The Secretariat of Energy approved the necessary standards for the bunkering of LNG to ships operating in Argentina and have this fuel as a propulsion option. Resolution 438/2019, published in the Official Gazette, adopts the international ISO standards regarding the operations of transfer and supply of LNG to ships from trucks, mainly, and is taken after efforts initiated by the General Administration of Ports (AGP) in 2014.
Buquebús owns the Francisco ship, capable of operating with both LNG (supplied through Galileo’s technology) and diesel. The ferry operates regularly in Dársena Norte, jurisdiction of the Port of Buenos Aires. When it entered service there was no specific guideline regulating the supply of LNG from a truck to a ship. Therefore, the AGP provisionally granted “the first authorization to bunker LNG from a truck to the ship.”
Then, the provisional authorization was issued to the authority that ensures the safety of navigation and ports, Argentine Naval Prefecture, which extended similar approval “on specific days and times, and provided there were favorable hydrometeorological conditions.” This management began a long process to find the necessary rules to regulate the truck-ship LNG bunkering, between the AGP and the Prefecture, and with the former Ministry of Energy and the National Gas Regulatory Authority (Enargas).
While successive extensions were extended to Buquebús so that it could continue operating the Francisco ship, the work table agreed on the feasibility of incorporating ISO 18683 standards (guidelines for supply systems and facilities for LNG as marine fuel) and ISO 20519 (specification for the supply of ships powered by LNG), and the Secretariat of Energy adopted them in the framework of resolution 438/2019.
In this way, rigorous risk analysis should be carried out every two years (or when there are changes in normal operations) to monitor compliance with international standards. “LNG bunkering operations must have an annual safety inspection, carried out by a Classification Society with recognized expertise in gas and oil facilities, a member of the IACS [International Association of Classification Societies] and accredited in the Argentine Accreditation Organization, and carry out emergency drills with a semiannual periodicity,” concludes the resolution.