(Houston — St. Petersburg) ABS and the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) have initiated an extensive joint training program covering survey of Arctic LNG carriers for a team of surveyors drawn from both societies. Classroom instruction in early October at the RS training facilities in St Petersburg, Russia, is to be followed by a prolonged period of field training at shipyards for new construction and on ABS-classed, trading LNG carriers for in-service surveys.
The training program is part of a wide-ranging cooperative agreement signed earlier this year by the two societies that significantly expanded on the previous, long-standing ABS-RS working agreement.
“Industry needs a fleet of LNG carriers to carry ever-growing gas resources to market,” said ABS President and Chief Operating Officer, Christopher J. Wiernicki. “Much of that expected future trade will be from production facilities located in the Arctic. As one of the leading societies in the classification of gas carriers, ABS will contribute its broad knowledge gained from surveys of the recent tranche of new LNG carrier construction projects and RS will contribute the society’s unparalleled knowledge in the establishment and application of standards for operation in the extremely harsh Arctic environment.”
ABS has been presenting a comprehensive training course on the classification of LNG carriers to industry including both shipbuilders and shipowners in addition to its own survey staff for the past three years. This material will form the basis of the society’s contribution to the new joint training effort.
RS has developed the special course focusing on ice strengthening, azimuth complex, machinery operation in ice conditions. “Our long experience in classing vessels built for and operating in Polar waters has given us a deep understanding of the structural and operational issues that are critical to the safety of these specialized ships.” said Vladimir Evenko, Vice-General Director of RS. By marrying our greater expertise in ice with ABS’ wider knowledge of LNG structural and operational issues, both of our societies will significantly improve their overall capabilities.”
The October course is the first part of a program of training that will establish a core group of surveyors from both societies who are familiar with both the RS and ABS requirements for LNG ship new construction and able to conduct surveys for the dual classification requirements for LNG carriers.
Led by a group of appropriately experienced ABS and RS instructors, the course covers winterization and strengthening requirements for navigation in a low temperature environment together with the inspection requirements of the hull, containment and engineering systems of LNG carriers.
Further classroom training will be conducted in the coming months by the same team of RS instructors for the ABS surveyors in Korea to augment their current authorizations on LNG new construction with RS winterization and strengthening requirements.
The training is a further extension of the agreement between the two societies to jointly develop Rules for the operation of arctic LNG carriers based on their shared experiences gained in Russian, Canadian and US Arctic waters. The new joint criteria will draw on this shared experience and include the application of advanced technology using risk analysis, testing and computational methods.
Vladimir Evenko noted that “safe operation of large LNG carriers in the Russian Arctic is a very challenging issue, with a number of technical, functional, legal and environmental aspects that need to be addressed. The combination of the two societies’ experience, gained over many years, is an effective way to create a framework of standards that is both comprehensive, practically based and user friendly. RS and ABS are confident that this joint work will show their willingness to construct LNG carriers to dual class and will provide leadership for the shipping industry as it addresses the challenges of these new projects”.
Founded in 1862, ABS is one of the leading international classification societies devoted to promoting the security of life, property and the marine environment through the development and verification of standards for the design, construction and operational maintenance of marine-related facilities.
Established in 1913, RS is a leading international classification society the activities of which are aimed at providing safety of navigation, safety of life at sea, security of ships, safe carriage of cargo, and the environmental safety of ships. To attain this goal, RS develops and continually improves the RS Rules and guidelines to ensure high standards of safety at sea and pollution prevention.