Statutory Alert: Portable gas detectors for vehicle carriers carrying motor vehicles fuelled by hydrogen or compressed natural gas as cargo Applicability: Owners and managers of dedicated vehicle carriers
“Requirements for vehicle carriers* carrying motor vehicles with compressed hydrogen or natural gas in their tanks for their own propulsion as cargo” will be introduced to SOLAS by IMO resolution MSC.365(93). SOLAS regulation II-2/20 already includes fire safety requirements for ships carrying conventionally fuelled motor vehicles as cargo.
The new SOLAS regulation II-2/20-1 requirements apply to vehicle carriers constructed (keel laid) on or after 1 January, 2016, designed to carry gas-fuelled motor vehicles as cargo. The requirements of SOLAS regulation II-2/20-1.5 also apply to vehicle carriers constructed before 1 January, 2016.
New and existing ships
Vehicle carriers carrying motor vehicle(s) with either compressed hydrogen or compressed natural gas in their tanks for their own propulsion, shall be provided with at least two portable gas detectors. 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.
For vehicle carriers, constructed (keel laid) on or after 1 January 2016, carrying natural gas or hydrogen fuelled motor vehicles as cargo, cargo spaces are to be provided with electrical equipment, wiring and ventilation systems suitable for explosive methane and air mixtures or hydrogen and air mixtures.
*‘Vehicle carrier’ is defined by SOLAS as a cargo ship with multi deck ro-ro spaces designed for the carriage of empty cars and trucks as cargo.