LNG is being introduced from a very professional environment of the Gate LNG terminal into a new transport fuel market where staff and users of the LNG are less aware of the product characteristics. Also, all LNG at the Gate terminal up till recently has been converted to natural gas and exported via the Gasunie dispatch systems. LNG as a product was not known in Dutch codes and regulations, simply because as such it never left the Gate premises. Not being referred to in these codes however, makes it very difficult for the local authorities throughout the country to grand permits for the exploitation of LNG refueling stations and no supply of LNG via refueling stations also means no users in the transport sector using it.
The National LNG Safety Program:
At the initiative of the National LNG Platform, a survey was held during 2013 among the LNG industry and the Dutch Authorities about which critical parameters where missing but where required to solve all the permit granting problems. Much of the wanted information on the one hand is to be used for quantitative risk assessments to determine in a correct way the risk exposure and potential incident effects created by any LNG facility towards its surrounding areas plus on the other hand, practical recommendations where needed for emergency response teams which were out there to handle incidents in the field.
The National LNG Safety Program has been defined with these two main objectives in mind. The program is sponsored jointly by the LNG industry partners and the ministries for Infrastructure and Environment, Economic Affairs and Justice and Security. It turned this way into truly fruitful private/public cooperation.
A long list of 20 key topics for the program over time was reduced to about 10 as a result of further surveying foreign literature but in order to determine the values of the remaining 10 parameters, subsequently the research and dissemination program has been designed in order to collect the missing data from experimental work.
This work was executed between January 2014 and December 2015, with its main dissemination during the first quarter of 2016.
Aim of this Program:
The results of all the work are open to the public and in more detail will be used a.o.:
- for an upgrading of the description of the Best Available Technology (PGS 33),
- for an updating of current and future Dutch Codes and Regulations (LNG Interim Policies),
- for designing an effective Code of Practice for the Dutch emergency response organizations (Brandweer Nedrland, LIOGS)
- for framing the Dutch and European Standardization work for LNG transport and LNG Facilities (NEN, CEN and ISO).
All these steps 1) stimulate a fast introduction of LNG in the transport fuel markets in the Netherlands and 2) make the economic and environmental benefits of the new fuel available for Dutch society as quickly as possible, in line with the Dutch New transport fuels policies (Brandstoffenmix voorstellen and 2013 SER Energieakkoord).