LR issues floating storage and regasification units guidance

09 September 2016

LR has released a report on the commercial and technical aspects of the construction and conversion of floating units for storage and/or regasification. The report outlines main equipment and technologies to be considered for the construction of these units. It also explains the route to establish the required operational integration of the unit to receive LNG from LNG vessels and with the terminal to send out LNG or natural gas as necessary.

As the volumes of gas produced increases and LNG remains at a competitive price, importing LNG to meet the power and gas grid demands continues to be an attractive proposition. Importing LNG requires infrastructure for storage and regasification which is a key phase before the gas can reach end users. Alternatively to land based facilities, the opportunities arise for floating units to meet storage and regasification needs. This is seen in areas where land and environmental footprint is restricted and also in new markets where the development of land facilities is a long process.

The technology featured in a floating unit such as floating storage units (FSUs) and floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) has similarities with traditional LNG carriers, although the selection of the right technology is dictated by the project requirements and operational scope. This creates the need for project specific solutions and these are explained in LR’s new report.

Market analysts predict an unutilised fleet of LNG carriers, especially for older and less efficient vessels.  However, as detailed in the report, business opportunities can arise for such vessels to serve in the storage and regasification phase of the gas supply chain.

With special attention given to additional equipment, modification or upgrade of installed equipment, good planning and risk based studies in areas such as sloshing and mooring, the industry will see projects of LNG carriers modified to an FSU or FSRU etc. LR has the right experience, knowledge and services to support the industry stakeholders for successful floating storage and regasification projects.

Leo Karistios, LR’s Global Gas Technology Market Manager, commented: "The market for floating storage and regasification units is developing and offers more business opportunities than other sectors. Both for new construction but also conversion projects, where we have established classification services either through a marine or an offshore unit approach depending on the project needs. Our services also cover technical support for floating units to operate safely, reliably and efficiently. This new guide provides an overview of this growing market, the business opportunities and offers a high level guidance on the key technologies and arrangements and studies required explaining Lloyd’s Register’s approach."

The report can be downloaded now at www.lr.org/fsu