Joint Center of Excellence for Arctic Shipping and Operations

Funded by Lloyd's Register Foundation (LRF), 2013 – 2017

Project title: scenario based risk management for arctic shipping and operations

The motivation for this project arises from the increasing interest in Arctic Oil and Gas exploration and mineral resources. Current regulations for the design of ice-going ships do not predict the actual safety level; further the required safety level both for ships and offshore installations is unknown. Consequently, ships transiting ice-infested waters are not designed according to physical measures, i.e. accurate limit states under ice loading, but according to economic measures and empirical design measures. Offshore installations should be designed according to accurate limit states; however, the actual ice load is uncertain and this is not possible at present. Risk-based design methodologies using first principal methods are required for safe operations and transport of natural resources within and out of the Arctic, because empirical measures are not available and the tendency to minimize expenditure can lead to severe environmental consequences.

The scope of this project is the holistic treatment of design relevant features and their identification to advance safe arctic operations and transport. Holistic risk analysis typically includes definition of hazard scenarios, their occurrence probability and consequences. For arctic operations, the definition of all these three elements is challenging. This holistic treatment will be achieved through a consistent link between these elements and analysis of their effects on the conceptual design phase. Further, this holistic risk-based design methodology will take a step ahead by explicitly identifying the scenarios and how to evaluate their occurrence probabilities and consequences applying first principle methods. The novelty in this holistic risk-based approach is its focus on the design relevant actions occurring during the entire life-cycle of the ship or installation, and not only on the initial service load conditions followed by a selection of required safety oriented assessments based on standard regulations.

The Consortium Expertise

The scope of this project is the holistic treatment of the design relevant features and their identification to ensure safe arctic operations and transport. To cover all important elements, expertise on ice environment, ship-ice interaction, structural damage and consequence analysis is needed. Therefore the current consortium consists of four universities:

Aalto University in Finland (AALTO)

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada

University of Helsinki in Finland (UH)