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OCIMF updates marine loading arm guidance

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LNG Industry,

The Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF), a voluntary association of 112 oil companies, has published an updated edition of its Design and Construction Specification for Marine Loading Arms (MLA) publication.

The new Fourth Edition provides enhanced and updated guidance to owners and vendors on designing and procuring MLAs used in the transfer of oil and gas products. This includes both manual and powered MLAs used in the transfer of LNG, LPG, ammonia and liquid ethylene as well as high pressure (HP) gas, and vapour return.

The publication serves as a definitive guide to MLA construction and specification, covering topics such as applications, variability, operating envelopes, products transferred, servicing, manifold spacing, jetty and piping layouts and arm styles. It has been updated to account for emerging technologies, such as HP gas arms, offshore loading arms and LNG bunkering arms, and to provide guidance across different MLA designs in line with related industry regulations and standards. It also defines information that should be provided by the vendor for the installation, maintenance and safe operation of MLAs.

Rob Drysdale, Director, OCIMF, comments:

“It is 10 years since the last edition of this document was published and like many other OCIMF led work activities, we encouraged input and collaboration from other stakeholders. In this case, those included equipment manufacturers and vendors.

“There are considerable differences between the various designs available, so getting alignment on safety-related design and construction specifications is a significant achievement and speaks to the professionalism of all those involved. The book contains much more detail and information than previous editions, including new and emerging technologies as the use of marine loading arms expands into other areas.”

Working Group Chairperson, Chris Snape, added:

“The development of this updated and enhanced guidance was necessary to account for the significant technical and regulatory changes related to MLAs since the last edition was published. By taking advantage of standard software capabilities to aid the accuracy of standard information provided by owners to manufacturers, we are confident that this publication will support the highest standards of safety and best practice.”

The publication provides guidance for all parties involved in the design, construction and procurement of MLAs. This includes shipbuilders and fabricators, regulators classification societies and quality assurance organisations as well as ship and marine terminal owners and operators, Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractors, and MLA vendors.

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