For Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS), 2014 marked the 101st year of its activities. The classification society said 2014 also marked a landmark year, as the construction of the world's first Arctic LNG carrier began to RS class. The new 300-meter-long ship carrying liquefied natural gas in membrane tanks will be able to operate in ice of about two meters thick.
There are more than 150 vessels that are ordered or already under construction to the RS class with the total gross tonnage of about 2 million, RS noted, of which 11 are gas carriers, 21 icebreakers and specialized support vessels, 27 tankers, 30 tugs and seven fixed offshore ice-resistant platforms.
To ensure transportation of oil from the Novy Port terminal (Gulf of Ob, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area), six 42,000 dwt tankers (ice class Arc7) will be built with the participation of the RS Design and Newbuilding Support Centre in Busan, South Korea. A total of 15 Arctic Yamal LNG carriers will be built to the RS class in 2016-2019.
With the participation of RS, the construction of specialized icebreaking vessels and offshore platform supply vessels is underway, as well as of diesel-electric icebreakers of 16 MW and 25 MW power capacity. Within these projects, RS is actively working with the leading shipyards for the construction of higher ice classes ships in Finland and South Korea, as well as the Vyborg Shipyard and Baltic Shipyard, where a series of all-purpose new generation nuclear icebreakers with a power capacity of 60 MW and the world’s first floating nuclear power plant, the Akademik Lomonosov are currently being built.
The ice class vessels on the RS orderbook confirm that RS is keeping leadership in this high-tech segment.
RS is actively developing the offshore oil and gas services. In the course of developing the V. Filanovsky field in the Caspian Sea, carried out by the oil company Lukoil, RS is providing survey at all stages of the development – from reviewing documentation, certification of products and materials, including pipe products and offshore facilities equipment, to on-site installation and testing of offshore structures. The main feature of RS participation in the project is a comprehensive application of RS rules, covering all the field’s infrastructure, including drilling units, subsea pipeline systems and marine operations.
As an independent expert, RS provides third-party services for the project of a fixed offshore oil terminal construction in the Gulf of Ob (Novoportovskoye field).
The RS international status stipulates active cooperation with international organizations, the maritime administrations of dozens of states, and foreign classification societies. In 2014, new agreements with the maritime administrations of the Republic of South Africa and Israel were concluded, and the scope of authority delegated by the world's largest flags significantly expanded. RS is an organization recognized by 70 flag states.
To maintain a balanced system of modern requirements, RS conducts research and development, coordinated with the Scientific and Technical Council, and regularly updates the requirements of the rules.
In 2015, a number of amendments are planned to one of the organisation’s basic documents, the Rules for the Classification and Construction of Sea-Going Ships, introducing new, additional distinguishing marks and descriptive notations that meet today’s international requirements. For client convenience, the Finnish-Swedish ice classification standards will also be integrated into the Rules, RS said.
As a result of the RS participation in the projects of LNG carriers construction, new equipment requirements for vessels of this type have been developed. The RS normative base was supplemented by new requirements for materials used in gas carriers’ cargo containment systems.
Based on experience gained at foreign shipyards, the RS requirements will be improved for the organization of survey during the construction of a ship and in the course of its trials. The requirements are part of the Rules for Technical Supervision During Construction of Ships and Manufacture of Materials and Products for Ships.
In addition, the regulations and guidelines on subsea pipelines will be revised, and new editions of the Rules for Oil and Gas Equipment and Subsea Production Systems will be prepared.
RS said it aims to continue developing competencies in high-tech sectors, such as the ice class and ships and offshore facilities for production and transportation of hydrocarbons.