International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH), in collaboration with stakeholders in the global shipping industry, has developed a new audit tool to ensure safe and sustainable liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker operations.

The tool highlights the responsibilities of the bunker facilities operators (BFOs) in regards to safe and sustainable bunkering.

It also includes the processes of establishing LNG bunker operations.

IAPH and its partners in the initiative have developed the tool with an aim to make it a standard solution across the globe.

Titan LNG, Bureau Veritas, oil and gas companies such as Shell, and ship owners NYK and Carnival, are the partners involved in the development of the tool.

Peter Alkema representative and working group chairman Peter Alkema said: “We fulfil two aims through the IAPH audit tool.

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“First, the tool supports port authorities to carry out the decision-making process relating to granting permits to LNG bunker facility operators in their ports in a uniform manner.

“The tool supports port authorities to carry out the decision-making process relating to granting permits to LNG bunker facility operators.”

“Secondly, the tool gives collaborating ports, which are members of the IAPH, the opportunity to share audit results and information on a BFO’s safety performance.”

The tool also eliminates the burden of auditing from a port if a BFO has been audited before.

Alkema further added: “This is also advantageous for BFOs.

“This is because the BFO does not necessarily have to be audited again when it applies for a permit in a port that is a member of the IAPH. This makes the process more efficient and accessible.”

Port of Amsterdam is expected to accommodate Titan LNG’s bunker ship Flexfueler 001 late this year.

With this development, the port is expected to handle LNG-powered ships, the number of which is estimated to almost double by 2024.