Publication of the Decree adopting Passing Distances to LNG Bunker ships engaged in LNG bunkering operations
The Director of the Public Body Central Nautical Management North Sea Canal Area announces the following:
When an LNG bunker ship is bunkering Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to an LNG-powered ship, requirements must be imposed on other port users and passing ships to keep them at a safe distance from the LNG bunkering operations. These requirements reduce the risk of collision and ensure that passing ships do not pose a source of ignition in the event of leakage of LNG - although such leakage has a very low probability of occurring.
Passing ships are aware of LNG bunkering operations because the seagoing ship exhibits the International Code of Signals flag “B” by day and a bright all-round fixed red light by night; they are also aware of this because there is an LNG bunker ship alongside.
In determining the distances, a pragmatic link has been sought with the distances used in the Inland Navigation Police Regulations (BPR) and the Rhine Navigation Police Regulations (RPR).
The minimum passing distance for inland ships is set at 10 metres. Inland ships have good manoeuvrability and that is why the 10-metre passing distance applies in all cases, both when they are underway in the port and arriving at or departing from a berth close to where LNG is being bunkered.
For seagoing ships, arriving at or departing from a berth close to where LNG is being bunkered, a safety factor of 2 applies, resulting in a passing distance of 20 metres (2 times 10).
For seagoing ships underway, a link has been sought with the distances used in article 10.09 of the BPR. This article prescribes a distance of 50 metres from ships loaded with hazardous substances. Seagoing ships engaged in LNG bunkering operations must exhibit the same lights and shapes as prescribed in BPR 10.09; and because seagoing ships underway require a greater safety margin than the 20 metres required during arrival or departure, a link has been sought with the distance of 50 metres.
This Decree can be found on the internet site of Port of Amsterdam.
The Director of the Central Nautical Management North Sea Canal Area, who is also the State Harbour Master,