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Lloyd’s Register

Technical news and information for the marine industry

Horizons December 2004 Issue 10

Welcome to the tenth issue of

Lloyd’s Register’s marine-focused
technical publication, Horizons.

Forty years ago, the first commercial

LNG cargo was delivered by the
Methane Princess, a vessel designed
and constructed with the assistance
of Lloyd’s Register. Since then, the
industry has grown considerably, and
LNG now represents more than 25%
of all internationally traded gas, with
further growth expected in the
coming years.

Since its inception, the industry has

continued to develop new methods
of transport and storage, and Lloyd’s
Register has been there every step of
the way.

As we look to the future, the next

generation of LNG ships together
with the development of offshore
LNG technology will present a new
set of challenges. Lloyd’s Register has
proved time and again that it is
ready and able to help the industry
to find the innovative solutions that
will enable it to move forward in
a safe and effective manner.

Lloyd’s Register is proud to be one of

the pioneers of the LNG industry and
looks forward to playing a leading
role in its future.

David Moorhouse
Executive Chairman,
Lloyd’s Register Group

2 Firsts in LNG 6 Innovations in 12 Navigating the 18 Moving LNG

classification LNG propulsion Marine Equipment offshore
3 Learning about 8 The science of Directive 20 On the Horizon
LNG LNG sloshing 14 Learning from – the latest news
4 The birth of the 10 LNG reliquefaction Cleveland Exhibitions and
large LNG carrier at sea 16 Assessing LNG risks technical papers
Firsts in LNG classification

Firsts in LNG classification

Lloyd’s Register, the number LNG onboard fire due to a lightning

strike near the vent riser which did
one classification society for
not affect the cargo tanks.”
gas ships, has achieved a
number of notable industry Lloyd’s Register and LNG
As one of the pioneers in the
firsts, enabled by its development of LNG shipping,
extensive LNG experience Lloyd’s Register has an established
record in the industry, working to
and technical expertise.
help to ensure the safe design,
The transport of natural gas in liquid construction and operation of LNG
form has grown steadily in terms of carriers and classing a number of technical expertise are instrumental
technology and sophistication since significant firsts: in helping owners, operators and
Methane Pioneer, the first LNG ship in shipyards to lower their risk.
the world to bear the notation • Methane Pioneer, the first ever
‘Liquefied Gas Tanker’ sailed in 1958 LNG ship in the world to bear Lloyd’s Register is the only
from the US to the UK carrying 5,000 the notation ‘Liquefied Gas classification society that carries
cu m of LNG. Tanker’ in 1958 out an extensive independent
• Methane Princess, the LNG carrier review of each LNG containment
We are now at the dawn of a new era which delivered the first system, enabling owners and yards
in LNG shipping with the impending commercial cargo of LNG in 1964 to have confidence in design and
arrival of the first very large LNG • Hyundai Utopia, the first LNG fabrication techniques.
tankers – ships with more than ship built in Korea, at Hyundai
200,000 cu m of cargo capacity – with Heavy Industries (HHI) To assist with effective fatigue design,
new forms of propulsion and new • the first LNG ships built in Japan Lloyd’s Register uses its ShipRight
technology such as reliquefaction for export fatigue design assessment software to
plants installed onboard, and • the first LNG ships built in Spain, take into account an owner’s specific
developments in these areas are set to a series of two membrane ships trading requirements. The software
continue at an accelerated pace. at Izar allows Lloyd’s Register to carry out
• the first membrane LNG ships to voyage-specific simulations to help to
Throughout its history, the maritime be built in Japan using the GTT ensure that the spectrum and wave
transport of LNG has maintained an N0 96 containment system at encounter is more accurately
unrivalled, practically unblemished Mitsubishi Heavy Industries predicted, allowing ships to be
safety record. As Bob Curt, Ship • the first MkIII system at Imabari designed to resist fatigue loading
Acquisition Manager of the Qatargas in Japan. with confidence in their operating
II Development, points out, “There environments.
have been no major losses of cargo, Lloyd’s Register recognises the
no shipboard fatalities associated complexity of LNG vessels and, As Lloyd’s Register swiftly
with the cargo and only one minor through its long association and approaches its 100th LNG ship in
commitment to the LNG industry, class, it will continue to work with
has established a core group of the industry to help to ensure its
experienced surveyors with continued safety.
extensive practical experience in the
design, construction and operation
of LNG ships. For further information contact
Tony Bingham, Global LNG
Based on experience Business Manager, Lloyd’s Register
Lloyd’s Register’s procedures for plan
approval, containment system Email:
appraisal and fatigue design are based Tel: +1 281 675 3110
on years of experience and have been Fax: +1 281 675 3166
well proven. Attention to detail and
2 Horizons • Dectember 2004
Learning about LNG

Learning about LNG

As the LNG industry ship designers, builders, operators,

fleet managers, superintendents,
continues to develop and
surveyors and flag state authorities
grow, the need for effective involved in the LNG industry:
training is greater than ever. ‘Introduction to liquefied natural
gas ships’ and ‘Liquefied natural
gas ship training’.
The value of effective training is
becoming more apparent in today’s The former is a one-day course
maritime industry as new which will help delegates to
technology continues to develop develop an understanding of the
and the true impact of the human International Gas Carrier Code Teekay has recognised the value of investing in its people;
pictured here, its 138,000 cu m membrane-type LNG carrier,
element comes to be more fully (IGC Code) and Lloyd’s Register’s
Catalunya Spirit.
understood. This is true in every Rules for ships carrying liquefied
sector of the industry, but nowhere gases. The course will also provide
is it more apparent than in the an overview of the history of “Having sailed on LNG tankers,
LNG sector – a sector in which LNG containment, up to and I felt that this course was a
both established players and new including modern containment great introductory course with
entrants are eager to come to grips systems, and the basic principles good, relevant information on
with an industry on the cusp of a of LNG cargo operations. containment systems in current
major transition. Interest in LNG is production,” said another delegate
at an all-time high, while the ships The latter is a more comprehensive from Teekay.
themselves are entering onto the course lasting three days which
next stage of their evolution, covers all practical aspects of “This is the kind of feedback we
moving from steam to other forms modern LNG carriage by sea. like to hear,” says Andy Easdown,
of propulsion and making a step- Starting with a comprehensive Lloyd’s Register’s Manager of
change in size from the 150,000 cu m introduction to the growing Marine Training Services. “Having
mark to 200,000 cu m and above. importance of LNG, delegates will been involved with the industry
learn about the principles of from its very inception,we have an
Lloyd’s Register has been involved modern LNG ship design and enormous amount of expertise
with the LNG industry since its construction, containment system which we can transfer to other
beginnings and, through a long technology and LNG cargo industry participants who are
history of involvement with operations and associated systems. either new to LNG or are already
LNG carriers, has amassed a established and want to keep up
wealth of experience, knowledge One delegate to the tailored with technical developments.”
and expertise. training course designed for Teekay
thought the training was “very
In recognition of this experience, thorough and in-depth” and said For further information contact
this year, Teekay Shipping requested that he “learned a wealth of Andrew Easdown, Manager of
Lloyd’s Register to develop an LNG information on LNG vessels and Marine Training Services,
training course for its own staff. the industry as a whole”. Lloyd’s Register
Following the successful delivery of
this tailored training course, Lloyd’s Email:
Register is now launching two Tel: +44 (0) 20 7423 1962
‘public’ LNG-related courses for Fax: +44 (0) 20 7648 0788

