Classification society Bureau Veritas
has come out with a new rule (NR645) for the classification of floating storage
and regasification units (FSRUs) to meet the industry needs with two distinct class notations: Liquefied Gas Carrier -FSRU notation and
Demand for FSRU’s is growing as they are
a fast, cost-effective route to meet growing demand for LNG as a clean and
cost-competitive energy source, BV said on Monday.
The new BV rules, developed in close
cooperation with FSRU stakeholders set out technical requirements to address
the technical and operational issues of FSRUs. These requirements span
demand for units that may operate as a floating terminal for one or more
decades to FSRUs that may be required for much shorter periods and whose
operators may want the option of trading as an LNG carrier.
While the LNG carrier-FSRU notation enables
gas trading in addition to FSRU terminal operations, the FSRU notation is
dedicated to pure gas storage and regasification terminal operations and
not intending to trade.
The LNG carrier-FSRU
notation provides the possibility for exemptions from the traditional
class survey regime – such as five-year dry-docking survey requirements – when
the vessel is in use as an FSRU.
The FSRU notation provides full
optimization for site conditions and a class survey regime as applicable
to permanent units with continuous operation requirements. No dry-docking would
be required and some exemptions from IGC Code requirements compared to typical
LNG carriers are allowed. For example, no bottom damage stability requirements
would be necessary having addressed specific operational circumstances.
Speaking of the new rules, Jean-François
Segretain, marine technical director, Bureau Veritas, said, “these new rules take into account the
specific technical, regulatory, operational and environmental requirements of
FSRU stakeholders to provide a much higher level of confidence when making
significant commercial decisions.”