Monday, June 24, 2013

Latest Guide for Shipping and Ship Building and New Rules for Safe LNG Vessels and Handling Revealed

Lloyd's Register Unveils Two More Crucial Guides This Month
Shipping News Feature

UK - SOUTH ASIA - WORLDWIDE – Lloyd’s Register can always be trusted to produce information relevant to all parts of the shipping and shipbuilding industries, and this month is no exception with two guides becoming available to download covering both an overview the construction of vessels throughout South Asia, and a set of new Rules for Floating Offshore Installations operating at a Fixed Location (FOIFL) which includes new sections on floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facilities.

Firstly the register has viewed the maturing market for newbuild supplies emanating from over 80 shipyards and 18 ship designers in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam, supplying factual information as the yards increase both in capacity and capability. According to Lloyds the future for the industry in this region is ‘extremely bright’, with increasing naval influence powering forward paralleled by maritime trade whilst energy infrastructure also is also likely to grow.

Nobody can doubt the size and capability of the Korean and Japanese yards and now their design and management prowess is being matched by the ambition and ability of local workforces in Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines. This model has been so successful that yards such as Hanjin Subic Shipyard, employing more than 18,000 workers, have propelled the Philippines to a position as the world’s fourth largest shipbuilding nation.

In addition to joint ventures with international shipbuilders, the South Asia area has also seen significant growth in the number of public and private sector shipbuilding enterprises. This is especially so in India with the Indian government’s plan is to expand its global shipbuilding market share from 1% to 5% by 2020. This plan has already seen investment and expansion in both naval and commercial yards. A recent newbuilding first was the delivery of the first Panamax bulk carrier to be constructed in India, at Pipavav, from their 2 million square foot yard in Gujarat, on India’s west coast.

The previously lesser South Asian nations which formerly dealt only with local demand are now capable of challenging competitively with the quality, facilities and construction times of the world’s leading yards, whether building VLCCs and bulk carriers or smaller ships, such as technically challenging naval ships, offshore supply vessels, specialised tugs and aluminium supply craft. Mark Darley, South Asia Area Manager, Lloyd’s Register, said:

"We are well placed to support the South Asia area and its development. Lloyd’s Register has produced this guide for the industry and investors as we continue to work and build our co-operation and mutual support with local and international owners, with the shipyards in South Asia and with suppliers and designers.

"Lloyd’s Register employs over 100 exclusive surveyors including local and expatriate technical staff in the South Asian countries. These experts are supported by a team of experienced technical performance, business development and support staff. We have over 20 offices across South Asia including site offices in many of the major shipyards where Lloyd's Register classed ships are under construction.

"Development in South Asia looks set to continue. Understanding the capabilities, facilities and experience of the area's yards and designers is vital in making informed choices in any newbuilding projects. Whatever the pace or direction of development, Lloyd's Register's commitment to South Asia shipbuilding will continue. We hope you find this guide useful and we remain on standby to receive your South Asia enquiries."

A .pdf of the Guide to New Construction in South Asia can be downloaded now HERE while hard copies are available to pre-order from the Lloyd's Register Webstore.

With regard to the new rules concerning offshore gas rigs Lloyd’s has drawn on its vast expertise in this area to draw up and publish a comprehensive set of rules to guide potential developers as to the proper design, construction and operation of floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facilities. These titans are the largest and most complex floating structures ever developed to ensure future supplies of gas will achieve three key objectives, safer recovery and handling techniques, a reduction in costs and ensuring a lower carbon footprint.

With natural gas prices set to vary greatly between countries in the near future, FLNG is needed to supplement pipelines in the transportation of this low-carbon fuel. Equally, the energy industry requires more effective storage solutions as demand fluctuates. Flexibility is also a rising concern. Industry experts point to FLNG as a solution that can offer easy transportation, storage and flexible supply of natural gas in an increasingly uncertain energy landscape.

According to the International Energy Authority, the world’s primary energy demand will increase by 37% between to 2035 with the natural gas share overtaking coal before 2035 and starting to reach parity with oil soon after 2040. Gas reserves currently remain abundant yet they are technologically complex to both extract and transport. Liquefied natural gas takes up about 1/600th the volume of natural gas yet until now, formal FLNG design codes have remained underdeveloped and this has presented challenges to develop production engineering systems.

Lloyd’s Register has been able to draw on its unprecedented 50-year offshore experience, including its technical knowledge of LNG containment and liquefaction technology, FPSO development and process engineering systems, and more recent developments such as classing the first LNG fuelled tanker, Argonon, which has made it possible for the certification and classification society to publish this first set of Rules to comprehensively look at all areas of FLNG facilities. Mark Tipping, Principal Engineer for FLNG Development at Lloyd’s Register, explains:

“Natural gas is a key part of the energy mix’ and its safe and economic production is becoming increasingly more important. FLNG facilities are being designed to extract gas reserves which have been discovered in some of the world’s deepest waters, answering society’s demand for the provision of more ‘carbon-light’ energy sources. The FLNG facilities we have worked on to form these Rules will be the biggest floating structures ever seen and in the future, they will allow operators to unlock the world’s stranded offshore natural gas reserves in areas like North Western Australia’s Browse Basin.

“We continually update our Offshore Rules in collaboration with our panel of industry partners to ensure that they are relevant to the technological advancement being made on the FLNG arena. The FLNG Rules are being developed in three stages which will allow us to consult with industry experts both internally and externally. We are delighted to release the first phase of the Offshore Rules which were developed in conjunction with our Offshore Technical Committee in April. Ultimately, the Lloyd’s Register FLNG Rules provide a robust and efficient framework in which all other specialist codes and standards can be used. This will be hugely beneficial, for the energy industry and for our wider societies.”

The Offshore Rules are freely available to download by applying HERE.