Lloyd’s Register’s
comprehensive LNG training
courses are the result of its
extensive experience in the
industry, according to

Horizons • December 2004 3

The birth of the large LNG carrier

The birth of the

large LNG carrier
LNG carriers have leapt in size to break the 200,000 cu m barrier – what are the primary
technical factors involved in making this jump?

Qatargas’ recently contracted Tank size and configuration • cargo containment system
209,000 cu m and 216,000 cu m There are several technical factors capability testing by dry-drop
LNG carriers from three Korean to be considered during the design, tests carried out at the Korea
yards have seen gas ships take construction and operation of large Institute of Metals and Machinery
a major step forward in size. LNG carriers, primarily impacting
The increasing demand for LNG, tank size and configuration and • dynamic hydro-elasticity
especially in the US and Europe, propulsion. properties of cargo containment
and the need to reduce long haul systems by both numerical
transport costs from the Middle Tank size becomes important in analysis and experiments at the
East to the US is driving the light of the increased beam for University of Illinois in the US.
increase in ship size, although larger ships and overall tank length
whether we will see a trend of ever needs to be considered from the New propulsion options
larger ships for general trades is point of view of pressure loads due For the larger ship sizes,
questionable, as LNG carriers are to fluid motion in a laden tank. propulsion has become a major
restricted to an upper limit of issue. The sheer size of the vessels
around 155,000 cu m by existing There are two options for a larger has led to the development of a
port facilities. The bigger sizes are ship – five tanks of conventional twin-skeg, twin-screw arrangement
therefore limited to specific size, or four larger tanks. The five- as a means of maintaining normal
projects which involve either the tank configuration is inherently trading speeds. Further, the
construction of new terminals less ‘risky’, as knowledge of the draught limitation imposed on the
specially designed to handle these ability of a containment membrane new generation of LNG tankers
carriers, or the construction of to withstand sloshing loads is makes it difficult to design an
cargo tanks for LNG offshore based on tanks of conventional efficient propeller or hull form for
floating units. size. Further, model testing a single-screw vessel.
demonstrates that the highest fluid
pressures are associated with This in turn has prompted the
diagonal tank motion – lengthening industry to turn away from the
the tank and hence the diagonal traditional steam turbine
could result in more pressure on propulsion utilised by the vast
the tank membrane. majority of the world’s LNG fleet.
The overall complexity and cost of
However, shipyards have been a twin-screw steam turbine
looking into the issue of tank arrangement would involve a
configuration for a number of years multi-input gearbox and very large
in anticipation of the ordering of steam-raising plants, making twin-
large LNG carriers. Daewoo screw steam turbine propulsion
Shipbuilding and Marine cumbersome and expensive.
Engineering (DSME), for instance,
has carried out a number of studies The industry has therefore turned
to validate bigger tanks, including: towards a number of new
propulsion options. These are:
• LNG tank sloshing studies at
MARINTEK in Norway as part • dual-fuel diesel electric
of a joint development project • twin slow speed diesel with
with Lloyd’s Register reliquefaction
• gas turbine.

4 Horizons • Dectember 2004

The recently ordered Qatargas environment with the designers,
ships, for instance, will use slow engine manufacturers, component
speed diesel propulsion with suppliers, classification and the
reliquefaction. intended operator,” says Thanos
Koliopulos, Special Projects
These advances in propulsion have Manager for Lloyds Register’s Oil
implications for conventional size and Gas Division. “The key
ships as well, as all of the new benefits of this approach are that
options provide the main it gives the necessary confidence
advantage of a shorter engine to all parties involved and deals
room and therefore more cargo with all the technical issues on
carrying capacity. The 155,000 cu m the table.”
LNG carriers recently ordered by
BP Shipping, for instance, achieved One of the first HAZIDs Lloyd’s
this capacity increase by opting for Register Asia carried out for DSME
dual-fuel diesel electric propulsion. assessed the safety, operability and
maintainability of dual-fuel
Validating the technology propulsion. A key output of this
Technical issues such as tank size and propulsion have
As with any new technology, the first HAZID, says Koliopulos, was
dominated the design and development of large LNG carriers.
risks need to be assessed. Lloyd’s the adoption of double-wall gas
Register, in its work with DSME supply pipework instead of the
during the process of the yard’s conventional single-wall
development of a workable large arrangement. This finding made
LNG carrier design, carried out a dual-fuel a more viable For further information contact
number of assessments using a arrangement from the safety and Thanos Koliopulos, Special Projects
typical ‘safety case’ methodology. operability point of view and Manager, Lloyd’s Register Oil
This method involves two key enormously improved the engine and Gas
elements: a hazard identification room layout.
study (HAZID), which identifies Email:
critical issues and looks at engine “Using the safety case Tel: +44 (0)20 7423 2794
room arrangements and layout, methodology, we were able to Fax: +44 (0)20 7423 2066
and a hazard operability study arrive at a workable technical
(HAZOP), which looks at detailed solution which addressed all the
piping and instrumentation identified risks,” says Koliopulos.
diagrams from a safety and “This method of validating new
operability point of view. technology has proved to be
invaluable, both for Lloyd’s
Lloyd’s Register Asia’s Busan Register and for DSME, which
Office faciliated a number of safety has now decided to apply this
cases for DSME, with input from approach to qualify other
other Lloyd’s Register Group propulsion options.”
offices around the world. “Both
types of studies were carried out
using a prescribed format of
capturing data in a workshop

Horizons • December 2004 5

Innovations in LNG propulsion

Innovations in
LNG propulsion
Dual-fuel engines are beginning to make inroads in the LNG sector. What are the advantages
of this system over the traditional steam turbine, and what are the safety concerns?

