Bureau Veritas launched a unique Condition Assessment Program for LNG carriers. The CAP works in a similar way to existing Harmonized CAP programs for oil tankers, but has special requirements unique to LNG carriers.
Speaking at the SIGTTO annual meeting in San Francisco today, Bruno Dabouis, commercial manager of BV said, "The LNG market
is opening up and there are signs that a spot market for LNG carriers may further develop. That means charterers need to be able to demonstrate that they have taken special care when chartering in older vessels, a new phenomenon in the LNG market. Bureau Veritas, the only classification society present in all types of LNG containment systems and propulsion systems, and with a unique pedigree stemming right back to the very first LNG carriers
, was well placed to support the current market changes with technical expertise.
"BV has brought together its deep research and development into sloshing loads and structural detail, its experience with lifetime structural maintenance, its successful and fully accepted tanker CAP program and its experience with LNG carriers to develop a CAP for LNG vessels. It is fair to both owners and charterers, and has been accepted by Shell, BP and Total already."
BV's experience with LNG carriers in service was also instrumental in it winning a tender to provide a life extension study, through its Tecnitas consulting arm, for seven existing LNG carriers operated by Nigeria LNG in the Nigerian Bonny Gas Transport project, working for Shell.
The LNG CAP has already been applied in practice to life extension studies on two LNG carriers.
The LNG CAP is implemented as a voluntary program by shipowners and can therefore apply at any time within the life of the vessels. However, in practice, it is actually more relevant to LNG carriers reaching twenty years old.