10 February 2017
RS: 10 years of the program for making competence in gas marine transportation
Throughout 10 years, Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) has been persistently developing the competence in the area of marine transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG). By the moment, the Register has obtained the prominent results in this high-tech sector: gas carriers of different types are classed by RS, the book of orders on ships for LNG transportation is completed till 2019, 60 RS specialists have undergone professional training in the area of gas marine transportation.
The Rules for the Classification and Construction of Gas Carriers have been published by RS since 1985. Brisk growth of gas projects in early 2000 gave the impulse to the start of comprehensive program on developing this sector of marine transportation. At the end of January 2007, a first group of the RS surveyors received the certificates on completion of training for LNG carriers’ survey. The training program consisting of theoretical and practical modules combined the experience of supporting the construction projects for modern gas carriers of a world leader – American Bureau of Shipping and the unique RS competence in Arctic ships. In 2008 – 2010, nearly 20 RS surveyors undergone special training under the program jointly developed by the classification societies. In 2012 – 2014, two more groups of surveyors were trained by RS to meet the market demands.
The availability of the normative and practical basis, as well as certified specialists enabled RS to take another step towards participation in large modern projects. In 2009, the Register gained valuable experience of cooperation with Gazprom Global LNG under the project on scheduled development of Shtokman field. In 2010, the first LNG gas carrier “Grand Aniva” was classed by RS.
The RS strategic plans gained traction during the construction of the RS-classed gas carriers of Velikiy Novgorod type being in process since 2011 at the South Korean yard STX Offshore & Shipbuilding under order of Sovkomflot, the largest Russian shipping company. To support such projects, the Design & Newbuilding Support Centre has been established in Pusan (Republic of Korea) in 2012.
In 2012, the RS rules for gas carriers were updated taking into account the contemporary trends and the RS experience. The program development covered also the technical supervision of sophisticated equipment for LNG ships. Thus, in the same year, RS participated in type tests of the up-to-date control system for dual-fuel slow speed diesel engines of MAN Diesel & Turbo.
Gaztransport & Technigaz (GTT) holds a special place among the industry leaders RS started cooperating with. The agreement with this company was signed in 2012. Due to combination of knowledge and technologies of GTT famous for its engineering solutions in gas storage and transportation systems and competence of RS as a leading expert in the classification of ice class ships, a new trend in shipbuilding was established – design and construction of LNG carriers intended for operation at high latitudes.
Today, a series of unrivalled LNG carriers of Arc7 ice class is being constructed under the RS survey. Another unique project is the first FSRU of Arc4 ice class.