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BW Fleet Management finds safety and reliability

Published by , Editor
LNG Industry,

In 2013, BW Fleet Management was facing a persistent safety and operational issue: their jacketed HMPE mooring lines were failing. At one point, seven lines failed on a single vessel during a berthing in Spain. It was a problem also experienced by other operators within the LNG shipping industry at the time.

BW Fleet Management (BW FM) and Samson had been working together for several years, having outfitted 11 new-build tankers with Samson 12-strand single-braid AmSteel®-Blue, made with Dyneema®, between 2005 and 2007. Now, for this new issue, BW FM sought Samson’s technical expertise.

Because Samson understood BW FM’s concern for the safety of the remaining mooring systems, they offered to assist by inspecting the mooring lines on affected vessels that were in-service. While the ships were at sea and the lines could be properly laid out, Samson inspected each one and wrote a comprehensive report on their condition. As a temporary solution, damaged lines were changed out with Samson Turbo-EPX™ jacketed mooring lines until an assessment of the issue could be completed. Samson also supplied vessel crews with training documents for proper rope usage and handling of synthetic ropes until the full replacement could be accomplished.

After a full investigation of the situation and gaining a new understanding of the types of mooring lines available, BW FM determined the best way to ensure the safety of their fleet and their crews was to replace the jacketed mooring lines throughout the fleet. Jacketed lines, while having the advantage of their strength-member core being protected by an outer cover, have the disadvantage of being difficult to inspect. Once the decision was made to address the issue with non-jacketed lines, BW FM considered several manufacturers, and decided to proceed with Samson’s non-jacketed, single-braid 12-strand mooring lines, AmSteel®-Blue, made with Dyneema® SK78. The combination of Samson’s unparalleled industry expertise and their unmatched experience using this innovative grade of Dyneema® was assuring for the customer. Dyneema® SK78 is specifically designed by DSM to withstand the long-term load bearing requirements of such extreme applications.

Olav Lyngstad, head of LNG/FSRU & Supporting Departments, commented, “Safety and reliability were most important. With the jacketed mooring lines, we lost control over the lines’ condition—that’s a high risk for us. One of the many advantages of the Samson 12-strand lines is that we can visually monitor them on an ongoing basis, allowing for better decision-making when lines need to be changed out or repaired, to maintain the security of our moorings.

“The failure of jacketed mooring lines was a concern throughout the industry. When we announced our decision to switch to Samson, it was seen as a positive move. Samson has an excellent reputation in the market; everyone was comfortable with that decision right away—no more discussion,” Lyngstad added.

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