Market developments and the As a result, they have been replaced In the low-pressure system, gas is
introduction of large LNG carriers by other means of propulsion in delivered through an electronically
mean that propulsion is being most marine applications, although actuated control valve to the
reassessed. Traditionally, LNG not in the LNG sector, because until engine air inlet ducting. In the
carriers have utilised steam boilers recently there have been no other high-pressure system, gas
and geared steam turbine plants, suitable prime movers capable of is injected directly into the
but now reciprocating engines using boil-off gases. combustion chamber, usually
are emerging as a viable through an electro-hydraulically
alternative for the next generation Dual-fuel engines controlled injection valve.
of LNG carriers, for both the new One of these new options is the
+200,000 cu m ships and for dual-fuel engine, which is capable Dual fuel has become both
conventional size vessels. of burning both conventional or attractive and viable due to the
heavy fuel oil and gas fuel with oil concurrent development of
Conventional LNG carrier fuel pilot injection. It is capable of electronically controlled
propulsion plant involves the use of changing over between the two combustion. The dual-fuel options
boil-off gas in steam boilers to drive modes of operation when required. currently being proposed and
the turbines. The advantages of the adopted utilise electric power
steam turbine include its simple During the gas operation mode, generation to drive electric
energy conversion, high reliability gas is introduced into the engine propulsion systems such as
and relatively low maintenance cylinder either during the air conventional propellers driven
cost. Initial capital investment, suction cycle at low pressure, or by electric motors.
however, is high and steam turbines injected directly into the cylinder at
have a relatively low efficiency. high pressure during the Diesel electric propulsion systems
compression cycle. The gas are considered attractive because
injection sub-system is normally they command higher power
located directly on the engine and density than steam turbines and as
its basic function is to provide a result provide more flexibility in
timely and accurate delivery of the terms of machinery arrangements,
gas fuel into the cylinder. allowing designers to obtain more
overall cargo capacity. The high
efficiency of dual fuel, combined
Vladimir Kozousek, Global with its low fuel consumption
Head of Engineering Systems, further gives owners and operators
points out that dual-fuel
propulsion for LNG carriers the opportunity to reduce their
can be both economically and operating costs and increase
operationally beneficial, given
their earnings.
that safe operating practices
are observed.

6 Horizons • Dectember 2004

Dual-fuel engines incorporating The high-pressure gas delivery Although dual fuel has only just
electronically controlled system is similar, but also started to make inroads in the LNG
combustion give low NOX and contains a compression module sector, already the industry is
CO2 emissions, claimed to be equal consisting of a compressor, pressure looking to the propulsion options of
or lower than steam turbine plant, vessels and heat exchangers. the future. In the medium term, gas
potentially making them a more Gas is compressed to the required turbines may become a viable
environmentally friendly choice. pressure and delivered to the propulsion option for LNG carriers.
Finally, the ability of dual-fuel common rail system through gas Gas ships may benefit from the
engines to operate on gas or on accumulators, thus reducing the additional power generation
liquid fuel provides increased risk of pressure cyclic loading on capacity provided by gas turbines
operational flexibility to support the gas pipes and its connections. operating alongside diesel
the varying demands of the generators in ‘combination of
ship’s operating schedule. “Any leaks from the gas injection diesel and gas’ or ‘combination
system and its associated piping of diesel or gas’ configurations.
System safety need to be detected and dealt with However, as gas turbine efficiency
“The transition of dual-fuel engines in a safe manner,” says Kozousek. is relatively low at partial loads
into the marine environment “Machinery spaces must be its use would most likely be
presents a number of design monitored by a suitable number of limited to peak power demands.
challenges primarily related t gas detectors and have mechanical
o aspects of the safe handling ventilation installed to prevent the The operation of gas turbines
of gas in ship spaces,” says formation of gas pockets. In utilising boil-off gases is well
Vladimir Kozousek, Lloyd’s practice, constructing a ventilated understood and has been
Register’s Global Head of hood above the engine often fulfils successfully used for power
Engineering Systems. this requirement.” generation both in offshore as well
as land-based applications for
He points out that gas delivery The safety requirements governing many years. When the technology
systems may be located outside the construction and operation is ready for introduction to the
the engine room on deck or of gas-fuelled propulsion plants marine industry, Lloyd’s Register
in designated machinery are detailed in the International looks forward to working with
compartments. “The primary Code for the Construction and owners, operators, yards and
function of these systems is to Equipment of Ships Carrying engine manufacturers to help to
deliver gas at the required Liquefied Gases in Bulk [IGC ensure that these systems are
operating pressure prior to its Code] and the Rules of applied safely and effectively.
injection into the cylinder,” he says. classification societies.

The low-pressure gas delivery Lloyd’s Register’s involvement

system consists of filters and control Over the last five years, Lloyd’s For further information contact
valves. The design of the valve Register has provided certification Vladimir Kozousek, Global Head
arrangement must ensure that the for a number of dual-fuel engine of Engineering Systems, Lloyd’s
gas supply can be shut off by pre- designs intended for offshore and Register
defined abnormalities detected by land-based power generation
the engine safety monitoring system applications. Design approvals in Email:
and can also be shut off manually principle for marine applications Tel: +44 (0)20 7423 1936
by the ship’s staff. have been given for both low and Fax: +44 (0)20 7423 1564
high gas pressure dual-fuel systems.

Horizons • December 2004 7

The science of LNG sloshing

The science of LNG sloshing

Given new trends in ship size and operation, the issue of sloshing loads in membrane tanks
has become more important than ever. Lloyd’s Register and MARINTEK carried out a series of
model tests which revealed some interesting findings.

