LNG Export Terminal Equipment Seismic Qualification

Experience-based seismic qualification provides cost and schedule savings over physical testing for natural gas liquefaction equipment


Experience-Based Seismic Equipment Qualification




A proposed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Export Terminal currently undergoing Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) certification contains active mechanical and electrical equipment that must remain operable following a design earthquake.

As an alternative to costly shake table testing of all equipment, SC Solutions provided a qualification methodology based on earthquake experience data.  To support experience-based equipment seismic qualification, SC Solutions performed the following:

  • Prepared a qualification procedure to meet applicable codes and standards required for certification, including FERC’s seismic guidelines for LNG facilities and ASCE 7 for active mechanical and electrical equipment.
  • Qualified the equipment based on the experience database developed by the Seismic Qualification Utility Group (SQUG).  The database and procedures were initially developed for the nuclear industry, but have been adapted for non-nuclear commercial facilities.
  • Performed a walkdown of facilities and equipment and reviewed equipment manufacturer data, calculations, and drawings.  The equipment was found to be similar to the ones represented in the SQUG experience data base and did not contain any known vulnerabilities.
  • Reviewed anchorage designs and performed as-needed confirmatory anchorage calculations to qualify the equipment anchorage design.

Equipment that was qualified included air compressors, air handlers, heat exchangers, vessels, pumps and motors, instrumentation and control panels, transformers, motor control centers, switchgears, and other equipment used in the processing, liquefaction, and storage of natural gas/LNG.

The experience-based seismic qualification methodology proved to be a viable alternative to costly shake table testing and resulted in significant cost and schedule savings for the facility owner.

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