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Crew Responsibilities for LNG Bunkering

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When performing responsibilities during LNG bunkering, it is important to consider safety considerations and procedures and ensure that the crew is adequately trained to take into account the specific characteristics of the vessel.

This includes understanding the bunkering process, equipment used, safety measures, emergency response protocols and operational features unique to the vessel. A well-trained crew is critical to the safe and efficient execution of LNG bunkering operations.

Responsibilities during planning stage

The involvement of port or other authorities, LNG supplier and receiving ship in the planning of a bunkering operation are detailed below.

Port, National Authority and Flag Administration responsibilities

Decisions and requirements for LNG bunkering should be based on a risk analysis carried out in advance of any bunkering operation. The Port authority and/or national or other authority with jurisdiction should consider:

  • approval of the risk acceptance criteria;
  • overall responsibility for the good governance and framework for LNG bunker operations in the port;
  • applicability of an accreditation scheme for LNG bunker operators in the ports under their authority;
  • acceptability of the location of bunkering facilities, (bunkering may be limited to specific locations within the port/anchorage);
  • restrictions on bunkering operations such as simultaneous operations;
  • shore side contingency plans, emergency response systems;
  • general procedures for traffic control and restrictions;
  • whether additional requirements should be applied.

Receiving ship operator (RSO) and bunkering facility organisation (BFO) responsibilities. Before setting up a Ship to Ship Bunkering Operations of the Liquefied Natural Gasship bunkering operation, the receiving ship operator (RSO) and bunkering facility organisation (BFO) should perform the actions listed below.

Receiving ship operator (RSO) and bunkering facility organisation (BFO) responsibilities
Actionsto be performed by:Observations
1Review the applicable International, National and Local Regulations, Port by-laws, industry guidelines, standards, checklists, and Classification Societies Rules and Guidelines.xxPrior to the operation.
2Identify all documents, information, analysis, procedures, licences, accreditations, etc. required by Authorities.xxPrior to the operation.
3Check that the bunkering equipment is certified by the relevant Classification Society (on-board equipment) or by relevant Authorities (on-shore equipment).xPrior to the operation.
4Check that the receiving ship and the bunkering facility are compatible.xxThis action should be carried out jointly by RSO and BFO.
5Develop a specific LNG bunkering procedure for the concerned ship and bunkering facility based on preselected LNG bunkering guideline.xxThe LNG bunkering procedure should take into account any instructions and check-lists issued by the Port.
This procedure should be developed jointly by RSO and BFO.
6Perform the bunkering risk assessment (as part of an initial in-depth study).xxNormally required by the Port Authorities and Flag authorities.
Bunkering risk assessment study should involve RSO and BFO.
7Develop an emergency response plan and bunkering safety instructions.xxThis action should be carried out jointly by RSO and BFO with local authorities, fire brigade and hospital premises involvement.
8Ensure that all bunkering personnel are adequately trained.xx
9Develop bunkering plans and procedures reflecting the status of the facility.x
10Prepare, compile and share the LNG bunkering management plan with stakeholders.x

LNG Bunker Management Plan (LNGBMP)

A bunker management plan should be compiled to allow for easy availability of all relevant documentation for communication between the receiving vessel and the BFO and if applicable the terminal and/or third parties.

The Bunker Management plan should be stored and maintained by both RSO and BFO. For onboard bunkering this may not be the best scenario and should include the following aspects:

  • description of LNG, its handling hazards as a liquid or as a gas, including frostbite and asphyxiation, necessary safety equipment, personal protection equipment (PPE) and description of first aid measures;
  • description of the dangers of asphyxiation from inert gas on the ship;
  • bunkering safety instructions and emergency response plan;
  • description of the bunker facility LNG tank measurement and instrumentation system for level, pressure, and temperature control;
  • definition of the operating envelope for which safe LNG bunkering operations can be undertaken in reference to temperature, pressure, maximum flow, weather and mooring restrictions etc.;
  • a procedure for the avoidance of stratification and potential rollover, including comparison of the relative temperature and density of the remaining LNG in the receiving tank and that in the bunker provider tank and action to be taken to promote mixing during bunkering;
  • the description of all risk mitigation measures to comply with during an LNG bunkering;
  • the description of the hazardous areas, safety zone, and security zone and a description of the requirements in the zones to be complied with by the receiving vessel, the bunkering facilities, and if applicable the terminal and third parties;
  • Descriptions and diagrams of the bunker facility LNG bunkering system, including, but not limited to, the following as applicable:
    • recirculating and vapour return line system;
    • LNG fuel tank cooling down procedure;
    • procedure for collapsing the pressure of the receiving tank before and during bunkering;
    • LNG fuel tank pressure relief valve;
    • ventilation and inlet/outlet location;
    • inerting system and components;
    • boil-off gas compressor or reliquefaction system;
    • gas detection system including locations of detectors and alarms;
    • list of alarms or safety indication systems linked to the gas fuel installation;
    • LNG transfer line and connectors;
    • emergency Shutdown System description;
    • communication systems and controls protocol.

