In response to industry demand for clarity over options for gas readiness, Lloyd’s Register has established clear standards describing different levels of readiness to use gas as a marine fuel. While LNG as fuel has been adopted in projects that make commercial sense already, like Northern Europe ferry routes, most deep sea players who are interested in the potential of gas fuelled operations are not yet ready to commit to LNG fuel but want to have the option to adopt gas as a fuel in the future built into newbuilding projects.
Moreover, those looking at a gas fuelled future will have varying appetites for levels of investment and preparedness based on clarity over their options at the newbuilding stage, and then through operational life.
Luis Benito commented, "We identified a blocker to progress in this area and listening to, and working with, shipyards and owners we have developed this notation, with clearly identifiable levels, to enable technical and contractual decisions as to what different levels of gas readiness mean."
"This means that shipyards can be clear about what they are offering and buyers know what they are getting – and at what price. This is a vital tool for agreement at a contract stage for levels of readiness that also allows contracts to be flexible if the owner wants to make changes at agreed opportunities even during construction."
GR is a descriptive notation, and will form part of LR’s rules for gas fuelled ships, and so reflects all safety and operational requirements to meet global standards for gas operations. LR’s Technical Committee members will be able to review the GR descriptive notation. Benito: ‘The fact that this notation has already been reviewed by yards, owners – and will be further examined in our committees and revisited every year– is a real strength and demonstrates that the full insight of the shipping industry has been involved in the development process.’
Gas Fuelled Readiness Notation – details
GR Assigned to ships other than LNG carriers, detailing the aspects of design and
construction that are prepared for gas fuel operation in accordance with our Rules and Regulations.
The level of gas fuelled readiness is structured in a flexible manner through the following associated characters denoting:
A That Approval in principle has been achieved for the basic design
S Necessary Structural reinforcement and materials have been installed
T Gas storage tank is in place.
P The Gas fuel piping arrangements are installed.
E Those Engineering Systems (Main Engine(s), Auxiliary Engines, Boiler etc) being also gas fuelled:
For example, the descriptive note GR(A, S, E(M,I)) indicates that, in accordance with the LR Rules and Regulations for the Classification of Natural Gas Fuelled Ships in force on date of contract for construction for the vessel in question: the full design of the gas fuel system has been appraised and approved in principle; the vessel structure is reinforced to support the proposed gas storage tank but the gas fuel tank and associated arrangements are not yet installed; and the main engine and incinerator are approved, certified and installed ready for gas fuel operation.