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TU Berlin

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SOTLL — Sideways Offshore Transfer of LNG and LPG

Sub-project: Hydrodynamic Analysis of Side-by-side Moored Offshore Structures

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Günther Clauss, Dipl.-Ing. Sven Stuppe


The objective of the SOTLL research project is the development of a flexible offloading system to ensure safe transfer of LNG and LPG in offshore conditions at side by side configurations. Using highly flexible transfer pipes, variable positioning of the ships and a specialized approach and handling system (AHS), safe offshore LNG-transfer should be possible at rough sea states with significant wave heights up to three meters. Thereby, this innovative system closes the gap of previous systems, which are based on rigid loading arms or tandem configurations, and leads to a significant downtime reduction.

A technological leap in terms of flexibility and the bend radii of the transfer pipes will be achieved, thus the sea state dependent positioning of the ships will be feasible. The mooring and loading position can be adapted in longitudinal (distance between the main frames) as well as in transversal (gap size) position, using a new developed moving crane and fender system. Analyses show that significantly reduced relative motions between the moored vessels can thus be achieved, also benefitted by shelter effects provided by the terminal itself, heading towards encountering sea state and wind.

The work package of TU Berlin contains the identification of appropriate transfer positions of the side by side moored vessels. Therefore, the following tasks are going to be analysed numerically with potential- as well as RANSE-methods and validated by several model tests, conducted in the seakeeping basin at TU Berlin:

  • Investigation of the motion behaviour of the coupled multi-body system
  • Analysis of the gap effects of moored vessels in side by side configuration
  • Roll-decay tests of the LNG carrier, including all tank filling conditions
  •  Investigation of security relevant scenarios, e.g. emergency shutdown (ESD)

The result of this project presents a new, innovative offshore LNG-offloading solution for vessels in side by side configuration at calm up to rough sea state conditions, which was lacking so far.

The SOTLL research project ties in with the prosperous collaboration of the project partner Nexans Germany, Brugg pipe systems, IMPaC engineering and Technische Universität Berlin of the prior MPLS20 research project.


Project partner: Nexans Deutschland GmbH, IMPaC Offshore Engineering GmbH, Brugg Rohrsysteme GmbH

Advancement: Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie

Current time: 01.09.2011 - 28.02.2014


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