Maritime shipping company RINA is set to push for decarbonisation within the shipping industry after it was awarded a framework contract by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).

The contract aims to support initiatives that promote the availability of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the medium term. It will also involve the small-scale use of bunkering and depots to expand the use of LNG through the Mediterranean, Black and Caspian Seas.

RINA intends to provide a selection of different services to match each individual project. For example, the Mediterranean experiences a high volume of tourists each year; ferries, cruise ships and other tourist activities all contribute to the region’s carbon footprint. RINA will assess the impact of these areas and provide LNG related services where needed.

Speaking about the contract, Angelo Lo Nigro, Energy Engineering Solutions Senior Director, RINA, said, “LNG is an important fuel on our way to decarbonisation.”

“The services we will be providing as part of the frame agreement with EMSA will help make LNG storage and bunkering available in port areas and will also bring consistency and guidance for economically developing nations that do not yet have strong experience with small scale LNG.”

With RINA providing a total of eight difference services, each Port Authority will be able to choose which service is appropriate, in addition to the location where small-scale LNG bunkering or depot facilities should be installed.

The services include gap analysis of regulatory frame and evaluation of applicable standards, feasibility study, definition of risk acceptance criteria, site analysis, nautical analysis, hazard identification, quantitative risk assessment, and ship collision risk study.

A common framework, along with increasing the number of ports capable of refuelling with LNG, is hoped to support the wider adoption of LNG and to meet MARPOL regulations.

Lo Nigro added, “This contract will reduce the capacity gap between countries and ensure a coherent, effective and uniform implementation of the international rules for maritime safety, security and prevention of pollution from ships in the Mediterranean, Black and Caspian Seas.”

The framework contract covers 22 countries, with other countries potentially being added during the four-year period of the agreement.