Dutch drive for cleaner fuels sees demand for LNG training

Published:  19 May, 2014

Specialist fire training provider Falck Risc (Netherlands) extends its services with new LNG training facility.

Liquefied Natural Gas is on the way to becoming the fuel for road transport and shipping, in keeping with European policy for cleaner fuels. And not only is it cleaner but also cheaper than diesel.

Investments in the production, storage and transport of LNG are increasing sharply in the Netherlands.

On the Maasvlakte in Rotterdam, Gate Terminal has constructed the first LNG import terminal in the Netherlands. The terminal will have an initial throughput capacity of 12 billion m3 (bcm) per annum and will consist of three storage tanks, two jetties and a process area where the LNG will be regassified. Annual throughput capacity can be increased to 16 bcm in the future. The terminal dovetails with Dutch and European energy policies, built on the pillars of strategic diversification of LNG supplies, sustainability, safety and environmental awareness.

The initiators and partners in Gate terminal are NV Nederlandse Gasunie and Koninklijke Vopak NV.

This ‘green growth’ development is of strategic importance for the Netherlands, which is why Falck Risc is actively mobilising its knowledge (in close conjunction with Falck RPI in England) and collaborative network with the construction of a new LNG training facility (the first in the Netherlands).

With 24 emergency responders in Gate Terminal’s First Intervention team, it was deemed crucial to have a professional training centre nearby. ‘Although Gate terminal is a zero emission plant, we must be trained in the unexpected. To feel the heat of an LNG fire and to understand how a vapour cloud develops over time are two subjects that cannot be practiced at Gate Terminal. Therefore we are very pleased to have this training opportunity on the Maasvlakte-Rotterdam,’ commented Linard Velgersdijk, SHEQ Advisor.

From September 2014, fire crews, employees and members of company emergency response teams in the chemical and petrochemical industry, the road haulage and water transport sector and storage and stevedoring companies will be able to practise and train in a realistic environment to combat disasters involving LNG.

Training will cover a number of areas including: the effects of an LNG spill on land or water; gas vapour ignition; personal protection implications with LNG; usage of water on LNG; extinguishing an LNG fire. Practical demonstrations on the LNG training facility can be carried out using 2500 litres of LNG that can be dumped into a pit to show the effects of the initial release, the use of water on the pool of LNG, extinguishing possibilities with dry chemical powder and finally how to use high expansion foam to control the release.

The training facility is an extension of the existing Falck training site at Beerweg 101 on Maasvlakte, Rotterdam. The Port of Rotterdam Authority has made a special site available for the purpose.

The official opening in September will be performed by Mayor Aboutaleb of Rotterdam.

You can see a video of LNG training from Falck Risc here:

LNG: quick facts

  • Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is natural gas (predominantly methane, CH4) that has been converted to liquid form through cooling to an extreme low temperature of -162 C. This makes transport and storage of the gas easier.
  • Liquefied natural gas takes up about 1/600th the volume of natural gas in the gaseous state.
  • LNG is odourless, colourless, non-toxic and non-corrosive.
  • Hazards include flammability after vaporisation into a gaseous state, freezing and asphyxia.
  • Natural gas is transported from gas fields to LNG plants on land (so-called liquefaction terminals). Once there, it is made into LNG and then transported at extremely low temperatures (-162˚ C) to storage terminals (regasification terminals) for further distribution to customers.

  • Operation Florian

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