IUMI proposes safety guidelines for zero-carbon fuels

Photo: IUMI

To facilitate the utilisation of zero-carbon fuels, safety measures are urgently needed to protect crew, assets and the environment, writes Helle Hammer, Chairperson of the Policy Forum of the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI), in the IUMI’s latest newsletter.

Hazards related to ammonia are toxicity and corrosivity, while hydrogen has a wide flammability range and ignites easily. In two recent submissions to the IMO, the development of safety guidelines for these fuels has been proposed.

European Union member states and the European Commission propose to include this in the work plan for the next phase of the development of the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases of other low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code). As a new output under the Maritime Safety Committee, Japan, Singapore, International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and Intercargo have proposed to develop guidelines for safety of newly built vessels using ammonia as fuel.

The guidelines should also include education and training for crew onboard, and operational requirements to address safe and environmentally sound operations, added Hammer, who also clarified that non-mandatory guidelines can only be an interim measure.

It is assumed that mandatory requirements will be developed as part of the transition to zero-carbon fuels, Hammer said.

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