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Safe Liquefied Natural Gas

The government is working on sustainability, for example, by reducing ultrafine particle and CO2 emissions. One of the challenges is to introduce liquefied natural gas (LNG) as an alternative fuel for the transport sector (roads and inland waterways). LNG is a new product to the Dutch market. In spite of the sustainability benefits, there are physical safety risks. These risks can be managed by taking safety measures and maintaining spatial safety margins.

Traditional risk calculation

The usual method for risk calculation of hazardous substances during storage and transport is the quantitative risk assessment (QRA), in which the chance of a potential mishap occurring is assessed in relation to the potential impacts.

 

“Simply better”

The new Environment and Planning Act has the motto “simply better”. In this framework, new methods are sought for simpler and more accurate risk calculation. As LNG is new to the Netherlands, its introduction provides an opportunity to develop new methods.

New method

In 2014, RIVM developed a new risk calculation method for LNG that takes better account of the hazards. As well as the current risk calculation, the impacts are calculated. Firstly, the type of serious accident that could occur is determined, in this case, the release of LNG in transfer from road tanker to storage tank. Then, the physical distance from the incident at which the impact could occur is determined. This is the safety margin within which extra safety measures need to be taken and restrictions placed on the use of the surroundings. Taking the impact distances into consideration improves insight into the risks and hazards of LNG.

 

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