2/5/2016: LNG and Alternative Fuels Symposium – Remarks from MSC Commanding Officer

Yesterday, Capt. John Mauger, commanding office of the Marine Safety Center, spoke at the Liquefied Natural Gas and Alternative Fuels Symposium – Regulation and Practical Application. His remarks focused on the MSC’s role in the review of LNG fuel and cargo systems installed on new U.S. Flag ships and barges. He also led a discussion on how the Coast Guard plan, review and certification processes have transitioned over the past year.

“For the last three years, we’ve been talking about the potential for LNG projects in the U.S. maritime market. I’d like to highlight how we’ve gone from concept to reality in the last year,” said Mauger.

Mauger spoke about how the plan review process varies depending on the type of vessel and equipment as well as the certification method. These two critical elements shape MSC’s involvement in plan review.

“Given the emerging nature of the LNG fuel and bunker market, we’re still seeing new variations of design and operating concepts,” said Mauger. “The Coast Guard continues to require detailed risk assessments for these projects and the initial plans are taking longer than our average review time to complete.”

Mauger reinforced how concept review meetings, comprehensive project management and regular communications throughout the plan review process are best practices to identify and address problems which could affect plan approval. Mauger also pointed to the extensive Plan Review Guides and Marine Technical Notes on the MSC’s website which help submitters prepare their plans for MSC review.

“The MSC staff is hard at work on the development of these guides for LNG fuel and bunker systems and will be posting them later this year,” said Mauger

The MSC is the Coast Guard’s central technical authority for ensuring that vessels, and their engineering equipment, comply with comprehensive safety regulations. With a staff of more than 50 engineers, the MSC was responsible for verifying over 19,000 engineering plans in 2015. MSC’s average review time of 19 days, enabled designers and builders to meet time critical project schedules in this dynamic industry.

You can view Plan Review Guides and Marine Technical Notes by going to the Marine Safety Center’s webpage on Homeport:

Homeport – Vessel Standards – Marine Safety Center

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.

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