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Carrier wakes no problem for LNG project

LNG Industry,

Woodfibre LNG commissioned Moffatt & Nichol to perform a study of carrier wakes associated with the Woodfibre LNG Project. The analysis concluded that due to the deep waters of the Howe Sound, the carrier wakes would be insignificant. The below excerpt is from Moffatt & Nichol’s Executive Summary:

“The study evaluates the size of wakes potentially generated by LNG carriers when traveling through Howe Sound. Because the size of wakes increases with vessel size and speed, the largest LNG carrier anticipated at Woodfibre is evaluated in the analysis so as not to underestimate the magnitude of wakes. The analysis shows that wakes generated by LNG carriers diminish in size with distance traveled. The largest wakes would therefore be encountered in close proximity to a vessel, whereas the wake far away from the vessel, e.g. at the shoreline might not be noticeable. The analysis also finds that vessels traveling at speeds of around 10 knots and less may not produce a noticeable wake. This is because the water is quite deep within Howe Sound. The estimated magnitude of wakes as a function of vessel speed and distance from the sailing line are summarised in Table 1.

Vessel speed (knots) Wave period (s) Wave length (m) Wave height at distance from sailing line (m)
50 100 500 1000 1500
10 2.7 11.3 No significant wake
9 2.4 9.2
8 2.2 7.2
7 1.9 5.5
6 1.6 4.1
5 1.3 2.8

Table 1: Wave period, wave length, and wave height as a function of vessel speed and distance from sailing line.

A subsequent analysis provides a brief comparison of vessel wakes and wave action produced by prevailing winds in Howe Sound. The analysis concludes that wakes generated by LNG carriers are no greater than the wind-generated waves typically encountered within Howe Sound.”

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Adapted from press release by Ted Monroe

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