New PIANC guidelines for marine oil and petrochemical terminal design

June 17, 2014

There is a recognized need for international guidelines associated with the design and assessment/maintenance of marine oil and petrochemical terminals. The very nature of the marine oil and petrochemical trade is global, yet terminal design and maintenance requirements are inconsistent across international boundaries. This has led to conflicts, inconsistencies and potential safety concerns, which is particularly evident amongst the operators with global operations. Yet reaching a global consensus on such technical guidelines is challenging. A PIANC working group has agreed to tackle this challenge.

Building on the California State Lands Commission’s widely recognized Marine Oil Terminal Engineering & Maintenance Standards (MOTEMS), the authors initiated a PIANC working group that is tasked to develop a new international guideline with a similar focus. The new document will be entitled “Recommendations for the Design and Assessment of Marine Oil and Petrochemical Terminals”. The new document has the important distinction of being based on a precept of a voluntary guidance manual, as opposed to the mandatory audit process used in California.

The work is being undertaken by PIANC Working Group 153 and includes participants from the United States, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Holland, Indonesia, Australia, Japan, Turkey, and Kazakhstan. Participants include several major energy companies, as well as a representative of the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF). The document is schedule to be completed in early 2015.

The comprehensive outline divides the document into two parts. Part I is focused on the design of new and upgrade of existing terminals, while Part II focuses on the inspection and assessment of existing terminals. The document will provide guidelines for defining the functional requirements of the terminal as well as the preparation of a “Basis of Design”. A section is devoted to risks and hazard analysis, while another section provides guidance on layout of terminal elements. One of the most challenging sections is devoted to defining loads, load combinations, safety factors and associated design codes. This is challenging because of the multitude of international codes and standards that must be reconciled.

Guidelines are also provided for mooring and berthing, geotechnical hazards/criteria, piping/pipeline, mechanical and electrical systems, seismic issues, structural analysis and design, and fire protection. Performance-based design will be emphasized.

This paper will describe the purpose, objectives, and content of the new guidelines. The final product will be a comprehensive set of guidelines representing an international consensus, guided by professionals who represent industry stakeholders.

Read the article.


33rd PIANC World Congress (2014) and AGA ’14 Proceedings; San Francisco, CA and Ports 2013: Success Through Diversification – Proceedings of the 13th Triennial International Conference

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