FMC Technologies entrusted Rina Group’s company, RINA Services, with the Technology Qualification of its new technology loading arms designed for installation on the FSRU Toscana and also the Chiksan Articulated Tandem Offshore Loader (ATOL) marine loading arms.
Both feature innovative technologies to transfer LNG in a marine environment, and both are now qualified to enter service.
Dino Cervetto, Technical Services Sector Manager, Rina Services, said, “Novel technologies are generally not adequately covered by established codes and procedures. When operators need to know if they are safe or if they will work properly they need to be qualified through an ad hoc but rational approach. A framework to achieve this result is Rina’s Technology Qualification. This consists of a process of verification that the novel technology meets the specified requirements for its intended service, including criteria of safety, availability and performance.
“Technology Qualification is a suitable tool for qualifying ad hoc complex designs typical of the oil and gas sector, which meets new challenges on a continuous basis and moves much faster than the rule making of authorities. Rina Services has developed a specific TQ guide.”
Daniel Plizga, Offshore Program Manager, FMC Technologies Inc, said, “We operate at the cutting edge of LNG handling and these marine loading arms will be the key to success for a number of offshore LNG projects. Technology Qualification lets us have a good look at the safety and effectiveness of the designs from an independent viewpoint which we can trust.”
The novel issues for the FSRU Toscana were the ship motions and the automation system governing the interface between the FSRU and visiting LNG carriers.
Following the FSRU Toscana approval FMC requested RINA Services to provide its Technology Qualification Certification for an even more challenging project, the Chiksan Articulated Tandem Offshore Loader (ATOL) marine loading arms. The ATOL system has been designed in cooperation with a major energy company to allow for tandem LNG transfer from an offshore installation such as an FLNG to shuttle carriers (LNGC). The tandem solution ensures a safe separation distance, and the transfer is accomplished by means of two liquid lines and one vapour line. Each line is 20” in diameter and is constructed of stainless steel. The system has been designed to accommodate the reciprocal motions of the vessels, including heave, yaw, roll and surge in a harsh environment. A dynamic constant position monitoring system provides a permanent safe transfer, with the possibility to proceed with emergency disconnection in case of drift, especially in harsh environments.