LNG emergency and incident response guidelines for inland navigation

Published:  16 April, 2015

The results of a recent LNG emergency and incident response study are a big step forward in LNG safety for Europe.

The Rhine Port Group – consisting of the ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp, Mannheim, Strasbourg and Switzerland - has handed over the first edition of its study to the Mayor of the City of Mannheim and the chief of the fire department.

The document provides guidance for emergency response organisations in how to prepare themselves to manage credible LNG incidents on inland navigation along the Rhine-Main-Danube corridor.

The target groups of the study are emergency responders in the inland waterway transport (IWT) sector, consisting of emergency response organisations such as fire brigades and port authorities. This study was executed under the EU-funded project LNG Masterplan for Rhine-Main-Danube.

The document consists of two main parts:

1)     a study of existing technology and state of readiness in the Rhine Ports and;

2)     guidelines for LNG incident preparedness education and training.

A consortium consisting of Falck RISC and the Unified Fire Department was chosen to prepare the study because of their specific knowledge of LNG technology and incident preparedness in inland navigation.

The study highlights that a wide range of knowledge and experience is already available within the EU on the safe international carriage of dangerous goods on inland waterways. It has emphasises how local emergency services and port authorities are working prevent incidents involving dangerous goods on their waterways.

However, the recent introduction of international carriage of LNG along European inland waterways has also presented a new challenge for emergency services and port authorities.

LNG is a cryogenic gas that is stored at a temperature of -162ºC, diminishing the volume about 600 times compared to the size of its original gas volume. Due to its nature it requires specific handling procedures as well as a different approach to emergency and incident response.

Mr. Van der Veen, Managing director of Falck Risc, commented: ‘We were very pleased to conduct this study. I truly believe that the bottom line for now is that people who are in need of this knowledge and these insights are enabled to get the professional upgrade in LNG emergency response education and practical training, and that this should be given highest priority.’

The study was co-financed by the TEN-T Programme of the European Union and is part of the LNG Masterplan for Rhine-Main-Danube project.

Mr. Van Dooren, LNG Masterplan Rhine Scenario Coordinator, said that Emergency response organisations in the entire Rhine-Main-Danube area, ranging from Rotterdam to Constanza, would benefit from this study.

The report can be downloaded free of charge on the LNG Masterplan website in English, German, French and Dutch language: http://www.lngmasterplan.eu/masterplan/activities/16-masterplan/97-technical-evidence-safety-and-risk-assessment

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