the IMDG Code include those required to take account of changes to the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods which sets the basic requirements for all transport modes.
The matters relating to safe transport of charcoal and review of maritime special provisions will be continued inter-sessionally by a correspondence group established by the Sub-Committee.
The draft amendments to the IMSBC Code include
Revised inspection programmes for cargo transport units agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed the revised inspection programmes for cargo transport units carrying dangerous goods (MSC.1/Circ.1442, as amended by MSC.1/Circ.1521), in order to broaden the inspection programmes for CTUs.
The objective of the Guidelines is to assist in the implementation of a uniform and safe inspection programme for the inspection of CTUs) carrying goods for international transport by sea, and to provide guidance relating to such inspections in accordance with applicable IMO instruments, such as the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), the IMDG Code, the International Convention for Safe Containers (CSC) and related recommendations including the IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code).
Furthermore, the guidelines cover various aspects of inspection including: documentation; structural safety; cargo, including marking and packaging; targeting methodology to identifying undeclared or misdeclared dangerous goods; general safety and pest contamination considerations.
The revised guidelines will be submitted to MSC 105 for approval.
Draft unified interpretations of the IGC Code agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed draft unified interpretations of the IGC Code, for submission to MSC 105 for approval.
Illustration per www.imo/org
The International Harbour Masters’ Association (IHMA) reports that Commodore Barry Goldman will be stepping down later this year from the role of IHMA representative to the IALA VTS Committee.
In late-September IHMA’s governing body, the Executive Committee (ExCo) appointed Captain Michael Trent, an Associate Member of IHMA since 2019, as Commodore Goldman’s successor on the IALA VTS Committee. At the same time ExCo recorded its thanks to him for his excellent work on behalf of IHMA.
Commodore Goldman will step down at the end of the year following the IMO Assembly in December when it is expected a new draft IMO VTS Resolution will be adopted.
This webinar will feature nine technical presentations, ranging from the design and planning of port and coastal infrastructure to sustainability and climate change in waterborne transport.
PIANC (www.pianc.org ) advises that for this opportunity, enthusiastic Young Professionals of five continents covering the Americas, the Asia-Pacific region and Europe-Africa are lined up to cater for your interest and to achieve wide knowledge sharing.
Beyond that, the global event strives to gather everyone who is related to the waterborne transport industry prior to the return of signature in-person events at PIANC next year.
On behalf of YP PIANC, an invitation is extended to all, Members and Non-Members, with the encouragement to register for the event through the link here:
You can select to attend your preferred presentation or the full two-day event at no cost.