Trends in the world energy market Sloshing loads can represent a The aim is to assess the relative load
show that the demand for natural significant hazard for membrane-type increase, rather than the absolute
gas is rising quickly. The market LNG ships and can potentially lead to loads in the specified conditions.
for natural gas requires the cargo containment system damage or
transport of ever larger volumes failure. To safeguard against such The fundamental assumption of
of gas, and paradoxically, the events, a prevailing design principle the comparative approach is that
delivery of smaller parcels to more for the membrane system has been to the current membrane systems
locations. This sets two challenges avoid violent sloshing rather than to are safe in conventional size
to the industry: withstand it. As a result, a barred LNG ships operating under the
filling range of between 10% of tank restrictions of the currently
1. to build large LNG ships with length and 80% of tank height has approved barred filling range.
capacities of over 200,000 cu m been imposed. This assumption is supported by
the safe operational record of the
2. to operate LNG ships, Conducting research LNG fleet in service.
including membrane designs, To further investigate the issue of
with the greater flexibility of partial filling, Lloyd’s Register began Two LNG ships were modelled:
loading provided by partial to conduct a series of comprehensive one four-tank ship with a capacity
filling of cargo tanks. model tests and theoretical studies in of 140,500 cu m and one with five
conjunction with MARINTEK in 2001. tanks and a capacity of over
Demand for large LNG ships is driven The goal was threefold – to improve 200,000 cu m. Physical tests were
by demand for low unit transport understanding of the LNG sloshing performed for more than 30 critical
cost, while demand for partial filling phenomenon, to develop practical cases for each ship. Pressures
is driven by parcel trading which procedures and to assess design loads were measured simultaneously
usually employs conventional size for membrane systems in large LNG at 20 different positions where
ships with a capacity of no more than ships or in partially filled conditions. maximum impact pressures were
155,000 cu m. In addition, offshore expected to occur.
loading and offloading is becoming In the study, computational
a preferred choice owing to simulations were used to identify The results showed that the types
increased concerns regarding safety. critical wave and operational of impact differed substantially at
Offshore loading and off-loading conditions under both 20 and 40-year high and low filling levels in an
requires LNG ships to be capable North-Atlantic environments. LNG tank. At filling ratios of 40%
of operation in unrestricted Based on a comparative approach or above, high pressure is likely to
partially filled conditions. developed by Lloyd’s Register and be induced by ‘standing waves’,
MARINTEK, model tests were carried occur near tank roof corners and
These market factors have placed a out for selected critical conditions to usually decay very quickly. At low
firm focus on the safety of membrane determine the design loads. filling ratios (20%-30%), high
tanks which are larger than usual or impacts are likely to be induced by
which are partially filled, since both The comparative approach involves ‘travelling waves’, occur at the
scenarios represent a break from comparing the sloshing loads of tank sides, affect a large area and
previous experience. a large LNG carrier or an LNG ship last longer. It was found that the
in a defined partially filled condition critical wave heading for sloshing
with those of a conventional is head or near-head seas at high
design under the currently filling ratios and beam seas at low
approved filling conditions. filling ratios.

8 Horizons • Dectember 2004

Sloshing in partially filled tanks is a major design issue for LNG tankers utilising the No 96, Mk III or CS1 containment systems.

Conclusions The study also concluded that The absolute approach is, in theory,
The results of the model testing sloshing loads increase with the capable of directly determining a
showed that partial filling at 30% size of the LNG tank. “In light of safety margin, but its reliability has
can induce travelling waves and the lack of relevant service been called into question because it is
increase sloshing loads by up to experience, designers should be based on simplified wave conditions,
50% when compared with the prudent when considering large such as regular waves, or numerical
maximum loads measured at 80% increases in tank dimensions,” says simulations for model tests. The
filling or above. Based on available Dr Xing Zheng, Hydrodynamics effects of these methods on the
service experience and damage Co-ordinator in Lloyd’s Register’s ultimate reliability of the results can
records, the industry generally Research and Development be significant, as the error of margin
agrees that the safety margin of the Department. can be of the same magnitude as the
membrane systems is no more than safety margin itself.
2.0 for conventional size LNG For the future
ships under the currently “How much load increase is Further study in this area,
approved filling restriction. acceptable for a new design or including comprehensive
operational condition depends on calibration against known damage
On this basis, the study concluded how well we understand the cases in service, is required.
that there was insufficient evidence actual safety margin of current
to support the view that designs,” says Dr Zheng. “For this Research in this area will go on,
unrestricted partial filling is safe reason, further study on sloshing and Lloyd’s Register will continue
for an LNG ship. loads in previous cases of damage to share its findings with the
is required. The more confidence industry.
An operationally and commercially we have, the higher a load increase
significant finding of the study was we can accept.”
that for a conventional size LNG For further information contact
ship (140,500 cu m), the sloshing load Zheng points out that, in contrast Dr Xing Zheng, Hydrodynamics
at a filling ratio of 70% is no more to the comparative approach Co-ordinator, Research and
severe than that at 80% or above. developed by Lloyd’s Register, Development Department,
Lloyd’s Register has therefore the ‘absolute’ approach used by Lloyd’s Register
reduced the upper barred range limit some determines the safety margin
for conventional size LNG ships by assessing dynamic sloshing Email:
from 80% to 70%. This provides the loads and the dynamic capability Tel: +44 (0) 20 7423 1651
ship with an added flexibility, of membrane systems, both Fax: +44 (0) 20 7423 2061
enabling it to carry any cargo of which are highly dependent
volume onboard by appropriate on impact duration and area.
redistribution between tanks.

Horizons • December 2004 9

LNG reliquefaction at sea

LNG reliquefaction at sea

LNG reliquefaction at sea, in spite of the traditional obstacle of cost, may

well be on the verge of finally becoming a widespread reality.

In spite of its high capital cost, series with the process fluid – in insulated structure known as a
LNG reliquefaction plant is being this case, LNG - cascading from the ‘cold box’. This structure may
considered as a viable shipboard initial stage through several follow one of two designs:
technology because of the intermediate stages to the final
increased cargo-carrying capacity it stage. The final stage takes the • filled with insulation such as
can help to achieve. It also enables form a ‘turbo expander’ which perlite and the temperature
owners to take advantage of uses the energy from the expansion maintained by the equipment
smaller engine room spaces and of high energy nitrogen to power located within it. Access would
therefore bigger cargo tanks. the expander stage. The nitrogen require the removal of the
from the turbo expander circulates insulation and would be
The system being proposed for through the cargo condenser, thus restricted to drydocking
marine LNG reliquefaction consists removing the heat from the
of separate reliquefaction and circulating LNG vapour and • consisting of an enclosure
refrigeration units. The system allowing the LNG to be returned to fabricated from insulating panels,
utilises nitrogen as the refrigerant the cargo tanks as liquid. with the internal temperature
in the ‘reverse Brayton cycle’, a maintained by evaporators.
version of the ‘cascade system’ in Both the expander and the cargo This would allow access for
which several stages operate in condenser are installed inside an checking and maintenance of
the machinery to be undertaken
on a periodic basis.