In addition to the above list of description and schematic drawings, the LNGBMP should include:

  • Documents/reports on periodic inspections of the BFO LNG installation (components), and safety equipment.
  • A checklist to verify that the ship’s crew have received proper training for bunkering LNG.
  • Bunkering safety instructions and safety management plan, (see below).

Bunkering safety instructions

RSO and BFO specific safety instructions should be prepared by both parties based on the conclusions and outputs of the LNG Bunkering Operations Risk Assessment (see Chapter 2 Sec 1 and Annex).

The specific LNG Bunkering safety instructions should cover at least:

  • sudden change of ambient / sea conditions;
  • breaching of safety and security zones;
  • loss of power (receiving ship or bunkering facility);
  • loss of monitoring / control / safety systems (ESD);
  • loss of communication;
  • and abnormal operating parameters.

In addition, the safety instructions for LNG bunkering may contain technical, RSO and BFO company-internal and operational regulations. The safety instructions should identify conditions under which bunkering will be stopped and in each case the actions required/conditions to be reinstated before the bunkering operation can be restarted.

Emergency Response Plan

An Emergency Response Plan should be prepared to address cryogenic hazards, potential cold burn injuries to personnel and firefighting techniques for controlling, mitigating and elimination of a gas cloud fire, jet fire and/or a LNG pool fire.

The Emergency Response Plan should cover all emergency situations identified in the LNG Bunkering Operations Risk Assessment and may designate responsibilities for local authorities, hospitals, local fire brigades, PIC, Master and selected personnel from the bunkering facility. As a minimum, the following situations should be covered where appropriate:

  • LNG leakage and spill on the receiving ship, on the bunkering facility or from the LNG transfer system;
  • gas detection;
  • fire in the bunkering area;
  • unexpected movement of the vessel due to failure or loosening of mooring lines;
  • unexpected moving of the truck tanker;
  • unexpected venting on the receiving ship or on the bunkering facility;
  • loss of power.

Responsibilities during bunkering operations

The involvement of port, national and/or other LNG supplier, receiving ship and specific individuals in the different phases of LNG bunkering are indicated below. In some situations there may be no port authority with direct responsibility for oversight of the bunkering operation (for example when the port/terminal is owned and managed by the BFO or RSO) in those cases the responsibilities listed in 4.1.1 and 4.2.1 should be adopted by either the BFO or the RSO.

Port Authorities general responsibilities

Port Authority regulations and procedures may impose requirements or criteria for:

  • accreditation of the BFO;
  • qualification of the PIC;
  • mooring of the receiving ship and bunker facility, industry standards may be referenced (e. g. OCIMF Effective Mooring 3rd Edition 2010);
  • immobilisation/braking of the tank truck;
  • establishment of a Safety zone / Security zone in way of the bunkering area;
  • simultaneous operations;
  • spatial planning and approval of bunker locations;
  • enforcement;
  • use of checklists;
  • environmental protection (Releases of NG, purging);
  • approval of safety and emergency response plans;
  • bunkering risk assessment, and
  • conditions in which LNG bunkering operations are allowed: weather conditions, sea state, wind speed and visibility.

LNG Bunkering facilities organisation (BFO) responsibilities

The LNG bunkering facilities organisation should be responsible for the operation of the LNG bunkering installations including:

  • planning of the specific operation (liaising with the RSO);
  • operation of the facility in line with plans and procedures; and
  • maintenance of the bunkering equipment.

Receiving ship operator (RSO)

Receiving ship operator has responsibilities for bunkering operation including:

  • informing the BFO and the Port Authority in advance for necessary preparation of the bunkering operation;
  • and attending the pre-bunkering meeting to ensure: compatibility with local requirements for equipment, quantity and flow rate of LNG to be bunkered, and coordination of crew and safety communication systems and procedures.


The master of the receiving ship retains overall control for the safe operation of the ship throughout the bunkering operation. If the bunkering operation deviates from the planned and agreed process the master retains the right to terminate the process.

The master has overall responsibility for the following aspects of the bunkering operation. However, these tasks may be delegated to the PIC or other responsible crew member but the overall responsibility should be retained by the master:

  • approving the quantity of LNG to be bunkered;
  • approving the composition, temperature and delivery pressure of LNG that is available from the bunkering facility operator. (Aspects of this may have been agreed prior to the bunkering operation as part of the LNG supply contract);
  • ensuring that the approved safe bunkering process is followed including compliance with any environmental protection requirements required by international, national or local port regulations;
  • agreeing in writing the transfer procedure, including cooling down and if necessary, gassing up; the maximum transfer rate at all stages and volume to be transferred;
  • completing and signing the bunkering checklist.

Person in Charge (PIC)

A person in charge of the bunkering operation (PIC) should be agreed by the receiving ship and the bunkering facility. It is noted that in case of ship-to-ship transfer the role of PIC should be undertaken by either the Master or Chief Engineer of the receiving ship, or the Basic Information about Liquefied Natural Gas Bunkering OperationsMaster of the bunker ship, for other bunker transfer methods a person of equivalent authority should be selected. In the case of distinct Master and PIC, the division of responsibilities between the two parties should be agreed before commencing bunkering operations.

