ClassNK releases guidelines for using low-flashpoint fuels

The following is text of a news release from ClassNK:

(TOKYO) — Leading classification society ClassNK has released Guidelines for Ships Using Low-Flashpoint Fuels (Methyl/Ethyl Alcohol/LPG).
In order to reduce atmospheric pollution caused by sulfur oxides (SOx) and particle matter (PM) found in vessel emissions as well as weather effects caused by GHG emissions, environmental regulations have been getting more strongly enforced. In theory, ships using alternative fuels such as LNG, LPG, and methyl/ethyl alcohol can reduce the amount of CO2 emissions by 10 percent to 20 percent compared to conventional oil fuels, and they do not contain sulfur. For this reason, alternative fuels are expected to be an effective solution for the regulations.
These alternative fuels have lower flashpoints compared to traditional fuels, therefore particular attention needs to be given to ensuring adequate safety precautions when using low-flashpoint fuels in order to decrease the potential risk of fire and explosions that may arise as a result of fuel leakage onboard the ship. International safety requirements for low-flashpoint fuels have been discussed at IMO and as a result, the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code) has been adopted and enforced. The current code however, does not address specific regulations for alternative fuels other than LNG.
ClassNK released the Guidelines for Ships Using Low-Flashpoint Fuels (Methyl/Ethyl Alcohol/LPG) which outline safety requirements for other viable alternative fuels besides LNG, based on the latest technology and regulation trends in order to promote the design of alternative fueled ships. The guidelines divide targeted vessels into three categories: ships using methyl/ethyl alcohol as fuel, ships fueled by LPG, and liquid gas carriers fueled by LPG. They take into consideration the properties of each fuel type and ship regulations and indicate safety requirements for the arrangement and installation of the low-flashpoint fuel related systems for minimizing risks to vessels, crew, and the environment.
The guidelines reflect current trends and will be amended periodically in accordance with any changes in the IGF Code during future IMO discussions and the rapid development of new technologies.
The Guidelines for Ships Using Low-Flashpoint Fuels (Methyl/Ethyl Alcohol/LPG) are available to download free of charge via ClassNK’s website for those who have registered for the ClassNK “My Page” service. To register for the “My Page” service free of charge, go to the ClassNK website and click on the “My Page Login” button.

By Professional Mariner Staff