27. May 2022 Meghan Sapp

Russian Maritime Register of Shipping develops rules for ships using alternative fuels

In Russia, the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) has developed requirements for ships equipped to use alternative fuels. 

The relevant Circular Letter (No. 312-09-1760c) is accessible at rs-class.org in the Online Information – RS Circulars section and enters into force on July 1, 2022.

The new requirements are integrated in the Rules for the Classification and Construction of Sea-Going Ships and cover ships, equipped to use methanol and ethanol as fuel. RS also introduces the new class notation distinguishing marks LFLFS (Me) and LFLFS (Et), i.e. Low Flashpoint Liquid Fuelled Ship, (Мethanol) or (Ethanol). The new marks will be assigned to the ships compliant with the new requirements as well as with the International Code of Safety for Ships Using Gases or Other Low-Flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code) and the IMO Interim Guidelines for the Safety of Ships Using Methyl/Ethyl Alcohol as Fuel (MSC.1/Circ.1621).

Under the development, a range of existing documents regulating the use of methanol and ethanol as ship fuel were analyzed, the advantages and the challenges of alcohol fuel were assessed, the design and operation case study took place. 

The new requirements cover all the key structures and systems, define the crew safety measures and the approach to the safety of navigation for LFLFS ships. The requirements are demanded due to the increasing interest to alternative fuels in the maritime transportation agenda associated with increasing oil fuel rates, requirements to reduce NOx, SOx and CO2 emissions as well as to ship energy efficiency. Further development of the RS requirements covering methanol and ethanol application as ship fuel will be based on the ship operation case study.