Bureau Veritas has unveiled the industry’s inaugural classification rules for hydrogen-powered ships (NR678).
As a renowned international organization specializing in inspection, testing, and certification, Bureau Veritas strategically introduces these rules to ensure the safe integration of hydrogen propulsion technology into maritime vessels.
Goals of the Classification Rules:
- Safe Integration of Hydrogen Propulsion: The primary objective is to establish regulations that facilitate the safe incorporation of hydrogen propulsion technology, addressing potential risks such as leaks, fires, and explosions associated with hydrogen.
- Comprehensive Technical Specifications: The newly published regulations provide detailed technical specifications covering various aspects of hydrogen applications on ships. This includes the arrangement of engines and machinery, systems, fuel tanks, and the overall structure of hydrogen-fueled vessels.
- Risk Mitigation Measures: The rules encompass stringent guidelines on pressure relief and venting, safety protocols, vapor and gas detection, and ventilation in areas prone to potential hazards. These measures are designed to minimize the risks associated with hydrogen usage in maritime settings.
- Inclusion of “Hydrogen-Prepared” Ships: The classification rules extend to “hydrogen-prepared” ships, emphasizing vessels designed to accommodate a hydrogen fuel system. This comprehensive approach aligns with BV’s rule note (NR 547) introduced in 2022, which addresses fuel cell power systems capable of accommodating various fuels.
- Adaptability and Continuous Updates: Recognizing the dynamic nature of the maritime industry and evolving hydrogen technologies, the rules are designed to be adaptable. Regular updates will ensure that the regulations stay current with technological advancements and comply with flag state and International Maritime Organization regulations.
Bureau Veritas has actively engaged with industry assessments and sought input from diverse stakeholders, incorporating insights from ten ongoing hydrogen-related projects. This collaborative approach ensures that NR678 reflects the latest industry knowledge and remains aligned with the evolving landscape of hydrogen as a viable ship fuel.