How LNG operational practise is changing

Jun 18 2020

Witherby Publishing has released the 2nd edition of its handbook for LNG carrier operations “LNG Operational Practise”. We took the opportunity to ask the authors about the ways LNG operational practise is changing, and why they wanted to make a new edition.

Witherby Publishing Group  released the second edition of its handbook for LNG carrier operations, “LNG Operational Practice,” dated January 2020.


It is written for LNG professionals as a way to update themselves about processes for operating an LNG carrier.


It is written as a practical reference aid for onboard use and a comprehensive study tool that provides practical knowledge of all procedures, from beginning to end.


This book aims to strengthen common procedures, focussing on the industry standard for each procedure, regardless of the LNG carrier or company, Witherby says.


This book is for all professionals in the LNG industry, whether they work on the ship or ashore. It covers not only operational control, but also additional operations as part of the life cycle of an LNG carrier, such as coming out of dry dock, post dry-dock procedures and gassing up.


Witherby is a specialist publisher of operational guidance and technical standards for the shipping industry.


Changing fleet

“With so many changes and developments in operations and technology [of LNG carriers], an update on the first edition was essential,” a Witherby Publishing Group spokesperson says.


One of the biggest changes since the first edition was published in 2006, is that the LNG fleet size has increased fivefold and the industry is experiencing a further boom, with almost 50 newbuilds ordered in 2018, 60 in 2019.


The orders for Qatargas’ fleet replacement, and Anadarko’s Mozambique LNG requirement for a further 16 LNGCs, are also expected to be placed in 2020.


These new LNG operators, and new generations of LNG carriers, bring different approaches to the operation of the latest technology and equipment.


We see new types of dual fuel engine, using a direct mechanical drive with two-stroke dual fuel low speed engine, either high pressure (ME-GI engine) or Low pressure (X-DF engine).


The second edition reflects the technology in use onboard today’s LNGC fleet, rather than the conventional steam turbine utilising boil-off gas that dominated for over forty years.


“A recent move toward the re-utilising of boil-off gases to prevent burn off in atmosphere will have good environmental impact. This is another process that is covered in the new edition,” Witherby says.


Writing the book

“The book was written in-house in collaboration with external consultants from within the LNG industry who brought a range of perspectives and expertise on the subject. They included current serving LNG deck officers and former LNG superintendents, providing the best combined knowledge from both on board the ship and ashore.”


“With such a technically complex subject matter, narrative can be difficult to follow. However, seeing the information clearly labelled and laid out in 3D drawings guides readers through such operations.”


It utilises 3D imagery and is laid out with clear diagrams, checklists, guidance and instructions for each of the operations undertaken at each stage of a typical trading cycle for an LNG carrier.


The need for learning

 “LNG is traditionally a safe industry that has always focused on environmental protection and has required the highest safety standards to be adhered to. Of course, there is always room for improvement,” Witherby’s spokesperson says.


“All mariners are trained to high international standards, but LNG operations require a different skillset that is beyond basic maritime training.”


“Keeping key publications such as LNG Operational Practice up to date is an important element within the information pool available to them. “


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