Design and Construction Specification for Marine Loading Arms, Fourth Edition 2019

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Published Date

December 2019

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Design and Construction Specification for Marine Loading Arms, Fourth Edition 2019

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This publication, now in its fourth edition is the definitive guide to help those who have the responsibility of owning, operating, procuring and designing Marine Loading Arms.

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‘Design and Construction Specification for Marine Loading Arms, 4th Edition’ is the industry guide detailing MLA construction and specification. It covers topics such as applications, variability, operating envelopes, products transferred, servicing, manifold spacing, jetty and piping layouts and arm styles.


Covering all aspects of MLAs, this publication will provide up to date guidance for:

• Owners, including marine terminal owners and operators who are procuring Marine Loading Arms (MLAs) for new or existing facilities.

• Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractors working on behalf of an owner.

• MLA vendors.

• Classification Societies and other quality assurance organisations.

• Regulators.

• Shipbuilders and fabricators.


Purpose and scope iii

Contents v

Glossary viii

Abbreviations xiii

Bibliography xv

Note on metric/imperial conversion xvii

Section one

Introduction 1

1.1 Description 2

1.2 Operation and maintenance 2

Section two

Overview of Marine Loading Arms and their features 4

2.1 Product type 6

2.2 Materials 8

2.3 Means of operation 9

2.4 Design considerations 9

Section three

Specification, design and build process 12

3.1 Pre-tender 14

3.2 Specification 14

3.3 Tender 16

3.4 Acceptance of tender 17

3.5 Design and plan approval 17

3.6 Manufacture and testing 17

3.7 Transportation, site testing and commissioning of completed Marine Loading Arms 17

Section four

Design 18

4.1 Design philosophy 20

4.2 Design basis 21

4.3 Maintenance 37

4.4 Operational considerations for design 39

4.5 Recommendations for specific components 40

4.6 Material selection for Marine Loading Arms 55

Section five

Marine Loading Arm protection and safety systems 58

5.1 General 60

5.2 Deciding the level of monitoring and protection 60

5.3 Marine Loading Arm alarm and monitoring systems 61

5.4 Emergency Release System 61

5.5 Linked Emergency Release System and Emergency Shutdown systems 66

5.6 Control system failure mode analysis 67

5.7 Safety Integrity Levels 67

Section six

Hydraulic and electrical control systems 68

6.1 General 70

6.2 Manoeuvring of Marine Loading Arms 70

6.3 Operation of Quick Connect/Disconnect Coupler 72

6.4 Operation and activation of the Emergency Release System 72

6.5 Hydraulic power systems 73

6.6 Hydraulic system components 74

6.7 Controls 75

6.8 Alarms 76

6.9 Electrical systems 77

Section seven

Quality assurance and control 78

7.1 Quality Management System 80

7.2 Owners’ requirements for Quality Assurance and Quality Control 80

7.3 Project Quality Assurance and Quality Control plan 81

7.4 Certification 83

Section eight

Prototype manufacturing and acceptance tests 84

8.1 General 86

8.2 Prototype test 86

8.3 Manufacturing inspection and tests 91

8.4 Acceptance testing 94

Section nine

Manuals 98

9.1 Introduction 100

9.2 Description 100

9.3 Installation, testing and commissioning 100

9.4 Operating instructions 101

9.5 Emergency actions 101

9.6 Inspection and maintenance 102

9.7 Training 103

Section ten

Specialist Marine Loading Arms 104

10.1 Introduction 106

10.2 Offshore Marine Loading Arm 106

10.3 High Pressure Natural Gas Marine Loading Arms 112

10.4 Bunkering Marine Loading Arm 115



Specification tables for Marine Loading Arms 118

Table A1 Arm design details 121

Table A2 Product information and operational conditions 122

Table A3 Environmental data 123

Table A4 Ship and manifold details 124

Table A5 Ship motions 127

Table A6 Jetty design 128

Table A7 Berth electrical supply and safety 131

Table A8 Additional relevant information 132

Table B Marine Loading Arm options 134

Table C Required documents 146

The Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) is a voluntary association of oil companies (the ‘members’) who have an interest in the shipment and terminalling of crude oil, oil products, petrochemicals and gas. OCIMF’s mission is to be the foremost authority on the safe and environmentally responsible operation of oil tankers, terminals and offshore support vessels, promoting continuous improvement in standards of design and operation. Learn more at

Title: Design and Construction Specification for Marine Loading Arms, Fourth Edition 2019
Number of Volumes: 1
Number of Pages: 150
Product Code: WS1726K
ISBN: ISBN 13: 978-1-85609-859-5 (9781856098595), ISBN 10: 1-85609-859-1 (1856098591)
Published Date: December 2019
Binding Format: Hardback
Weight: 1.00 kg
Author: Oil Companies International Marine Forum

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