Safer by Design

Braemar economies of scale - Safer by design

Presented to the 2nd Doha LNG Shipping Summit 19th and 20th February 2007 by Andy Richardson – Qatargas Operating Company and Ian Harper – Wavespec

Q-Flex and Q-Max Development

  • Drivers for Innovation and Technical Change
  • Need for Economies of Scale
  • Improved Shipping Efficiencies
  • Reliability of LNG Transport
  • Risk Management Strategy
  • Technology Qualification of Propulsion Options
  • Large LNGC Project Strategy
  • Progress Report – Where Are We Now?

Drivers for Innovation and Technical Change

Compete in International Market

  • With Supplies of Gas closer to the target markets
    • Relatively Long Supply Chain
    • Economies of Scale
    • Improved Efficiencies
  • Ensure reliability of Supply Chain

Need for Economies of Scale

Maximise flexibility through full value chain economics

  • Secure long term supply and purchase agreements (SPA)
  • Qatar to take major equity share in shipping and terminals

Whole project chain from “well to wheel”

  • Unique integrated LNG chain controlled by gas producer
  • Eight million tonnes per annum per train
  • Largest LNG export terminal in the world at Ras Laffan
  • Larger ships & alternative propulsion reduce transportation cost by approximately 30%

Improved Shipping Efficiencies

Capital costs

  • Fewer bigger ships

Operating costs

  • Voyage expenses and operations
  • Thermal efficiency of entire plant
  • Consideration of alternative propulsion

Encouragement of competition

  • In technology improvement
  • In commercial leverage

Maximise delivered volumes

  • Reliquefaction of boil-off gas

Reliability of LNG Transport

Port compatibility

  • Ras Laffan maximum dimensions
  • Project dedicated primary terminals
    • Additional terminals identified that can physically receive larger ships and reviews ongoing

Transportation simulation modelling

  • Fine tuning of ship speed, size and fleet configuration

Vessel design basis

  • Innovation without risk
    • Primary design philosophy
      • equal to or better than conventional LNG vessels in safety, redundancy, reliability and maintainability
  • Only adopt reliable and qualified technologies
  • Innovative safety and security measures incorporated

Risk management strategy

  • Utilise all available resources to ensure safe and reliable solutions
  • Consult existing industry in the widest sense
  • Introduce suppliers and shipyards at the earliest opportunity

Risk Management Strategy

Peer reviews

  • Gain widest possible benefit of experience and knowledge
  • Third party reviews of critical drawings

Technology qualification management

  • Containment system (extension of tank size above that seen on conventional ships)
  • Reliquefaction (marinisation of land-based technology) – fully redundant rotating element
  • Guaranteed gas disposal (using a combustion unit – GCU)
  • Gas turbine propulsion option

Formal risk assessment

  • Hazids and Hazops (with all parties)
    • Technology licence holders
    • Classification Societies
    • Shipyards & Independent engineering design houses

Shipyard design competition

  • Part of pre-qualification process – fast track for concept design development

Comprehensive outline specification

  • Project specification set minimum standards to be achieved

In summary all activities were designed to ensure the safest and most reliable vessel possible

Technology Qualification of Propulsion Options

Full range of propulsion options assessed during brainstorming sessions

Preliminary review excluded direct geared medium speed and gas turbine options

9 feasible options included in detailed comparative assessment

  • Steam turbine base case (conventional heat balance)
  • Slow speed diesel with reliquefaction (3 suppliers)
  • Dual fuel diesel electric (2 options, forced BOG and natural BOG + HFO)
  • Gas turbine electric with waste heat recovery (2 options with forced BOG, 1 with natural BOG and IFO)

Detailed discussions held with manufacturers of all options

Risk assessments carried out to minimise safety and design risks

Selected options technically qualified before submitting specification to shipyards

3 options selected for initial Q-Flex technical specification (December 2003)

  • Conventional single screw steam turbine
  • Twin slow speed diesels with twin fixed pitch propellers burning HFO with reliquefaction plant
  • Dual fuel diesel electric with redundant variable speed motors driving fixed pitch propellers

Revised specification issued for twin screw Q-Max vessel (July 2005)

  • COGES option (combined gas turbines, electric drives and steam turbine alternator) added

Large LNGC Project Strategy

Feasibility studies (ExxonMobil, Qatar Petroleum, Qatargas & Wavespec)

Shipyard pre-qualification

Specification development workshops

  • guiding design principles
  • classification societies, model basins, etc

Funded design development programme

Modular specification design for varied technologies

Invitation to qualified shipyards for bids

  • design competition
  • rigorous technical evaluation

Time Line

  • Dec 2001 – start of investigation into larger LNGC feasibility
  • 2002/2003 – feasibility studies, technology qualification and testing
  • Dec 2003 – release of Q-Flex technical specifications and ITT
  • 2Q 2004 – detailed technical review of shipyard bids
  • 2005 – SSA signed and first Q-Flex orders placed
  • 2006 – First Q-Max contracted


Where are we now?

27 Q-Flex ordered

  • 17under construction
  • First delivery 4Q 2007

10 Q-Max ordered

  • Starting construction April 2007
  • First delivery 3Q 2008

In addition slots declared for 4 Q-Flex and 4 Q-Max (+one option)

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