Inderscience Publishers

Risk–benefit–cost prioritisation of independent protection layers for a liquefied natural gas terminal

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Liquefied natural gas (LNG) operations and facilities are growing in scale and number in many countries driven by the key role of natural gas for increasing regional and local energy security, particularly for electric power generation. While the industry has achieved remarkably high levels of safety, the reduction of residual risks associated with the unloading, storage and distribution in LNG terminals continues to be a top priority. This paper develops a risk benefit cost framework to support facilities planners in the selection and prioritisation of independent protection layers (IPLs), which are identified by an existing commonly adopted methodology known as layer of protection analysis (LOPA). Six incident scenarios are used to analyse and compare feasible process and equipment configurations that correspond to several IPLs. A benefit and cost comparison of the IPLs is made based on estimates of the potential reductions of the facility unavailability and the annualised costs of implementation. A tutorial example suggests how LNG facility managers would use the developed framework beyond the typical LOPA analysis to select and prioritise IPLs and other risk reduction activities.

Keywords: risk–benefit–cost analysis, process hazard analysis, layer of protection analysis, LOPA, unavailability factor, system safety, multicriteria decision analysis, MCDA, energy security, liquefied natural gas, LNG terminals, risk assessment, risk reduction, cost benefit analysis, critical infrastructures

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