The nitrogen turbo expander

reliquefaction system described here
has been widely used ashore and is
well proven. It will be easy to adapt
to the marine environment, with
only liquid level controls requiring
modification to take account of roll
and pitch angles. The gyroscopic
effect on the multi-stage compressor
and high speed turbo-expander will
need to be considered and their
shaft lines should be positioned
amidships along the longitudinal
axis if at all possible.

The multi-stage nitrogen generator

may have up to four separate
stages, with cooling undertaken by
fresh or sea water. Lloyd’s Register
recommends that the multi-stage
compressor be located within the
Given the right set of operational, commercial and economic circumstances, LNG reliquefaction onboard gas
main machinery space, possibly in
ships may become a viable proposition.
a dedicated area, to allow ease of
operation and inspection.

10 Horizons • Dectember 2004

Challenges to overcome To give an approximation, Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC)
There are, however, challenges a maximum load of 3.5 to 4.5 MW Code’s stand-by requirement can
to overcome before this type of may be considered realistic for be met by the installation of a gas
plant can be approved for specific a reliquefaction plant on a combustion unit (thermal oxidiser),
ship use. 150,000 cu m ship. To allow for its cost being approximately a tenth
the stand-by capacity required of the reliquefaction plant, it is
The amount of nitrogen in the by Lloyd’s Register’s Rules, considered that use of LNG
cargo can have a major effect on a multi-unit generating system reliquefaction systems is imminent.
the reliquefaction plant’s capacity. would be proposed.
An LNG cargo with a nitrogen Sulzer Bros Ltd and Air Products
content of 1%, for instance, would A further question to consider is and Chemicals Inc received
give rise to boil-off vapour with whether there are suitably qualified Lloyd’s Register’s ‘approval in
a composition of approximately personnel capable of running principle’ for marinised LNG
80% methane and 20% nitrogen. these systems safely. Equipment reliquefaction plant in the 1980s,
The reliquefaction plant would manufacturers may be expected while Hamworthy KSE obtained
need to be designed or specially to provide both commissioning approval of its system earlier
adapted to deal with this volume personnel and training in the this year. Help and guidance is
of nitrogen. operation of their equipment. readily available to owners,
shipyards and equipment
The time taken to start and Conclusions manufacturers with regard to
shutdown the reliquefaction system The next generation of +200,000 cu m what should be provided and
may also need to be considered. For LNG carriers are most likely to how to comply with the
some systems, the initial start-up benefit from the installation of a requirements of the IGC Code.
after being gas free would take reliquefaction system, as it would
approximately four hours, and if free up the selection of propulsion
the ship were in ballast condition, machinery and negate the need to
the ‘warm’ unit would take around vapourise additional cargo to For further information contact
two hours to start up. Shutdown supply the boilers. Robbie Sillars, Senior Surveyor,
could be achieved instantaneously, Lloyd’s Register EMEA
but may result in the loss of some The installation of LNG
nitrogen refrigerant; a controlled reliquefaction plant would be Email:
shutdown may take as much as beneficial for ships trading on Tel: +44 (0)20 7423 1921
one hour. extended voyages. As the world Fax: +44 (0)20 7423 1824
trade in natural gas continues to
Due to the high electrical energy evolve, the ability to discharge the
consumption of the system, a full capacity of the ship is being
high voltage distribution system seen as increasingly advantageous.
would be required. Special
‘ex’-rated enclosures might be Nitrogen LNG reliquefaction
required for equipment located in systems are commonplace in shore-
the cold box and deck-located side refineries. The main reason
compressor rooms. they have not yet seen widespread
use onboard ships are their high
The power consumed by the capital and operating costs.
reliquefaction train would be Provided that the International
higher than normally required by Code for the Construction and
a standard LNG carrier design. Equipment of Ships Carrying

Horizons • December 2004 11

Navigating the Marine Equipment Directive

Navigating the Marine

A constructive approach to quality management, coupled with timely and effective
compliance with legislation, can help to improve processes and business, as one life-saving
appliance manufacturer found out.

The ‘New Approach’ directives Along these lines, the MED was How to comply with the MED
issued by the European developed to ensure the uniform There are several ‘Conformity
Commission (EC), of which the application of relevant Routes’ laid out in the text of the
Marine Equipment Directive (MED) international regulations and MED, composed of a number of
is one, were developed in order to standards such as International ‘modules’. Generally, all
facilitate the implementation of the Maritime Organization (IMO) manufacturers seeking to comply
single market in Europe. Their aim regulations and conventions, as with the MED must obtain a ‘Module
is to reduce technical barriers to well as to enhance the safety of B’ certificate to begin with. This
trade and to facilitate the free shipping and to ensure the free initial certificate can be obtained once
movement of goods within the movement of equipment within one or more prototypes of a design
European Union (EU). They were the European Economic Area. have been independently witnessed
conceived specifically for products as having been satisfactorily tested to
that present some level of risk to The MED came into force on confirm that the performance
users, consumers, third parties or January 1, 1999 for all ships whose parameters applicable to equipment
the environment. They apply to safety certification is issued by or of that type have been achieved. This
those products which had on behalf of members of the EU. certificate can be issued by a ‘notified
previously been regulated Specifically the Directive covers body’ such as Lloyd’s Register
nationally, either formally through those types of equipment required Verification Ltd.
legislation, or informally through to be fitted under the four
accepted practice and recognised international conventions There are options regarding the
technical standards and are developed by IMO, namely: second step, but this generally
designed for product groups where involves assessment of a
technical standards and regulations • COLREGS 1972 – Convention manufacturer’s production
are very different between EU on the International procedures and quality
member states. The main aims of Regulations for Preventing management system, particularly
the directives were to harmonise Collisions at Sea, 1972 where manufacturers already have
requirements and to achieve a • Load Line 1966 – International ISO9001 certification.
common safety level throughout Convention on Load Lines,
Europe for certain products. 1966 Once the necessary steps have been
• MARPOL 1973/78 – taken and the second stage
International Convention for certification has been issued by the
the Prevention of Pollution notified body, the manufacturer is
from Ships, 1973, as modified deemed to be in compliance with
by the Protocol of 1978 relating the MED and may then affix the
thereto ‘mark of conformity’ or ‘ships’
• SOLAS 1974 – International wheelmark’ to its products. The
Convention for the Safety of manufacturer then issues a
Life at Sea, 1974. ‘declaration of conformity’ to
support the integrity of the
Items covered by the Directive released product as being in
include life-saving, fire protection, conformance with type and in
marine pollution prevention, compliance with the relevant
navigation and radio- regulation or convention.
communication equipment.

