Cleaner fuels are becoming increasingly important in the Netherlands. This is to limit CO2 emissions resulting from traffic and transport. Fuels that are more sustainable than diesel and gasoline, such as CNG, LNG, hydrogen, electricity, are therefore on the rise. These and other alternative fuels have their own specific properties that affect how incidents are managed.
The LNG assistance scheme looks specifically at LNG in incident situations. The use of LNG has undeniably positive environmental consequences but, in emergency response, specific issues arise due to specific LNG hazards:
- highly flammable gas (fire can be invisible, intense heat radiation);
- heavier than air (when heated it mixes with air and rises until the vapour-air mixture is as heavy as air);
- very low temperatures: -162 °C (cold burns and effects on structural components: becoming brittle);
- danger of explosion in an enclosed environment;
- asphyxiating in high concentrations;
- if heated (> -162 °C), invisible (white cloud of water vapour depending on LNG temperature and environmental factors such as outside air temperature and humidity);
Because of such specific hazards, the emergency response needs to be carefully considered when LNG is introduced in case LNG is involved in incident situations. Because controlling incidents is primarily a task for the government, reports of incidents involving hazardous substances, with or without the intervention of the police, must be received by the fire service. That does not mean that the fire brigade is always able to limit the consequences on its own. Certainly not when it occurs less frequently and when it concerns special incidents such as with LNG. It is precisely in such situations that the business community and other bodies specialised in LNG can contribute to mitigate the consequences. This contribution concerns the provision of knowledge in the field of LNG and LNG-specific equipment and resources. This must be clearly organised in advance, in terms of alarming, knowledge, expertise, experience and resources.
The LNG assistance scheme is the organisational interpretation of how specialist knowledge and tools can be used in responding to LNG incidents. This LNG assistance scheme was prepared through the collaboration of industry experts, namely Broadview Energy Solutions, Chr. Vermeer Transport, Gate Terminal, Jongeneel Transport, Nijman/Zeetank, PitPoint Clean Fuels, Rolande, Schenk, Shell, Van Amerongen Berging, Veiligheidsregio Rotterdam-Rijnmond (Rotterdam Safety Region), LIOGS (national information point for accidents involving hazardous substances, the Dutch implementation of the European ICE -Intervention in Chemical transport Emergencies), IFV and FPC Risk.
The LNG assistance scheme can be downloaded from the IFV’s website:
LNG assistance scheme – Incident handling in LNG transport accidents [in English]
LNG hulpregeling – Incidentbestrijding bij LNG transportongevallen [in Dutch]