Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS, the Register) participates in LNG Fleet and LNG Bunkering in Russia organized by IAA PortNews to be held on 24 October 2018 in Moscow.
Expansion of the practice of using gas fuel on ships as an alternative to liquid petroleum is caused by both market processes and international environmental regulations governing navigation regarding control of NOx, SOx and CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.
For gas carries, the possibility to use gas a fuel has been provided by the Rules for the classification and construction of gas carriers since 1983 when the first edition of these Rules was developed. Today, the Register has developed and implemented a set of requirements for ships operating on liquefied natural gas (LNG) which are not gas carriers, to respond the requests of marine industry. When these requirements are complied with, such ships may be assigned the distinguishing marks and descriptive notation as follows:
As for the ships with the distinguishing mark GFS (Gas Fuelled Ship) assigned to the class notation, additional requirements for location of fuel storage tanks, fire protection, ventilation, automatic gas detection and alarm systems in spaces as well as for fuel systems are provided in the RS Rules. The provisions of the International Code of Safety for Ships Using Gases or Other Low-Flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code) are taken into account in the normative documents.
Descriptive notation LNG bunkering ship imposes additional requirements for gas carriers to use them as LNG bunkering ships relating to bunkering line, bunkering control systems, emergency shut-down system (ESD) and gas detection in the manifold connection area. Besides, the additional requirements for stability, fire protection and LNG leakage prevention and containment on deck shall be complied with. The provisions of the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (IGC Code) are taken into account in the normative documents. In case of additional functions of the ship, when the ship complies with the relevant requirements, the distinguishing marks RE (the ship is designed to receive LNG from a gas fuelled ship for which the LNG fuel tanks shall be emptied), IG-Supply (the ship is designed to supply inert gas and dry air to ensure gas-freeing and aeration) and BOG (where boil-off gas system (BOG) generated during the bunkering operation is provided on board the ship) may be introduced in the class notation following descriptive notation LNG bunkering ship.
The aim of developing the distinguishing mark GRS (Gas Ready Ship) was to assist shipowners in facilitating the process of converting the ship for the use of gas fuel instead of liquefied fuel considering minimizing of cargo space losses, maintenance of the existing hull structures to the maximum extent, possibility to convert the existing machinery for the use of gas fuel and, consequently, to reduce financial expenses and time required for conversion. Minimum extent of requirements to be complied with for assigning the distinguishing mark GRS implies that the conversion design includes approval of technical documentation on fuel tanks, locations for these fuel tanks are provided on board the ship, required calculations are carried out and hull reinforcements are provided, the installed engine permits conversion to gas fuel and the gas fuelled engine has the RS type approval. The following distinguishing marks may be assigned depending the extent of the ship readiness for conversion: GRS-D – design of the ship conversion is approved by RS; GRS-H – necessary hull reinforcements have been provided during the ship construction in the locations of LNG fuel tanks and other additional equipment; GRS-T – LNG storage tank has been installed on board during the ship construction; GRS-P – gas fuel piping and other special systems are installed on board the ship; GRS-E – gas fuel consumers installed on board the ship are dual fuel. Where the set of these requirements is complied with (that may be implemented in stages), the ship may be assigned the distinguishing mark GFS.