12 Horizons • Dectember 2004

How Lloyd’s Register can help
Lloyd’s Register Verification Ltd
has helped many manufacturers to
navigate the Conformity Routes
laid out in the MED, going beyond
compliance to help companies to
formulate and implement effective
quality management systems and
to improve their businesses.
One of these is Schat-Harding, the
world’s leading manufacturer of
life-saving appliances for the
commercial shipping, passenger
ship and offshore sectors and part
of the Norwegian Umøe group.

“When the MED came into force,” Schat-Harding has benefited from a constructive approach to quality management; here, its lifeboats in
says Managing Director Ove action onboard the Queen Mary 2, the world’s largest passenger ship.

Roessland, “it gave us the

opportunity to review our quality
system. We looked at the notified According to Graham Johnston, Roessland says that his company
bodies involved with the MED and, Senior Surveyor in Lloyd’s has been able to lower its costs
after a careful selection process, Register’s Statutory Department, while improving quality and
chose Lloyd’s Register to audit and Schat-Harding has made customer satisfaction. “This is a
oversee our system. We made this significant changes to its quality tough business to make money in,
choice based on the way in which management system as a result of one in which our clients, typically in
Lloyd’s Register was able to review Lloyd’s Register’s involvement. the offshore and cruise industries,
and understand our processes.” He also points out that halfway will accept nothing but the best,
through the process of working delivered right on time. Efficient
“It was the right choice,” says Jan with the manufacturer, it decided processes help us to meet client
Jaap Boot, Schat-Harding’s Quality to begin to manufacture its expectations while controlling our
Manager. “Lloyd’s Register davits in the Czech Republic, costs. Re-thinking our approach
suggested we bring our ISO9001 and Lloyd’s Register helped to towards the management of quality
quality management system into enable the process of the transfer with Lloyd’s Register’s assistance
line with our MED compliance, of operations. helped us to achieve that.”
enabling us to revise and improve
our quality assurance system. “Schat-Harding has the right
Lloyd’s Register gave us the attitude towards quality For further information contact
support we needed to help us to management and assurance and Lloyd’s Register’s Statutory and
take a fresh look at our systems, has realised the benefits not in Structures Department
and we learned that we could only the area of quality, but also
improve the way our business in terms of the commercial success Email:
worked by getting everyone to of its business,” says Johnston. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7423 2940
think in process terms.” Fax: +44 (0) 20 7397 4246

Horizons • December 2004 13

Learning from Cleveland

Learning from Cleveland

The LNG industry has learned lessons from its past and gone on to establish one of the best
safety records to be found in any industry. At the heart of this success story is a firm
commitment to the tenets of risk assessment and management.

The sudden growth in demand for technologies and codes, Learning from history
LNG has resulted in the accompanied by a diligent The pressing need for third-party
announcement of a number of plans approach to risk analysis and involvement and the progress
for new LNG import terminals, management. which has been made through
with several sited near consumers effective research and subsequent
to reduce transmission costs. In the As the solutions for delivering gas legislation can be amply
US in particular the sheer number to an increasingly hungry market demonstrated by referring back to
of applications has thrust LNG slowly move from concept to the so-called ‘Cleveland Disaster’
firmly into the public spotlight, but reality, it remains clearer than ever of 1944, which studies have shown
with centres of population that existing codes and standards would not have occurred if current
unwilling to tolerate an LNG need to be rigorously applied. industry practices had been
terminal within close proximity, In this context, the value of an applied.
designers and engineers have had independent third party lies in
to develop innovative solutions for its ability to provide guidance The East Ohio Gas Company built
delivering gas to market. through the tangle of regulations the facility in Cleveland in 1941
and requirements and its and ran it without incident until
Some of these solutions involve understanding and application of 1944, when a larger new tank was
moving terminals offshore, risk assessment and management, added. Due to material shortages
either as concrete gravity-based to help to ensure that high during the Second World War, the
structures or fixed floating safety standards are adhered to, new tank was built with material
structures. These novel concepts assets and investments protected with a low nickel content. Shortly
require a careful mix of both and the probability of loss or after going into service, the tank
marine and land-based incident minimised. failed, spilling LNG into the street

An artist’s impression of what an offshore gravity-based LNG terminal may look like.

14 Horizons • Dectember 2004

and storm sewer system. The 80 re-gasification and liquefaction Although many regulatory
resultant fire killed 128 people facilities without significant authorities do not require
and injured 225. containment system incidents. certification of a new facility
This record is clearly founded as part of the permit process,
The US Bureau of Mines’ on diligent analysis of the risks many operators now developing
investigation into the incident involved and the contingent new import facilities recognise
found that the accident was due to development of appropriate that third-party risk assessment
low temperature embrittlement of regulations, codes and standards can bring credibility and strength
the low nickel content material of to mitigate them. to their projects. In doing so,
the inner tank. Other external they can demonstrate to the
factors causing excessive vibrations “Confirmation by an independent public, investors and clients a
were thought to have accelerated third party of a project’s compliance commitment to safety and reliability
crack propagation. Once the inner with the appropriate codes and above and beyond industry and
tank failed, the outer carbon steel standards, including its safety and regulatory requirements.
would have failed immediately on operability, can give technical
contact with the LNG. assurance and confidence to
interested parties, including owners
The accident was aggravated by the and operators, investors, insurers For further information contact
lack of suitable fire protection to the and statutory authorities,” says Trevor Welham, Principal Civil
legs of an adjacent LNG sphere Trevor Welham, Principal Civil Engineer, Energy and Transport,
which buckled, causing it to topple Engineer in Lloyd’s Register’s Lloyd’s Register
and dump its contents onto the Energy and Transport Division.
initial fire. The tanks also lacked Email:
adequate bunds around them, and Verification of the fitness of a facility Tel: +44 (0) 20 7423 2523
the facility was in close proximity to for its intended service involves Fax: +44 (0) 20 7423 2006
a residential area. a thorough technical assessment of
its design, materials and
The Bureau of Mines’ report construction methods, as well as a
concluded, however, that the review of the proposed operational
1 “LNG, The basics”, report prepared for
concept of liquefying and storing systems and procedures from the
BP, May 2001.
LNG was valid so long as “proper point of view of compliance and
precautions [were] observed’’. safety. Ongoing verification of
Further, a recent report written by operational safety requires periodic
the engineering consultants Project surveys, as well as reviews of
Technical Liason1 concluded that, inspection and maintenance
had the Cleveland tank been built history and procedures.
to current codes, the accident
would not have happened. In fact, Technical assessment includes an
LNG tanks properly constructed independent evaluation of both the
of 9% nickel steel have never safety of the design and the project’s
experienced crack failure in their approach to risk management.
35-year history. Such studies consider the
identification of hazards, analysis of
Taking action their potential consequences in
Since this incident, the global terms of cause and effect and
LNG industry has built up an probability of occurrence, in order
unrivalled safety record, with over to provide a composite assessment
40 years of experience of building of risks and the effectiveness of
and operating approximately actions taken to mitigate them.

