DNV in the US is establishing a waterway suitability assessment (WSA) center of excellence in Houston, Texas. The intention is to assist owners and operators of LNG marine terminals in safety and security guidance.
The center will provide the marine LNG industry a turnkey approach to the WSA submittal process.
In June 2005, the US Coast Guard issued "Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular-Guidance on Assessing the Suitability of a Waterway for Marine Traffic" (NVIC 05-05). The document was developed to meet the urgent needs for national safety and security guidance on assessing the suitability of waterways for LNG marine traffic. NVIC 05-05 requires an approved WSA for each marine shore-side LNG terminal prior to construction.
NVIC 05-05 also requires each marine LNG terminal to analyze a multitude of elements from the LNG tanker's entrance into US territorial waters, through its transit to and from the LNG marine terminal – including operations at the vessel/facility interface.
The new DNV center will guide owners and operators through the process while communicating with local, state, and federal stakeholders. From developing and submitting the letter of intent and preliminary WSA to tendering a completed suitability assessment to the Federal Maritime Security Coordinator, DNV will ensure all WSA elements are thoroughly considered and addressed, the company says.
Through risk-based decision making processes the center performs the complete menu of port and facility characterizations, safety and security assessments, and strategy development, and resource studies for LNG marine terminal owners and operators, DNV says.