FLNG's success factors: Cost-saving benefits and enhanced safety of a holistic offshore approach

Luciano Musumeci's picture
Luciano Musumeci, Senior Naval Architect , Lloyd's Register
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In 2014 the industry gathered together to celebrate 50 years of LNG shipping. This was indeed an achievement worth celebrating: during that half century the industry has been able to discharge more than 77,000 LNG cargos without any major accident attributable to the cargo [1].

From a design point of view it was possible to achieve this safety record thanks to the robust industry standards provided by the IGC Code and marine Classification Rules.

Nevertheless, applying the same industry standards to an FLNG project may not only be a very costly exercise but, more importantly, may not ensure the appropriate level of safety nor structural adequacy of the unit.

Although not always entirely recognised, LNG carriers and FLNGs are substantially different floating structures operating in different ways and in different environments.

From a technical point of view, the following differences can be mentioned as some of the most significant:

  • Recovery duration Vs. the “15 days rule”
  • Site specific ambient temperatures and loads
  • Different statistics of the loads
  • Integration of different structures such as hull, topside and turret
  • Barred filling levels
  • Survivability aspects
  • Different operational scenarios
  • Offshore inspection related aspects.

These differences, together with the experience Lloyd's Register has gained from real projects, suggest that the best way to achieve a successful and costly-effective design is to adopt a holistic offshore approach where all the different stakeholders involved (hull's designers, topside's designers, turret's designers, Classification Society, etc.) work together as a single dedicated team.

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Article reference: [1] Jean-Yves Robin, “An achievement worth celebrating”, LNG Shipping at 50, 2014

Image source: Courtesy  of Lloyd's Register