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The loading lines and pipes mentioned here
refer to gas carriers cargo handling system.
This involves liquid lines, vapour lines,
condensate return lines, lines to vent mast,
pipes inside the cargo tank and seawater
pipes to the cargo cooling plant.
All loading lines on gas carrier: liquid lines,
gas lines and lines to vent mast have the
same requirements as pressure vessels
regarding of temperature and pressure they
are meant to handle.

All loading lines outside the cargo tank

must be produced by material with melting
point no less than 92.5oC. Loading lines
designed for cargo with low temperature,
less than 10oC
must be insulated from the ship hull. This to
prevent the ship hull to be cooled down to
below design temperature. To prevent cold
cargo spill on the hull plates, a drip tray
must be placed under the manifold flanges.

On all cargo lines where it can be

liquid it is required with safety valve.
Vapour from the safety valve outlet
must go back to the cargo tank or to
the vent mast. If the return goes to
vent mast the pipe must be equipped
with a liquid collector to prevent
liquid to the vent mast. Vapour relief
valves are also fitted on the tank
domes; these relieve to vent stacks.

Cargo valves
Isolating valves for gas carriers must be
provided in accordance with the IMO
requirements. Where cargo tanks have a
MARVS greater than 0.7 barg (Type C cargo
tanks), all main and liquid vapour connections
(except relief valve connections) should
normally be fitted with a double valve
arrangement comprising a manually operated
globe valve with a remotely operated
isolation valve in series with this manual

Emergency shut down (ESD) is also

required to be automatic upon loss of
electric or control power, valve
actuator power or fire at tank domes
or manifold where fusible elements
are suitably situated to actuate the
ESD signal system. ESD valves may
be either pneumatically or
hydraulically operated but in either
case must be "fail safe", i.e. close


The IMO Codes require at least two
pressure relief valves of equal capacity to
be fitted to any cargo tank of greater than
20 M3 capacity. Below this capacity one is
sufficient. The types of valves normally
fitted are either spring-loaded or pilotoperated relief valves. Pilot-operated relief
valves may be found on Types A, B and C
tanks while spring-loaded relief valves are
usually only used on Type C tanks.


Cargo pumps fitted aboard
refrigerated gas tankers are normally
of the centrifugal type, either
deepwell or submerged, operating
alone or in series with a deckmounted booster pump where cargo
heating is required on discharge to
pressurise storage from a
refrigerated vessel.

Running pumps in parallel and

in series
When gas carriers discharge, cargo tank
pumps are usually run in parallel but where a
refrigerated ship discharges to pressurised
storage, cargo tank pumps are run in series
with booster pumps. The cargo flow rates
achieved by any pump or combination of
pumps will depend upon the backpressure
encountered due to static head (difference in
liquid levels of receiving tank and tank being
discharged) and the resistance to flow in the
connecting pipeline.

Deepwell pumps
Deepwell pumps are the most common
type of cargo pump for LPG carriers. The
pump is operated electrically or
hydraulically by a motor, which is flangemounted outside the tank. The drive
shaft is guided in carbon bearings inside
the discharge tube and these bearings
are in turn lubricated and cooled by the
cargo flow up the discharge tube.

The impeller assembly is mounted at

the bottom of the cargo tank and will
frequently comprise two or three
impeller stages together with a first
stage inducer; this latter is an axial
flow impeller used to minimise the
NPSH requirement of the pump.

Submerged pumps
This type of pump is used on all LNG carriers,
and on many of the larger fully refrigerated
LPG carriers. The pump assembly and electric
motor are close coupled and installed in the
bottom of the cargo tank; power is supplied to
the pump motor through copper or stainless
steel sheathed cables, which pass through a
gastight seal in the tank dome and terminate
in a flameproof junction box. Submerged
pumps and their motors are cooled and
lubricated by the cargo .

Booster pumps
Booster pumps are also of the
centrifugal type and may be either
vertical in-line pumps deck-mounted
in the appropriate discharge line and
driven by an "increased safety"
electric motor or, alternatively,
horizontal pumps installed on deck or
in the cargo compressor room driven
through a gas- tight bulkhead by an
electric motor installed in the electric


A cargo heater is used to heat the cargo
when discharging to an ambient shore
tank. A cargo heater is also used when
loading a fully pressurised gas carrier with
cargo with temperature less than 10oC.
Seawater or oil is used to heat the cargo
in the cargo heater. It is of importance to
remember that the cargo heater is full of
water and have good flow out with water
before letting cold cargo into the heater.

Heat exchanger
Heat exchangers are utilised in several
different parts of cargo handling on gas
carriers, as heat exchangers (cargo
heater), condensers for cargo cooling
plant, vapour risers, super heaters and
oil coolers for compressors. In most of
the heat exchangers seawater is used as
the medium on gas carriers, which the
products are cooled or heated against.

Tube heat exchangers

Tube heat exchangers are produced
with tube bundles either as straightened
pipes or u-formed pipes placed into a
chamber. The pipes in the tube bundle have
an inside diameter on 10 to 20 millimetres. In
tube heat exchangers, where seawater is
used as medium, the product to be heated
goes in the tube bundle. This prevents
remaining seawater from freezing or prevents
remnants of salt deposits inside the tubes.

