FLNG Operations, Render Recovery Vs. Drum & Brake

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Speaking at the LNG Shipping & Terminals conference in London in November 2023, Smit Lamnalco global director LNG business and project development Andrew Brown explains the advantages of render recovery in deepsea tug and LNG carrier operations, says an article published on Riviera website.

Summary

  • Andrew Brown, Smit Lamnalco’s Global Director of LNG Business and Project Development, shared insights into Floating LNG (FLNG) operations at the LNG Shipping & Terminals conference in London, November 2023.
  • Maneuvering LNG carriers and floating LNG structures in the open ocean presents distinct challenges compared to enclosed harbors due to dynamic conditions like higher waves and intense movements.
  • In open ocean conditions, Brown advocates for the use of render recovery winches, which provide some slack in the tow rope connecting the LNG carrier and the FLNG unit, acting as a buffer against the stresses caused by larger ocean waves.
  • Render recovery systems function akin to a damper, efficiently absorbing the strain in the tow line, making them more suitable than drum and brake systems in offshore settings.
  • While render recovery is favored offshore, drum and brake winch setups are adequate for inshore operations due to the relative calm and stability of enclosed harbors.

Introduction To FLNG Operations

During the LNG Shipping & Terminals conference in London, November 2023, Andrew Brown, Smit Lamnalco’s Global Director of LNG Business and Project Development, shared insights into the evolving world of Floating LNG (FLNG) operations. His talk focused on the comparative advantages of using render recovery systems over traditional drum and brake winches in deepsea tug and LNG carrier operations.

The Unique Dynamics Of Deepsea FLNG Maneuvering

Brown emphasized the distinct challenges of maneuvering LNG carriers and floating LNG structures in the open ocean compared to enclosed harbors. The dynamic conditions of the deep sea, including higher waves and more intense movements, necessitate a different approach to ensure safety and efficiency.

Render Recovery, A Preferred Choice For Open Ocean

In open ocean conditions, Brown advocates for the use of render recovery winches. He highlights the importance of having some slack in the tow rope connecting the LNG carrier and the FLNG unit. This slack acts as a buffer against the stresses caused by larger ocean waves.

The Damping Effect Of Render Recovery

Render recovery systems, Brown explains, function akin to a damper. They efficiently absorb the strain in the tow line, which is crucial for offshore operations. This ability to take up strain makes render recovery winches more suitable than drum and brake systems in offshore settings.

Drum And Brake Winches, Ideal For Inshore Operations

While render recovery is favored offshore, Brown notes that drum and brake winch setups are perfectly adequate for inshore operations. The relative calm and stability of enclosed harbors diminish the need for the dampening effect provided by render recovery systems.

Tailoring Solutions To Environment

Andrew Brown’s insights at the conference underline the importance of choosing the right equipment for specific maritime environments. In the case of FLNG operations, the decision between render recovery and drum and brake systems hinges on the unique challenges posed by open sea versus inshore conditions. This tailored approach is key to enhancing safety and efficiency in the complex world of LNG shipping and handling.

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Source: Riviera 

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