IRI/The Marshall Islands Registry attended the 2019 Gastech Conference, held 17–19 September 2019 in Houston, Texas. Approximately 35,000 people attended the conference, which looked at the future of the energy industry, focusing on innovative technology, energy partnerships, and collaboration, particularly in the natural gas and associated industries. Liquified natural gas (LNG) is increasingly popular in the commercial shipping industry, with facilities and terminal construction spreading across the globe.
Bulk carriers and tankers make up the majority of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Registry, with a growing number of container and, recently, gas ships. Some of the most recent additions have been eco-builds and gas-powered ships, for which we can offer specialist support through our worldwide gas team (the “Team”). The Team addresses the constantly evolving energy environment and the challenges these vessels face due to new international regulations. The Team also acts in an advisory capacity to assist RMI on technical and operational issues related to the design and operation of gas carrier cargo systems.
The Team is headed by Eric Linsner, IRI’s LNG/LPG Specialist, who has extensive experience in LNG design and operations. Key members of the Team from six worldwide offices attended Gastech.
Preparing for industry changes
The marine industry is on the cusp of changes because of global energy regulations, making this year’s Gastech Conference especially relevant. While at Gastech, our Team was able to discuss innovative solutions. With gas growing as a ship fuel choice, our worldwide gas team has been proactive at the IMO, playing a critical role in the development of an international regulatory framework over the last few years. It was very positive to see a considerable proportion of conference debate time dedicated to the role of gas as a ship fuel, and the implications of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 2020 sulfur emissions regulation and 2050 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions targets have on the entire gas supply chain.
On these issues, the RMI is particularly well placed to advise industry partners, as well as owners. RMI representatives have participated in the IMO Working Groups that drafted the IGF Code, the Amendments to STCW 73/78 adding Regulation V/3 on mandatory requirements and qualifications of ship crew. Worldwide gas team members have also participated in the development of ISO Standard 20519 on LNG Bunkering and the Guidelines for Safety Zones for LNG Bunkering prepared by the Society for Gas and a Marine Fuel (SGMF).
With respect to our owners, IRI/The Marshall Islands Registry is committed to working with owners and operators to find energy solutions that are sustainable, safe, and meet the increasingly stringent global energy regulations. As part of that commitment, IRI is an incentive provider of the Green Award. This means that any commercial vessel registered in the RMI and certified by Green Award will be granted a 30 percent discount on their annual marine services fee.