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DNV GL forms LNG Solutions Group in the Americas

LNG Industry,

To meet the rapidly growing demand for a wide variety of LNG related services, DNV GL has established a group of LNG experts in North America.

In addition to LNG expertise, the Houston-based ‘LNG Solutions Group – Americas’ is also experienced in business, risk and regulatory matters specific to the North American market.

With the increasingly strict regulation of sulphur emissions in force from 2015 and the already tightened Emission Control Area (ECA) regulation for the US, ship owners are likely to be hit by rising fuel prices. For example, due to the new regulations, Marine Gas Oil (MGO), will likely see a price jump in three months, possibly as high as 30% in the short term, and a minimum of 20% in the long term.

“Judging from our list of recently completed projects, you can clearly see the market is about to reach a tipping point, from market, feasibility and risk studies to actual new-buildings, export and bunkering facilities,” explained Bjørn-Harald Bangstein, Director of Operations Maritime Advisory, Americas.

As of July 2014 there are 116 LNG fuelled vessels in total (50 vessels in service and 66 on order). Of these, 75 are classed by DNV GL (46 in service, 29 newbuildings), which gives DNV GL a market share of 65%.

Bangstein added: “We are now doing what we can to meet pent-up demand for LNG services also beyond the maritime industry by drawing on our expertise from Oil and Gas. This allows us to offer an unrivalled set of capabilities, from major export or liquefaction projects to small scale bunkering and everything in between.

”More than any other company, DNV GL has championed LNG as a solution for some of the main challenges facing the maritime industry: fuel cost and emission reductions. Combined with the abundance of cheaper natural gas in North America this contributes to a surge in LNG activities. We are happy to now see shipowners, yards, ports, bunkering operators and LNG proponents in general acting to be well positioned for LNG.”

“Through our interfaces with the US Coast Guard, both formal and informal, we know that they are now finalizing the remaining regulatory requirements on a detailed level. They are doing so in an open and consultative manner that involves the industry and prevents surprises and misunderstandings. Naturally there could be additional state, county and municipal regulations. But with a national regulatory framework designed to prevent major hazards using a risk based approach, particular local variations can be addressed through risk assessments, allowing for a consistent and predictable national regulatory framework,” he continued.

Drawing on experiences from previous LNG projects, the group can offer class and advisory services throughout the value chain of LNG. The group has the following sets of competencies:

  • LNG as fuel, Class and Statutory Requirements
  • Regulatory advisory
  • Operations and Bunkering:
    • DNV GL’s Recommended Practice for bunkering
  • Crew training standard
  • Feasibility studies ship and shore facilities:
    • Technical
    • Financial
    • Risk assessments
    • Gas dispersion analyses
    • Technology qualification
  • Verification
  • Waterway suitability assessments
  • Navigational risk assessments

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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