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September 2010

Process Safety Symposium 2011

The EIGA Winter Session and Symposium, titled ‘Process Safety in the Gas Industry – Safe Design and Operation of Production Plants’, will be held in Brussels on 26th and 27th January 2011.  Process safety is of ever increasing importance for the industrial gases industry and for its regulators and customers.

Open to members and non-members, the symposium will feature presentations from 20 global industry speakers and will include a review on process safety incidents in the industrial gases industry and their impact.  The event will also focus on how these incidents can be avoided through proper application of design considerations, safe plant operations and effective management and management systems.  The symposium will feature keynote speakers from the US Chemical Safety Board, BP, and the UK Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE).

Delegates are welcome from all EIGA members, other industrial gas companies and other organisations, particularly delegates from European or National institutions and authorities, industrial and medical gas equipment suppliers, service providers, contractors and customers.

Suggested attendees are operations and plant managers, industry managers, process safety experts, regulatory and government officials, experts from authorities and equipment suppliers – and those new to the industry or those wanting to gain expertise in this key area.

We are confident that delegates will enjoy the opportunities to listen to and enter into formal and informal discussions with industry experts on this important subject.

Symposium Details

The Symposium 2011 will be held on Wednesday 26 January from 10:30 to 17:20 and on Thursday 27th January from 09:00 to 16:15 in The Plaza Theatre at the Hotel Le Plaza in the centre of Brussels.  Presentations will be in English with simultaneous interpretation provided in French and German.

Full details of the programme are on the dedicated webpage ‘EIGA Symposium 2011’ on the EIGA website at www.eiga.eu.  Registration for the event opens on 15th October and details of how to register for the event and reserve accommodation will be available on the website from then.  The deadline for registrations is 15th November 2010.

Transport Legislation Issues

ADR 2011 edition

The 2011 edition of ADR will be published within the next two months.  EIGA WG-1 is in the process of preparing a training package that will cover the changes impacting EIGA members.  Both the ADR and the UN Model Regulations are on a continual two year cycle of revisions, and EIGA has already had two new proposals accepted for the 2013 edition of ADR.  Both these proposals have been to clarify the requirements for Class 2, one concerns the marking requirements of cylinder bundles and the other clarifies that the environmentally hazardous mark may be applied on the existing shoulder labels.

There are a number of issues pending such as requirements for the inspection of cylinders and fitting them to cylinders.  For this, a working group has been established, which EIGA and the European LPG Association will co-host.

Transportable Pressure Equipment Directive (TPED)

The European Commission had published a set of guidelines on the Transportable Pressure Equipment Directive.  With the arrival of the new directive this summer, the old guidelines will need to be withdrawn.  Whilst they had no legal standing, they were very useful.  The commission has asked interested parties, including EIGA, if guidelines are still required.  EIGA has reviewed the existing guidelines and made a recommendation to the Commission that it will be beneficial to retain and update a number of the old guidelines.  We expect to be included in the drafting of the new guidelines and will be seeking views from members on these.

Environmental Issues


We have had a number of questions concerning BREFs, linked to the IPPC directive, concerning acetylene and other industrial gases, and EIGA’s contribution and involvement in the revised IPPC directive.  This process is being managed for the EU by the European IPPC Bureau which produces reference documents on Best Available Techniques, called BREFs.  BREFs are the main reference documents used by competent authorities in Member States when issuing operating permits for the installations that represent a significant pollution potential in Europe.

Through WG-5 and AHG-I.17 involvement as nominated Technical Working Group members, EIGA has been involved with the European IPPC Bureau (EIPPCB) in the review and revision of these documents where applicable and where possible.

Within EIGA, the following publications already cover IPPC and BREFs:

·    Doc 108: Environmental legislation; applicable to industrial gases operations within the EU has a full section on IPPC

·    Doc 106: Environmental issues guide

·    Doc 155: Best Available Techniques for Hydrogen Production by Steam Methane Reforming

The ‘environmental impacts’ series of documents also reference IPPC BREFs and are a practical tool to assist compliance:

·    Doc 109 Environmental impacts of acetylene plants

·    Doc 122 Environmental impacts of hydrogen plants

All these documents are being regularly reviewed by the working groups

In summary:

  • IPPC does not apply to air gas and packaged gases filling plant.
  • HY(CO) plants are covered in Ad Hoc Group I.17 who are revising Doc 155 and where we are closely involved in the BREF revision.
  • Acetylene manufacturing plant is covered by a BREF (large volume organic chemicals) but there is one paragraph about our process - we are monitoring the BREF.
  • Nitrous oxide plants are covered by a BREF (Large volume inorganic chemicals).  There is currently no reference to the process we use in the BREF but we have applied to be Technical Working Group members.