Horizons • December 2004 15

Assessing LNG risks

Assessing LNG risks

In the US, LNG has become a sensitive issue, exacerbated by the

country’s fear of terrorism. In this state of fear, the facts and the real
risks have been obscured and forgotten. What is the reality?

In spite of the LNG industry’s The technical facts do not bear out What are the facts?
impeccable safety record, there the worst-case scenarios commonly Extensive studies have shown that
remains in the US a deep-seated put forward by ‘independent the structural design of an LNG
fear and mistrust of LNG in any experts’, and in spite of numerous carrier, coupled with the natural
form – storage facility, terminal or measures and studies undertaken to properties of LNG and natural gas,
ship – propagated by ongoing reassure the public that LNG result in a failure sequence and
debate among the public, the media imports are safe from terrorism, associated consequences which are
and the government. The main doubts persist. significantly less serious than
subject of this debate is terrorism imagined by opponents of the LNG
and what the consequences would These doubts are understandable in industry.
be of a terrorist attack on an the context in which information
LNG carrier. about LNG is disseminated in the For example, many who denounce
US. Every time a new LNG project LNG base their calculations on the
is put forward, lobbies for and total volume of LNG carried in a
against the development emerge, ship. It is unrealistic to imagine,
with the ‘against’ lobby picking up however, that the entire cargo of
on ‘independent expert’ analysis to any ship can be instantaneously
back up its claims that LNG is released. To mount such an attack
dangerous and using it to block on an LNG carrier would require
development. In recent years, this the equivalent of a full scale
has resulted in the outright failure military operation, not a clandestine
of six developments in the US, with terrorist operation like those carried
the remaining 24 planned facing out against the USS Cole and the
serious local opposition. Limburg. It is more likely that the
LNG would be released over time
These concerns are then picked up based on the size of the breach in
by the local media, with the inner hull.
newspapers hundreds of miles
apart printing the same Similarly, the ‘against’ lobbies often
catchphrases and sensationalist quote the nine-metre hole blown
claims. These phrases and into the side of the Limburg to
misconceptions are repeated so demonstrate that large holes can
often that they practically become easily be created in the side of a
‘fact’. The result is that the actual ship. What they fail to understand
facts are obscured. is that this was the size of the hole
in the outer hull; it is the size of the
The LNG industry’s position is hole in the inner hull which dictates
further damaged when leading the outflow rate and, in the case of
industry figures are led by these the Limburg, this was only one
misconceptions to cite faulty metre - enough to lose containment
scholarship and make inherently but not enough to suggest instant
false, alarmist statements out-pouring of the cargo.
comparing the failure of an LNG
ship to a ‘small nuclear explosion’.
What, then, are the real facts?

16 Horizons • Dectember 2004

This slow release has a significant One case involved the analysis of
mitigating effect on the potential the impact on a ship following a
consequences of a spill. It is for this bomb attack, looking for perhaps the
reason that the idea that LNG first time ever in detail at the
carriers are potential atom bombs damage that would be caused by a
is erroneous. There is a lot of bomb placed in various locations,
energy in LNG and natural gas, as the structural strength and stability
in any hydrocarbon. However, the of the damaged ship and the LNG
‘atomic bomb’ statement describes outflow characteristics. Through the
the total energy an LNG carrier use of risk assessment techniques,
contains, not the rate at which the advanced computational fluid
energy would be released in an dynamics and finite element
incident. For example, a lump of analyses, Lloyd’s Register was able
coal contains lots of energy, but to put forward a study which
when it is set on fire, its energy advanced the industry’s knowledge
doesn’t all come out instantly like a of such an event. The study has since
bomb. Instead, the coal burns over been used as a reference point by the
a period of time releasing its US Federal Energy Regulatory
energy as it goes. Similarly, LNG Commission [FERC] when assessing
carriers contain large quantities of submissions made by other LNG
energy, but the energy can only be companies and consultancies.
released slowly in the event of a
“The benefit that
spill or a fire. “The benefit that Lloyd’s Register is Lloyd’s Register is
able to offer to its clients is its ability
Helping the industry to take a holistic view of the able to offer to its
Because the issue of LNG has problem. In the case of LNG, this
become so clouded by speculation, includes how reports will be clients is its ability to
fear and irrationality, Lloyd’s received, the perception of the
Register, as an independent public and the ways in which such
take a holistic view
technical body, has been retained studies will be used by the parties of a problem.”
by many companies to conduct concerned,” says Milne.
risk assessment studies.
“We make sure that we understand
“Our work has included a number all of the client’s issues, not just
of regulatory and public the immediate technical problem
submissions describing the safety to be solved.”
of proposed terminals and the
associated shipping,” says Gordon
Milne, Lloyd’s Register’s Head of For further information contact
Risk Assessment Services. Gordon Milne, Head of Risk
“Significant detailed assessment Assessment Services, Lloyd’s Register
has been made of bomb damage,
collisions, gas dispersion and fire, Email:
all of which have been carried Tel: +44 (0) 20 7423 1524
out with public safety and scrutiny Fax: +44 (0) 20 7423 2026
in mind.”

