As the world’s leading class society for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers, we work throughout the gas supply chain to help you to achieve safe, efficient and sustainable operations. We bring our experience, insight and technical innovation to production, liquefaction and transportation to storage and distribution, helping you deliver optimum performance and efficiency.
Lloyd’s Register (LR) is recognised and respected by flag Administrations and port authorities worldwide. And with a proven, pragmatic and risk-based approach, we help you manage commercial, technical, safety and environmental risk at every stage and make the right decisions for your business.
Wherever you operate within the gas supply chain, we’re here to help you maximise the opportunities. We can provide you with specialist support and advice at every stage, from concept, assessment and demonstration, to manufacture, operation and disposal. Through the best technical advice, insight and experience, we help you manage risk and make robust decisions for safe, efficient and profitable gas operations, at sea and on shore.
LR's assurance across the gas supply chain
Production and liquefaction - Marine gas
FLNG units are among the largest, most expensive assets afloat. We understand that the greatest challenge for an FLNG owner, whether as an individual company or consortium, is managing and mitigating risk for such a complex, costly project.
Every FLNG unit is designed for a specific location, and thus has its own unique design and operating requirements. In our experience, the biggest potential issues in delivering an FLNG project on time, on budget and to the contracted specification lie within the supply chain.
Our comprehensive supply chain co-ordination service is unique in the industry. Through our global network of surveyors, we verify designs, inspect equipment and monitor progress at every stage and supplier level.
Although the build costs for an FLNG unit can be enormous, they’re usually equalled by the running costs over a lifetime that may reach 50 years or more. We can advise on using automation, risk-based inspection regimes and other measures to reduce costs, improve efficiency and flexibility and give a greater return on investment.
In this evolving sector, the regulatory environment is complex, multi-layered and constantly changing. There are no statutory requirements governing FLNGs, but we can help you understand and comply with relevant national regulatory frameworks: in many cases, we’ve worked with the authorities on drafting them.
Download our Assurance Across the Gas Supply Chain brochure below
Transportation - Marine gas
The rising demand for LNG has driven huge growth in the LNG carrier fleet. However, a crash in world gas prices has created an oversupplied, highly competitive buyers' market for gas carriers. We help shipowners ensure their assets meet the demands of this complex, volatile but globally important sector.
We provide a range of technical, risk management and operational advice to help you minimise downtime, improve fuel efficiency and comply with relevant legislation. We can also improve your ships' flexibility through services such as extended maintenance schedules, and condition-based tank monitoring regimes that reduce time alongside and the need for physical inspections. Rather than servicing a particular gas field or specific trade route, gas carriers now need to operate in a range of conditions and jurisdictions. To ensure this flexibility, we work with specialist shipyards worldwide, developing technical specifications and providing support throughout the design and construction process. We can review and provide approval-in-principle for designs to satisfy the IGC Code and other statutory legislation, national standards and our own classification Rules. We also certify and approve engines, cargo containment systems and other third-party equipment for quality, safety and reliability.
We've been the market-leading classification society for gas carriers, by both ship numbers and tonnage, for more than 15 years: over one-third of the total world fleet is in LR class. As such, we're recognised and respected by flag Administrations and port authorities worldwide, including the US Coast Guard (USCG). Plus, we're helping to shape the sector's future as a leading member of industry bodies like the Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO) and the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS).
Storage and regasification - Marine gas
FSRU is a crucial link in the LNG supply chain. It has four key functions: receiving LNG; storing; regasification; and delivery to a shore facility for distribution to the power and gas grid. And with rapid growth projected in the global FSRU fleet over the next decade, there are huge opportunities ahead for shipyards, owners and operators.
The first step in any FSRU project is to develop the design concept. Through our joint development project (JDP) programme, we qualify initial concepts to assure clients that the design can be safe, technically sound and fit for purpose. We advise on all aspects of design, from power requirements and managing boil-off gas (BOG) to sloshing issues, cargo containment systems, regasification plants, equipment selection and mooring arrangements. Then, during construction, we undertake a full range of inspections, surveys and certification, and provide project management and classification services. Once the FSRU enters service, we’ll carry out detailed risk assessments and draw up an overall operational strategy, including emergency planning for extreme events as determined by the location.
FSRUs have to comply with both class and statutory regulations. As well as IMO standards, including IGC, SOLAS, MARPOL and BWM, a unit will also be subject to regulation by the importing country. By providing advice and pre-class assessments at all stages in the design and construction processes, we help ensure that the finished unit is fully compliant with all relevant regulations.
The projected growth in the global FSRU fleet also poses challenges for regulatory bodies, who will increasingly find they have these assets in their jurisdiction. As a Recognised Organisation for over 120 flag Administrations, we can help make sure you meet the compliance needs of FSRU owners and operators, and reduce the risk of certification errors.
Distribution - Marine gas
Despite its significant environmental advantages, adoption of LNG as a fuel (particularly for deep-water shipping) has been relatively slow, mainly because of a lack of bunkering facilities in major ports. Many locations such as islands, congested ports and inland waterways can’t accommodate traditional large gas carriers, limiting the potential for LNG in remote areas, and those not served by main pipeline networks.
Together, these factors are driving demand for dedicated small-scale LNG bunkering ships and distribution carriers; our definition is a cargo capacity under 40,000 CBM. Based on our long experience in gas carriers, we’re helping owners and operators develop the flexible fleet needed to meet this demand now, and in the future.
At present, there is no 'standard' bunkering vessel, or specific statutory regulations covering them. Our risk-based approach allows us to tailor our assessment process to each individual project. We offer a complete range of design assessment services, leading to approval-in-principle. Then, through our unique Shipyard Assessment Service, we can help you choose and appoint the right builder for your vessel. Our experience has made us the class society of choice for the small-scale LNG sector: of the LNG bunkering vessels entering service, two-thirds are LR-classed.
Ports have their own bespoke frameworks for LNG bunkering operations, including specific safety requirements for bunkering vessels. Combining our knowledge of both the IGC and IGF Codes with other relevant regulations, we've produced the first and only definitive gas bunkering operations manuals, now used by ports and operators worldwide.
We work closely with relevant industry and regulatory bodies: we were the only class society invited to act as technical experts by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) on its LNG bunkering guidelines for ships in EU waters. We’re also involved in several Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF) workgroups, and developing LNG regulation for inland waterways in several countries.
End use - Marine gas
LNG has proved viable and safe on short-sea routes, where it's eminently suitable for ferries, small tankers and cargo vessels. There's increasing interest, however, in LNG propulsion on longer fixed routes, such as cruise and container ships. We apply our technical regulatory and commercial experience to help all stakeholders profit from this rapidly developing technology.
Whether it's a new-build or conversion, an LNG ship is a complex, high cap-ex project. The biggest challenge for shipowners is deciding whether to invest in LNG technology – and if so, when and how. We can advise on all aspects of technology selection to meet your current and future business needs. In the absence of prescriptive rules, many designs require risk-based assessment to comply with the IGF Code. We’ve developed a simple, four-step process, set out in our ShipRight Guide, to help you make this assessment; where problems are identified we can advise on solutions.
While LNG ships themselves are regulated by the IGF Code, ports and flag Administrations need to draw up their own rules for gas-powered vessels entering their waters. Authorities may not have the necessary knowledge and expertise in-house to regulate this highly specialised sector effectively.
We can provide robust, impartial advice based on our in-depth knowledge of international and local regulations, and our own Rules for LNG ships. We can help ensure that your regulations don’t conflict with statutory requirements, and also help you identify existing rules that could form the basis for your own, saving time and cost by avoiding unnecessary duplication of effort.