Environmental Award

Please remember that all applications for the EIGA Environmental Award 2010 should be received by the EIGA office (info(at)eiga.eu) no later than the end of October 2010.

The Environmental Award recognises best environmental practice and is designed to encourage EIGA member companies to promote best practice and adopt new ideas that benefit the environment, their business and the communities they work in.

The award is open to all EIGA member companies and can be presented to an individual, team or a site within a member company.

Criteria and application form can be found here.

News in Brief


Security continues to be a concern to EIGA and EIGA members, and the Ad-Hoc Group on Security (AHG-I.16) are in the process of preparing three documents which will serve as guides to EIGA members on various aspects of security.  Importantly, these documents will have been prepared taking into account the European Commission’s Action Plan on Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear threats.  As well as part of EIGA’s programme of working with the Commission on key areas, EIGA is now a member of the chemicals industry security group within DG Home Affairs and meet with the commission on security issues.

National Associations’ Meeting

The National Associations’ Meeting will be held on 14th and 15th October in Milan.

Highlights of the agenda include the election of the National Associations’ Representative to the EIGA Board of Directors; reports from the EIGA councils, Industrial Gases Council (IGC), Medical Gases Council (MGC), Regulatory Environment Council (REC) and Safety Advisory Council (SAC); an extensive session on communication and regulation watch and a presentation from the BCGA on the work that has been done on acetylene cylinders with BAM in Germany and the UK Cylinders in Fire National Stakeholder Group.

We look forward to meeting representatives of the NA’s next month.

MGC meeting with Health and Consumers Directorate

Members of the MGC and EIGA office met representatives of the Health and Consumers Directorate General to introduce EIGA and our members’ activities in the pharmaceutical gases field.  They were able to communicate the key message that EIGA is supportive of the development of regulations to improve the safety and security of healthcare provision throughout Europe and wishes to contribute to the development of these regulations and standards where possible.

Carbon monoxide safety at home

In the gas industry we are all aware of the hazards of the gases we are working with.  Most of the time we do not come into contact with these gases outside our work environment.  The one exception is carbon monoxide.  Within Europe there are sadly many fatalities every year due to carbon monoxide poisoning.  Many of these are due to a fault in a domestic heating system.  Whilst it is vital (and the law in many countries) to have these installations checked, this does not always happen.  Many of the fatalities occur in rented accommodation in the winter months.  Many EIGA members will have young people leaving to study or work away from home at this time of the year.  EIGA urges that in such cases a carbon monoxide detector is provided that will detect if there are unsafe levels of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere.  The cost for such a detector, usually less than €50, can only be described as very good value.

Industry news

Buncefield five fined €11m

A UK court has ordered five companies to pay fines totalling €11m for their involvement in the Buncefield oil depot explosion in 2005 after a jury ruled that the companies were guilty of violating safety and environmental laws.

The judge said that the companies had shown “a slackness, inefficiency and a more or less complacent attitude to safety.”

On the day of the incident during a tank filling operation a fuel gauge failed in conjunction with an independent cut off switch, which should have stopped petrol from entering the tank once it had reached a certain level.  More than 250,000 l of petrol spilled from the tank and formed a vapour cloud that spread across the site and subsequently ignited exploding with a force measuring 2.4 on the Richter scale, which it was claimed was heard as far away as Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

Forty-three people were injured, houses and local businesses were destroyed, and the groundwater was polluted. The judge said it was “little short of miraculous” that no one died.


And finally...a quote to consider

“Major hazard industries must learn the lessons of events like this,”... “From the Board room down companies must ask themselves these questions: do we understand what could go wrong; do we know what our systems are to prevent this happening; and are we getting the right information to assure us they are working effectively.”

UK Health and Safety Executive’s Deputy CEO Kevin Myers commenting on the fines imposed on 5 companies following the Buncefield incident.


Events News

National Associations’ Meeting

This will be held in Milan on 14th and 15th October 2010, hosted by the Italian Association.

EIGA Winter Symposium 2011

Please see main article for details on the EIGA Symposium in Brussels on Process Safety on 26th and 27th January 2011.

Registration opens 15th October 2010.

EIGA Summer Session 2011

Will be hosted by the Portuguese National Delegation in Lisbon from 2nd to 4th June 2011.

Looking ahead:

EIGA Winter Session and Workshop 2012

Preparation has just started on an Oxygen Safety Workshop, to be held during the Winter Session 2012 in Brussels on 25th and 26th January.

For latest information on these and other items see News at www.eiga.eu


Publication News

The following publications have been issued recently and can be downloaded from the EIGA website.


IGC Doc 27/10/E - Centrifugal compressors for oxygen service

MGC Doc 128/10/E - Design and operation of vehicles used in medical oxygen homecare deliveries.

Safety Alerts (in Members Area):

SA-5 REV 1 - Disguised transportable gas cylinders