Plate heat exchangers

Plate heat exchangers are more utilised in cold
storage plants on shore, for example in the fish
industry and the meat industry. Plate heat
exchangers are built with thin plates with
double liquid channels. The plates are installed
with the flat side toward each other. The cooling
medium and product are pumped each way in
the channels to achieve the best possible cooling
or heating. Water or oil is used as the cooling
medium and is dependent upon the temperature
of the product that is to be cooled or heated.


This plant is specifically designed to perform the
following essential functions:
(1) To cool down the cargo tanks and
associated pipe work before loading;
(2) To reliquefy the cargo vapour generated by
flash evaporation, liquid displacement and boiloff during loading when there is no vapour
return line to shore;
(3) To maintain or reduce cargo temperature
and pressure within the prescribed design limits
of the cargo system on passage.

There are two main types of

liquefaction plant:
(a) Direct cycles - where the
evaporated or displaced cargo
vapour is compressed, condensed
and returned to the tank. This is the
most commonly used system, but
may not be employed for certain

(b) Indirect cycles - where an

external refrigeration system is
employed to condense the cargo
vapour without it being compressed.
This cycle is relatively uncommon, as
it requires, for efficiency, a very cold
refrigerant and large surfaces.

Compressors are used as vapour
pumps in all modern cargo cooling
plants, either to compress or pump
cargo vapour. Compressors are also
used to compress or pump cooling
medium as Freon vapour on
indirect cargo cooling plant and
cascade plant. The compressors in
the cargo cooling plants are
produced either as piston, screw or


1. Piston compressors
2. Double-acting compressors
3. Single-acting compressors
4. Screw compressors
5. Oil free screw compressors


On gas carriers inert gas is used for different purposes, some
are requirements other is to maintain the ships hull and spaces:
Have neutral atmosphere in hold and inter barrier spaces

Elimination of cargo vapour from the cargo tank when
gas freeing
Eliminating oxygen from the cargo tank before loading
Drying up hold spaces or inter barrier spaces to achieve a
neutral atmosphere and to prevent corrosion in the spaces
Placing a neutral vapour above the cargo if required

Inert gas generator has three main

parts. These are as follows:
A combustion chamber with
scrubbing and cooling (the
A refrigerated drier - cooled normally
by R22, and
An absorption drier

A commonly used definition of area
safety classification for electrical
equipment in shore installations is as follows:
Zone 0: An area with a flammable mixture
continuously present.
Zone 1: An area where flammable mixtures
are likely to occur during normal operations.
Zone 2: An area where flammable mixtures
are unlikely to occur during normal

Intrinsically safe (i.s.)

Intrinsically safe equipment is
defined as an electrical circuit of
connected apparatus and wiring in
which no spark or thermal effect
under normal operation or specified
fault conditions is capable of causing
ignition of a given explosive mixture.

Flameproof equipment
A flameproof enclosure is one which
can withstand the pressure
developed during an internal ignition
of a flammable mixture and whose
design is such that any products of
the explosion occurring within the
enclosure would be cooled below
ignition temperature before
reaching the surrounding

Pressurised or purged
This is a technique to ensure that an
enclosure remains essentially gasfree either by pressurisation or by
purging. In the case of
pressurisation an overpressure of 0.5
mbar relative to the surrounding
atmosphere must be maintained by
leakage compensation while in the
case of purged enclosure, a
continuous supply of purging gas

Liquid level
Both the IMO Codes and Classification
Society Rules require every cargo tank to
be fitted with at least one liquid level
gauge; specific types of gauging system
are required for certain cargoes as defined
in Chapter XIX of the IMO Code.
The IMO classification for gauging systems
is as follows:
(a) Indirect systems - weighing or pipe
flow meters.

(b) Closed devices which do not penetrate the cargo

tank ultrasonic devices or radioisotope sources.
(c) Closed devices which penetrate the cargo tank
float gauges, bubble tube indicators, etc.
(d) Restricted devices which penetrate the tank but
which release small volumes of liquid or vapour when
in use, such as fixed or slip, tube gauges. When not in
use, the restricted device should be kept completely
The most common types of level gauging on
conventional gas carriers are those described in (c)
and (d) above.

Different types of Gauging


1. Float gauges
2. Nitrogen bubbler gauges
3. Differential pressure gauges
4. Capacitance gauges
5. Radar gauges

Level alarm and automatic

shutdown systems
With the exception of Type C tanks
whose capacity is less than 200 m3,
every cargo tank must be fitted with
an independent high-level sensor
giving an audible and visual
alarm. Float, capacitance or
ultrasonic sensors may be used for
this purpose. This high level alarm or
other independent sensor is required
automatically to stop the flow of

Pressure and temperature

The IMO Codes call for pressure
monitoring throughout the cargo system
including cargo tanks, pump discharge
lines, liquid and vapour crossovers, etc.
The IMO Codes also require at least two
devices for indicating cargo temperatures,
one placed at the bottom of the cargo
tank and the second near the top of the
tank, below the highest allowable liquid

Gas detection systems

The IMO Codes call for every gas carrier to have a fixed
gas detection system with audible and visual alarms
on the navigating bridges in the cargo control room
and at the gas detector readout location. Detector heads
must be provided in the following:
(a) Cargo compressor room. (b) Electric motor rooms.
(c) Cargo control rooms unless classified as gas-safe.
(d) Enclosed spaces such as hold spaces and interbarrier
spaces excepting hold spaces containing Type C cargo
(e) Air locks.
(f) Vent hoods and gas to E.R. supply ducts (LNG ships).