Requirements for vehicle carriers carrying motor vehicles with compressed hydrogen or natural gas in their tanks for their own propulsion as cargo

17 December 2015  |  C15039

Until today, SOLAS regulations included requirements concerning the protection of ro-ro spaces for motor vehicles fuelled by gasoline.  Through the implementation of MSC.365(93), the IMO defines new requirements for vehicle carriers carrying motor vehicles with hydrogen fuel and compressed natural gas fuel.

NOTICE TO
Ship Owners / Managers / Operators  |  Ship Masters | Flag Administrations

Amendments have been implemented in SOLAS Regulations II-2/1, II-2/3 and II-2/20-1.

A new definition for vehicle carrier has been adopted under SOLAS Regulation II-2/3.  It defines vehicle carrier to be a cargo ship with multi deck ro-ro spaces designed for the carriage of empty cars and trucks.

A new regulation II-2/20-1 contains requirements that are applicable to new and existing vehicle carriers.  New vehicles carriers are ships constructed after January 1, 2016.

For new vehicle carriers

Requirements that impact the ship’s structure will only be applicable to new vehicle carriers.  These include:

  • All electrical equipment and wiring shall be of a certified safe type for use in an explosive methane and air mixture complying with IEC 60079 standard.
  • Electrical equipment and wiring, if installed in any ventilation duct, shall be of a certified safe type for use in explosive methane and air mixtures.  The fans shall be such as to avoid the possibility of ignition of methane and air mixtures.  Suitable wire mesh guards shall be fitted over inlet and outlet ventilation openings.
  • Other equipment which may constitute a source of ignition of methane and air mixtures shall not be permitted.

Existing vehicle carriers

Existing vehicle carriers must comply with new regulations not related with structural requirements.  The existing vehicle carriers must be equipped with at least two certified safe type portable gas detector.  Such detectors shall be suitable for the detection of the gas fuel and be of a certified safe type for use in the explosive gas and air mixture complying with IEC 60079 standard.

Ship Owners / Managers / Operators of existing vehicle carriers must refer to the IMO MSC.1/Circ.1471 that includes recommendations on safety measures for existing vehicle carries carrying motor vehicles with compressed hydrogen or natural gas in their tanks for their own propulsion as cargo.

Act now

Ship Owners / Manager of existing vehicle carriers must ensure that ships or spaces intended for carriage of motor vehicles with compressed hydrogen in their tanks for their own propulsion as cargo comply with the above mentioned regulations.  The new SOLAS regulations come in force on January 1, 2016.

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