The PIC should have an appropriate level of competence and be accepted to operate in the bunkering location. This may require authorisation or certification to act as PIC for bunkering operations, issued by the Port Authority or other Authority with jurisdiction over the bunkering location. The PIC should have adequate education, training and authorisation to ensure safe bunkering operations.

Read also: Risk Assessment in the Liquefied Natural Gas Bunkering Operations, Hazard Identification

The PIC should be responsible for the bunkering operation and for the personnel involved, in all aspects of the bunkering operation, in particular safety, until completion.

The PIC should ensure that:

  • relevant approved procedures are properly applied; and
  • safety standards are complied with, in particular within the hazardous zone and safety zone.

To achieve this, the PIC should be responsible for:

  • ensuring that company specific operating procedures are followed, and that the operation is conducted in compliance with all applicable port regulatory requirements;
  • ensuring that all required reports are made to the appropriate Authorities;
  • conducting a pre-operation safety meeting with the responsible officers of both the bunkering facility and the receiving ship;
  • ensuring that all bunkering documentation is completed (checklists, bunker delivery note, etc.);
  • agreeing the mooring arrangement and where applicable nominated Mooring Master during the operation;
  • ensuring all safeguards and risk prevention measures are in place prior to initiating the fuel flow;
  • being familiar with the results of the location risk assessment and ensuring that all specific risk mitigation means are in place and operating (water curtain, fire protection, etc.);
  • the activation of Emergency Procedures related to the bunkering system operation;
  • ensuring operation will remain within the accepted environmental window for the duration of bunkering;
  • ensuring safe procedures are followed and the connection of liquid and vapour transfer hoses and associated ERS is successfully completed;
  • ensuring the safe procedures are followed and purging and leak testing of the bunkering system prior to transfer is successfully completed;
  • monitoring fuel transfer and discharge rates including vapour management;
  • monitoring climatic conditions throughout operation;
  • monitoring mooring arrangement integrity (in communication with mooring master);
  • monitoring communications throughout the operation;
  • ensuring the safe procedures are followed for drainage and purging of the bunkering system prior to disconnection;
  • supervising disconnection of liquid and vapour hoses/pipes;
  • supervising unmooring and separation of ships or in the case of truck bunkering, departure of the truck;
  • and supervising deployment/return of fenders and/or additional support utility to the bunker ship.

Crew and Personnel Training and LNG awareness

General LNG bunkering operational training

The RSO is responsible for ensuring that the personnel on board the receiving ship involved in the bunkering operation should be suitably trained and certified by a recognised organisation, to fulfil requirements according to STCW.7/Circ.23 «Interim guidance on training for seafarers on board ships using gases or other low flashpoint fuels».

Reference is also made to Resolution MSC.396(95) – (adopted on 11 June 2015) on AMENDMENTS TO THE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON STANDARDS OF TRAINING, CERTIFICATION AND WATCHKEEPING FOR SEAFARERS (STCW), 1978, AS AMENDED and corresponding sections to Parts A and B of the 1978 STCW Convention containing training and qualifications of personnel that work on ships subject to the IGF Code.

The BFO is responsible for ensuring that all bunkering facility personnel involved with the bunkering operations are suitably trained and certified as required by the regulations governing the bunkering method.

  • For ship-to-ship bunkering these are the requirements of STCW Regulation V/1-2 – «Mandatory minimum requirements for the training and qualifications of masters, officers and ratings on liquefied gas tankers» and equivalent requirements as provided by the governing authority for the inland waterway where the vessel is operating.
  • For truck-to-ship or shore based terminal-to-ship bunkering these are the requirements of the local authorities governing activities within the port area. The personnel to be trained include but are not limited to personnel involved in LNG bunkering, personnel from authorities and emergency response services.

The person in charge (PIC) is to be trained in all aspects involving LNG. For the introduction of LNG bunkering operations within Port, sufficient training courses should be introduced in order to provide adequate competency to the role of PIC. This is especially the case with the development of novel Ship bunkering methodsbunkering systems or methods. The responsibility for verifying that the PIC is adequately trained falls on the RSO and BFO, the responsibility for certifying the PIC may be taken by the port authority.

Specific LNG bunkering safety training

Each bunkering method introduces different hazards. Specific training should be developed, based on the different possible failure scenarios and external events identified during the risk assessment study. Specific safety instructions as defined in should be prepared based on the conclusions and outputs of the LNG Bunkering Risk Assessment.

The specific LNG Bunkering safety training should cover at least:

  • sudden change of ambient/sea conditions;
  • loss of power (receiving ship or bunkering facility);
  • loss of monitoring/control/safety systems (ESD);
  • loss of communication;
  • abnormal operating parameters;
  • and rapid situation assessment technique with focus of restabilising unstable situations.


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Апрель, 16, 2024 75 0
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