Horizons • December 2004 17

Moving LNG offshore

Moving LNG offshore

The industry is beginning to take a serious look at floating Sloshing aspects will have to be
carefully considered, as FLNGs will
LNG units, some of which use ship-like technology. What are
experience an almost unlimited range
the design and safety issues to consider? of loading conditions, as opposed to
LNG ships, which traditionally have
a fairly limited range of operational
New environmental regulations The most sophisticated solution loading conditions.
aimed at reducing CO2 emissions, currently being proposed is a
as well as the increasing value of floating production, storage and The choice of mooring system
gas, are prompting operators of gas offloading (FPSO) unit connected will be significant, as different
and oil fields to look for new ways directly to a gas wellhead or linked systems impose varying loads on
of making remote gas fields to a number of platforms. The hull structures. Several types of
economically viable. vessel would receive natural gas via station-keeping systems are
a turret and riser arrangement, available, including internal and
The industry has turned towards the liquefy it and store it onboard. The submerged turrets, external turrets,
idea of floating LNG (FLNG) units, products would be offloaded to buoy, fixed spread mooring and
and several innovative solutions are shuttle tankers using an LNG dynamic positioning.
beginning to gain momentum. offloading system specifically
designed for marine environments. Offshore transfer systems are subject
FLNG storage and regasification to continuous loads due to the
facilities, which remain All of these solutions present an interface between the floating unit
permanently on station and are engineering challenge which can and the tanker, as well as the
connected to the grid ashore via only be overcome by combining the environment. It is envisaged that
an undersea pipeline, have been best technologies from both the liquefied gas cargo transfer will be
put forward as one viable option. marine and offshore sectors. accomplished with loading arm
They can act as buffer storage systems, either side-by-side or in
facilities, receive LNG from shuttle FLNG unit versus LNG ship tandem. One perceived
tankers and offload gas to a nearby There are distinct differences disadvantage of the loading arm
pipeline via a turret/swivel and between the design of current LNG system, however, is the difficulty
riser arrangement. carriers and the projected associated with remaining connected
specifications of FLNG units, which in long swells and higher sea states.
Another concept involves fitting will require careful consideration in
an existing LNG ship with order to preserve safety of Whereas the topside of an LNG carrier
regasification facilities. In this construction and operation. may be limited to a compressor
scheme, the ship hooks up to an or electrical room, FLNGs will
offshore buoy system, regassifies its FLNGs will need to have greater be required to support complex
own LNG cargo and pumps it into storage capacity than that currently liquefaction and gas processing trains
a pipeline ashore. One potential afforded by conventional LNG with a combined weight of up to
limitation of this system would be ships. This may affect the choice of approximately 45,000 tonnes. Such
the need to leave the LNG ship containment system configuration, deck area and structural requirements
alongside for several days during size and type, also taking into will have an impact on both the size of
the regasification process, reducing account anticipated loads and site- hull and the type of cargo tanks that
the number of cargoes it could specific ocean data. can be used. Structural analysis and
carry and perhaps increasing the design will have to take into account
overall number of ships required to all appropriate loading combinations
serve a particular project. This including dynamic loading, hull
would clearly be a factor for an deflection, environmental loads and
operator to consider. fatigue loads.

18 Horizons • Dectember 2004

An artist’s impression of a floating LNG concept with an LNG carrier alongside.

Although LNG is the common Processing and transporting

cargo for both LNG carriers and liquefied gas at sea requires special For further information contact
FLNGs, operations are far more engineering techniques and Trevor Welham, Principal Civil
complex and safety critical for contingency measures to minimise Engineer, Energy and Transport,
the latter. FLNG designs should the inherent risks. The prospect of Lloyd’s Register
be subjected to risk assessment the industry designing, building and
in order to identify potential installing such installations has Email:
hazards, to determine risks and to prompted Lloyd’s Register to Tel: +44 (0) 20 7423 2523
establish means of mitigating for prepare and publish its Guidance Fax: +44 (0) 20 7423 2006
potential events such as LNG or Notes for Classification and Certification
gas release, fire, explosion and of Floating Offshore Liquefied Gas
cryogenic spillage. Installations. The guidance notes
focus on certain technical aspects
relating to FLNG design including
class notation; hull, mooring and
topside aspects; LNG processing and
containment; safety and risk-based
assessments; fabrication; testing; and
in-service surveys.

Horizons • December 2004 19


Exhibitions and
technical On the Horizon

Over the next three months Lloyd’s Register’s Classification • port state control deficiencies
(December 2004 to February News delivers up-to-date • warning on the possibility of
2005 inclusive) we will be information on issues requiring cargo tank over pressurisation
urgent and immediate where TankTech Co Ltd
exhibiting at:
dissemination to the marine pressure/vacuum valves, type
industry. Recent inspection and NEW-ISO-HV have been fitted
International Workboat Show,
statutory alerts we have issued • United States publishes
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA,
include: mandatory ballast water
December 2 - 3
management and reporting
• concentrated port state control regulations.
Seatrade Middle East Maritime
inspection campaign on
2004, Dubai, UAE, December 6 - 8 working and living conditions Classification News is available free
• new arrangements for the of charge. These issues, together
Offshore Arabia, Dubai, UAE, examination of surveyable with the archive of alerts, may be
November 29 – December 1 machinery items by chief viewed electronically at
Maritima Exhibition, Paris, France,
November 24 – 25

Horizons newsletter
We will be presenting papers at:
For further information on our marine Lloyd’s Register Americas, Inc.
services, please contact Nicola Baker: 1401 Enclave Parkway, Suite 200
Sustainable Shipping – Progress Tel: +44 (0)20 7423 2765 Houston, Texas, 77077, USA
in a Changing World – Conference, Fax: +44 (0)20 7423 4796 Tel: +1 281 675 3100
London, UK, February 1-2, Fax: +1 281 675 3139
Dr Gill Reynolds Email:
Managing Editor:
Dolly Robinson,
Marine Media Manager,
Marine Business Development Services are provided by members
Tel: +44 (0)20 7423 1682 of the Lloyd’s Register Group.
Lloyd's Register is an exempt charity
Lloyd’s Register EMEA under the UK Charities Act 1993.
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London EC3M 4BS, UK December 2004

Tel: + 44 (0)20 7709 9166 Lloyd’s Register Registered office:

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Horizons • December 2004 20