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DNV facilitates study trip to BASF in Ludwigshafen

Study trip to enhance safety and emergency response for authorities and industry players to navigate the energy transition

In Denmark, the green energy transition is rapidly reshaping the landscape for authorities and emergency response units nationwide. Recognizing the importance of collaboration with industry players, DNV has taken a proactive role in supporting the industry and Danish authorities in the areas of safety, technical assurance, and risk management.

DNV’ support includes consultations, dedicated training sessions, and the development of industry standards to prepare for the challenges posed by the impressive gigascale production of new fluids and gases, such as hydrogen, ammonia, methanol, and others, under the PtX umbrella. With several Joint Industry Projects (JIPs) and state-of-the-art testing and research facilities at the DNV technology centres, DNV is committed to providing essential knowledge, training, and technical advice to aid authorities in navigating this transition.

To enhance the competence of national and local authorities, police, and fire response teams, DNV has undertaken initiatives to upskill these key stakeholders. One of the latest activities relating to this effort was a knowledge exchange program hosted at the world's largest integrated chemical complex, BASF, located in Ludwigshafen, Germany. 

BASF opened their doors to offer valuable insights into their emergency response operations, procedures, and equipment. The focus was not only on the technical aspects but also on understanding how emergency response operations are coordinated among industry players and various governmental authorities. BASF's extensive experience in managing major accident risks, particularly in the hydrogen and ammonia industry, proved invaluable for the Danish Emergency Response Authorities.

Due to the highly professional personnel and the state-of-the-art equipment deployed in emergency response operations, the complex task of emergency response enables safe production even in handling safety relevant processes. Since the whole safety concept of the plants, including emergency response tasks, must be evaluated by governmental bodies, a collaborative approach is emphasized.

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The BASF host team and participating Danish delegation at BASF Ludwigshafen major Chemical plant in front of emergency response vehicle.

Mick Cramer, regional head of customer relations, expressed his satisfaction in supporting this journey. “DNV is committed to advising and aiding authorities and local bodies in managing risk and safety with the scale up of PtX plants, particularly in urban zones as well as society at large. DNV’s latest Energy Transition Outlook (ETO) predicts that hydrogen will make up around 3% of the energy mix in 2050. However, we’ll need 15% to achieve the target of 1.5 degrees C. There is a lot more work to be done for the energy transition to become successful, and despite the urgency, we must ensure that we never compromise on safety on the pathway to net zero,” Mick emphasised.

Jens Mølgaard, head of Sydvestjysk Brandvæsen – the fire department of southwestern Jutland, and Lasse Christensen, representing the Danish Emergency Management Acency (DEMA) were also glad to see the study trip’s focus on safety. While Jens Mølgaard highlighted the essential role of DNV's competence and insights in initiating steps to prepare for the evolving risk environment brought about by the energy transition with PtX, Lasse Christensen took note of the importance of a consistent safety level across the industry, drawing from best practices learned from European neighbours.

Jörg Pfrang, BASF head of emergency response operations, was thrilled to host the industry partners and Danish authorities, and he elaborated on the value of the programme: “With a century’s worth of experience in the hydrogen and ammonia industry, we’re thrilled to share our knowledge and expertise with the Danish authorities. As this technology is scaled, new challenges arise for everyone involved. It is great to see that BASF's commitment to safety and managing major accident risks aligns seamlessly with the goals of ensuring safety in the European green energy transition.

DNV study trip lead and PtX safety expert, Peter Paschke, enjoyed the active knowledge exchange and synergy. “Not only did we see a global industry leader sharing his expertise, but we also saw the importance of dialogue between established industries with the new and emerging energy hubs as well as the authorities across Europe,” Peter elaborated.

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Test of “Turbo-Löscher”, a turbine driven firefighting vehicle producing aerosols which is used to fight large and complex fires and releases at the chemical plant.

If you're interested in learning more about hydrogen safety, take a look at the Danish hydrogen and Power-to-X community's field trip to the DNV's Spadeadam full scale research and testing facility in Cumbria, England.

The Danish authorities paid all their own expenses related to the trip.