LNG Terminal Siting Standards


Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators
The de facto world authority on LNG terminal siting standards.
Virtually the entire world LNG industry holds membership in SIGTTO.

The standards are published in, "Site Selection and Design for LNG Ports and Jetties," (ISBN 13: 9781856091299) available for purchase from Witherbys Seamanship International, of Livingston, Scotland.

SIGTTO LNG Terminal Siting Standards
Abbreviated Summary

The LNG industry has a good safety record. Any LNG catastrophe could destroy public confidence in the industry, ending the import of LNG.

Observing the industry's best practices and standards helps to preserve safety, public confidence, the industry, energy security, and the economy.

  1. There is no acceptable probability for a catastrophic LNG release [1];
  2. LNG ports must be located where LNG vapors from a spill or release cannot affect civilians [2];
  3. LNG ship berths must be far from the ship transit fairway;
    1. To prevent collision or allision [3] from other vessels;
    2. To prevent surging and ranging along the LNG pier and jetty that may cause the berthed ship to break its moorings and/or LNG connection;
    3. Since all other vessels must be considered an ignition source;
  4. LNG ports must be located where they do not conflict with other waterway uses [4] — now and into the future. [This requires long-range planning for the entire port area prior to committing to a terminal location];
  5. Long, narrow inshore waterways are to be avoided, due to greater navigation risk;
  6. Waterways containing navigation hazards are to be avoided as LNG ports;
  7. LNG ports must not be located on the outside curve in the waterway, since other transiting vessels would at some time during their transits be headed directly at the berthed LNG ship;
  8. Human error potential always exists, so it must be taken into consideration when selecting and designing an LNG port.

>> Additional items exist in the standard than are summarized here. Please refer to "Site Selection and Design for LNG Ports and Jetties."

1 While risk of small LNG spills is acceptable, any risk of catastrophic LNG release is unacceptable.
2 Sandia National Laboratories defines for the US Department of Energy three Hazard Zones (also called, "Zones of Concern") surrounding LNG carriers. The largest Zone is 2.2 miles/3,500 meters around the vessel, indicating that LNG ports must be located at least that distance from civilians. Some world-recognized LNG hazard experts, such as Dr. Jerry Havens (University of Arkansas; former Coast Guard LNG vapor hazard researcher), indicate that three miles or more is a more realistic Hazard Zone distance.
3 Allision — (nautical term) Impact between a moving vessel and a stationary vessel or object.
4 Conflicting waterway uses include fishing and recreational boating.