Floating Jettyless vs Fixed Infrastructure
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Floating Jettyless vs Fixed Infrastructure

By
Magnus Eikens
Nov 12, 2020
2
minutes read time

Here we will discuss the most traditional methods of transferring LNG from ship to shore, comparing it to floating jettyless transfer systems.

Development of the LNG value chain can be complex, and project developers often face several obstacles in their pursuit of realising new, or even modified, LNG import and export terminals. Apart from the political and regulatory landscape, the biggest challenges are cost and time associated with the building of LNG and natural gas infrastructure.

Conventional LNG infrastructure

LNG storage terminals are required for both loading and offloading of LNG into carriers. A marine terminal may consist of infrastructure such as a loading platform, mooring and breasting dolphins and trestle for supporting the LNG pipeline. Offloading takes place via loading arms or hoses where a gas tanker is berthed.

Traditionally, locations which are not fortunate enough to have access to deep water are fully dependant on seabed dredging for jetty construction, vessel mooring and turning access. This is a considerable project risk to undertake, and for small-scale import projects, the investment required simply may  not make for sound project economics. Thus, LNG import projects are often located where marine infrastructure already is present, in many cases meaning a non-optimal location of the terminal itself.  

An LNG carrier at an export terminal
Conventional marine LNG infrastructure typically comprise a loading platform, mooring and breasting dolphins and trestle or artificial islands for supporting the LNG pipeline

Location of the jetty terminal is dependent upon not only the requirements for the LNG tanker manoeuvring and positioning with respect to water depths, currents and ship traffic, but also with prevailing winds which may influence the location from a safety viewpoint.

The traditional shoreside marine jetties may be prohibited due to proximity to populated areas, safety and/or environmental concerns. Also, the extension of an offshore jetty structure to support the transfer pipelines will, in all shallow water cases, require seabed dredging.

Jettyless LNG transfer system

A jettyless transfer system is a technology that enables safe and efficient transfer of LNG between an LNG carrier and an offshore or onshore LNG terminal without a jetty. Most of the civil and onshore works associated with jetty or quay construction is eliminated with the jettyless solution since the whole system is floating and hence prefabricated at a yard.

Floating transfer system under construction at yard
Floating jettyless transfer systems can be prefabricated at a yard

This system comprises a floating semi-submersible platform accommodating all required and recommended safety systems. The platform attaches to the side of the vessel and transfers LNG or other fluids to storage tanks with floating hoses and is compatible with any vessel sizes due to the unique vacuum attachment system.

While not in use, the system is moored close to shore thus limiting the impact on usual navigation routes.

Floating transfer system connected to LNG carrier
A semi-submersible platform connects to the ship side and LNG is transferred through floating hoses between the LNG carrier and the terminal
Last updated:
Nov 20, 2020

Magnus Eikens

About

Magnus Eikens

Chief Commercial Officer
As co-founder of Connect LNG AS, he has developed and brought to life the world's first jettyless LNG transfer system. He holds a decade of experience in business development, strategy and commercialization, and is also a member of the Board of Directors of Energy Network Norway (ENN): a network of industry professionals and global companies leading Norway’s commitment to Clean Energy.

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