The Dutch company Falck Risc is becoming the number one expert on LNG safety in Europe. Together with the Unified Fire Department, Falck Risc will draw up guidelines and recommendations for emergency response services in dealing with Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). This study is part of the LNG Masterplan Rhine-Main Danube and will be ready at the end of this year. As coordinator for the Rhine Corridor in this European project, Port of Rotterdam Authority is in charge of this research project by Falck Risc, Port of Rotterdam Authority said in its press release. Falck Risc and the United Fire Department won the tender for a LNG safety study wich was commissioned by the European Union (TEN-T) as an important part of the LNG Masterplan. These two organizations were chosen because of their elaborate expertise on emergency repression. René de Vries (Harbour Master at Port of Rotterdam) explains: “Their pragmatic approach will lead to direct input on how to act in case of a LNG incident in the inland navigation sector. Emergency response organisations in the entire Rhine-Main-Danube area, ranging from Rotterdam to Constanta (Romania), will benefit from this study.” Together with the ports of Antwerp, Mannheim, Strasbourg and Switzerland, the outcome will lead to practical advices and strategic methods how emergency response can be aligned for inland navigation.
“This study is a big step towards creating a harmonized and efficient European regulatory framework for LNG as fuel and cargo in inland navigation”, says De Vries. “One of the main aims of the LNG Masterplan.” The research for the study is now in progress and the final report is expected at the end of 2014. The proposed recommendations will be send to the European Union to create an unified set of regulations and guidelines about the transport and use of LNG for inland shipping.
Global demand for LNG as fuel and cargo is on the rise and port of Rotterdam functions as the biggest LNG hub in Europe. Also in terms of safety Rotterdam is leading the way. Falck, based in the port of Rotterdam, is not only expert in LNG regulation recommendations, but is professionally skilled in how to act safely while handling LNG as well. Today Falck opens the very first northwest European training facility for liquefied natural gas on the Rotterdam Maasvlakte. Robbert van der Veen, manager Falck Risc says: “Falck Risc supports the Port of Rotterdam and other relations in handling LNG safely. Falck Risc enables this by combining LNG practice and theory. The new hightech training facility at the Maasvlakte will greatly contribute to this.” Here firecrews, employees and members of company emergency response teams in the chemical and petrochemical industries will be able to train in a realistic environment in anticipating and dealing with the risks involved in LNG.: “Fighting a LNG incident is no everyday occurrence. And what you rarely do, you will rarely do well. That is why I am happy with this facility where LNG is available for training any possible incident.” LNG is a natural gas that turns into liquid by cooling it down to minus 162 degrees Celsius. This results in a decrease of the volume with a factor 600, making it more suitable for storage and transportation. Vessels that use LNG as a fuel have a considerably lower carbon dioxide and nitrogen emission compared to vessels that sail on conventional fuels like heavy fuel oil. There is no emission of sulfur and fine dust. In addition, the engines of LNG fueled vessels and barges are less noisy.
The safety study is part of the EU-supported LNG Masterplan Rhine-Main-Danube project. The LNG Masterplan aims to promote LNG as a fuel and cargo for the inland navigation industry. It also formulates and enforces the necessary regulations for the safe use and transport. The LNG Masterplan is supported by a € 40 million European Commission grant through the TEN-T Programme and is implemented by a consortium of 33 companies and organisations from the public and private sectors from twelve European member states. The project is supervised and coordinated by Pro Danube Management GmbH and the Port of Rotterdam Authority.