LNG collision risk very low says report

The probability that that Floating Storage Unit and the LNG Carriers inside Marsaxlokk port are involved in a collision is very low and the probability that such a collision will lead to a gas tank rupture is even lower, according to a Nautical Risk Assessment Study published today.

The report was one of several reports on the Delimara power station published today by the Environment and Resources Authority. This particular report was drawn up by Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN).

The study focuses on different scenarios, including the possibility that the LNG carriers are involved in a collision with another vessel or run aground inside the harbour.

The probability that the LNG carrier is hit by another vessel while it is berthed alongside the FSU is also low. The probability will be lowered further if other ships are not allowed to visit the refueling dolphin and the power station during this time (around 24 hours). The probability that the FSU is hit by a passing vessel when not refueling (when there is no LNG carrier alongside) is much higher – one in 264 years. The probability is larger for the fact that the FSU will be berthed near the power station all year round.

The MARIN study also looked at the possibility of a collision leading to a rupture in the LNG tanks of either the carrier or the FSU. “Several collision scenarios may result in a hole in the outer shell of the LNG carrier but only 2 of the calculated collision cases lead to a hole in the inner shell.”

“In spite of a larger collision probability compared to other considered scenarios, the probability of a hole in the cargo tank of the moored FSU or the moored LNG carrier can be considered as negligible, takin into account the traffic database and the assumptions of the speed of the other traffic. This is mainly due to the fact that the speed of other traffic in port is relatively low.”

The study concludes that the probability of tank penetration after a collision with a sailing LNG carrier is low. “It can, however, be reduced by imposing a speed limit in the area, or a restriction of vessels sailing in port while the LNG carrier is arriving or departing.”

“The probability that the cargo tank of the LNG carrier is damaged due to grounding is negligible.”

“The probability that the cargo tank of the FSU is penetrated is extremely low.”

“The probability that the cargo tank of the LNG carrier is penetrated when being moored at or maneuvering near the terminal is low compared to other projects.”