Genoa-based classification society RINA has taken a lead in the developing market for floating LNG terminals. It has been chosen to class the first offshore Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU), and is providing studies and support for a number of further offshore LNG projects, including the newbuilding which is likely to be the world’s second offshore LNG FSRU.
Addressing the Mare Forum Houston conference, Massimo Volta, RINA’s General Manager America, said, “Italy leads the world in implementing offshore LNG terminals. We have recently brought the Adriatic LNG terminal on stream, and we have five more live projects for floating and gravity-based offshore LNG terminals around our coasts. RINA is involved with all these in a number of ways, and our expertise is now being sought by other countries developing offshore LNG projects. We are very proud to have been chosen as the first classification society in the world to class a true offshore floating LNG FSRU, for the OLT Offshore LNG Toscana project.”
The OLT development will see the 138,000 cu m Moss-type Golar Frost converted into a 3.75 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year FSRU, moored in 120 m of water off Italy’s west coast port of Livorno. It will act as a receiving terminal for importing LNG, regasifying the LNG and pumping it into Italy’s gas grid.
The OLT FSRU is currently under conversion in Dubai Drydocks and will be towed to Livorno at the end of 2010, with the aim of coming on stream in 2011. An external turret is being fitted, along with over 2,400 tones of regasification equipment. The main contractor is Saipem, working for the terminal owners - a joint venture between E ON Ruhrgas, Iride, Golar LNG and OLT Energy. RINA will class the vessel and provide statutory certification on behalf of the government. Through its dedicated oil and gas team it is also providing authority and owner engineering, ship handling simulation and assistance with local and international regulatory compliance.
Following the OLT FSRU, RINA is engaged in providing a range of services to assist the Triton FSRU project. That will be a 5 bcm newbuilding FSRU, to be developed by GdF-Suez and Hoegh.
RINA was also closely involved in the development of the eight bcm Adriatic LNG terminal, providing a wide range of analytical and supervision services, plus assistance with regulatory compliance. This gravity-based concrete terminal was built in Spain, towed to its site in the Adriatic and settled on the seabed in 27 m of water, where it came on stream in the second half of 2009. The world’s first offshore LNG terminal, it is jointly owned by Exxon Mobil, Qatar Petroleum and Edison.
RINA has also recently completed a feasibility study for a regasification terminal to be built off the Atlantic coast of Morocco. A decision on investment in the terminal will be made later this year.