Progress in the development of guidelines for the safety of hydrogen and ammonia-fueled ships

The Subcommittee on the Carriage of Cargo and Containers (CCC Subcommittee) made significant progress in developing draft interim guidelines for the safety of ships using hydrogen and ammonia as fuel at its 9th session from 20 to 29 September 2023.

Taking into account the urgency of providing guidance to Administrations, ship owners and the industry in general on the safe use of hydrogen and ammonia as fuels, the Sub-Committee agreed to convene an intersessional working group from 9 to 13 September 2024, immediately before CCC 10 (subject to approval by MSC 108 and endorsement by Council), to finalize the guidelines.

If time is available, the working group will also be invited to further develop the draft interim guidelines for ships using low flash point liquid fuels.

The Sub-Committee approved a draft MSC circular on Interim Guidelines for the Fueling of LPG Cargoes, for approval by MSC 108, which provides additional coverage for ships under the IGC Code and complements the Interim Guidelines for the Safety of ships using LPG as fuel (MSC.1/Circ.1666) approved by MSC 107.

Meanwhile, the Sub-Committee also initiated the development of draft amendments to the IGC Code with respect to the safe use of LPG as fuel based on the interim guidelines as well as the provisions for the safe use of LPG as fuel for gas carriers carrying cargoes listed in Chapter 19 of the IGC Code other than LPG.

The CCC Sub-Committee plays a vital role in developing technical provisions for alternative fuels and related technologies, ensuring that the safety implications and potential risks associated with the use of alternative fuels and related technologies are appropriately addressed.

Guidelines already developed include:

  • Interim guidelines for the safety of ships using methyl/ethyl alcohol as fuel (MSC.1/Circ.1621).
  • Interim guidelines for ships using fuel cells (MSC.1/Circ.1647); and
  • Interim guidelines for the safety of ships using LPG as fuel (MSC.1/Circ.1666).

The work plan, updated in this session, foresees that the guidelines will continue to be developed in 2024 and 2025 with the finalization of mandatory instruments related to methyl/ethyl alcohols and to continue considering the development of mandatory instruments related to fuel cells in the CCC 12 in September 2026.

Other issues discussed at CCC 9 include the ongoing revision of the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC Code), the increase in the frequency of accidents related to entry into enclosed spaces resulting in loss of human life, and a draft circular from the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) on recommendations regarding the maritime transport of plastic pellets in containers.


News and image obtained: "Organización Marítima Internacional"



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