Safety at gas receiving station
As a connected party and owner of the connection building, you are responsible for safety. The safety regulations in the European Directive on safety in potentially explosive atmospheres (ATEX) apply to the installation in the gas receiving station as well as the space in which the installation is installed.
In the interests of safe working practices, you should always inform Gasunie of works within the zone. You can contact our operational work preparation personnel for that. For the telephone numbers, see “Safety Contact”.
Classification of the building and consequences for electrical equipment
The safety classification for indoor spaces and the associated standards depends on the ventilation factor of these spaces (the number of times per hour that the content of the space is ventilated). Almost all gas receiving stations are ventilated less than five times per hour. Consequently the gas pressure regulation space is classified as zone 1. The space within a one metre radius of the ventilation openings and door openings on the outside of the gas pressure regulation space also comes within zone 1.
Gasunie has produced drawings of the zones at the station, on which gas pressure regulation space and the outside up to one metre away are classified as zone 1. This has consequences for the equipment used in this zone. Gasunie ensures that its installation complies with these regulations. It is your responsibility to ensure that the part of the installation that you own complies with the regulations.
Gasunie has the complete electrical installation at the station tested once every 8 years. Gasunie will inform you of any defects in your installation and will ask you to rectify them.
You must be able to show that the installation has been designed, manufactured and inspected according to the legislation and regulations applicable to this installation. You must be able to show that the installation has been maintained and inspected according to the applicable legislation and regulations throughout its use.
See "Standards applicable to industrial installations" and "Overview of European standards and developments in standards" for a full summary of the relevant guidelines and standards.
New gas pipelines
Gas pipelines designed for a pressure of >500mbar must be constructed according to the Pressure Equipment Directive. According to this directive, the design of a gas pipeline must be checked by an organisation designated for this purpose by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (Notified Body, NoBo for short). The manufacturer or assembler should draw up an EU Declaration of Conformity for the product or combination of products supplied, as specified in the Pressure Equipment Directive.
Existing gas pipelines
The requirements applicable to using gas pipelines in a safe and environmentally-friendly manner are based on the Dutch Environmental Management Act. The act applies to organisations obliged to hold a permit and subject to disclosure obligations, however residential buildings are also covered. This is regulated in the Dutch Activities Decree Environmental Management (Decree providing general regulations for environmental management facilities (BARIM)).
The Dutch Activities Decree Environmental Management specifies that gas pipeline installations should be inspected periodically (once every 4 years). Depending on the pressure and diameter of the pipelines concerned, this may be performed by a company certified by the Foundation for Certification, Inspection and Maintenance of Combustion Plants (SCIOS), scope 7B or must be performed by a NoBo (www.scios.nl). Providing details of the exact boundaries between both working areas is beyond the scope of these FAQ, you should therefore consult your installer or inspection body for precise information.
New standard gas appliances
Under the Gas Appliance Directive (GAD), new standard gas appliances, such as central heating boilers and hot air heating, are required to have a CE mark.
For standard appliances, which have a CE mark, the installer must produce a report stating that the appliance has been set according to the manufacturer's settings.
For standard appliances, or assemblies (cascade connections) being one combustion plant with a nominal capacity of >100 kw, which have a CE mark, a certified body must produce a report stating that the appliance has been set according to the manufacturer's settings. For more information, please go to: www.scios.nl.
New special gas appliances
A complete manufacturing file must be prepared by the manufacturer and assessed by a certified body for these appliances. The manufacturer or assembler of these appliances should also prepare an EU Declaration of Conformity. In the declaration of conformity, the manufacturer states which standards have been applied to the appliance.
Maintenance of existing appliances
Existing appliances should be maintained and inspected at the intervals specified by the manufacturer. Appliances or assemblies (cascade arrangements) with a capacity of >100kW should be inspected every four years by a SCIOS-certified company. More information and a list of SCIOS-certified inspection and maintenance companies can be found on its website.
New emission requirements came into force in 2017 for existing medium-sized combustion plants that are being used by industries, companies and utility buildings.
Section 3.2.1 of the Dutch Activities Decree Environmental Management gives the emission limits for small and medium-sized combustion plants:
- boiler plant, nominal capacity of 1 MW or more: article 3.10
- boiler plant, nominal capacity of 400-1000 kW or more: article 3.10a
- boiler plant, nominal capacity of 400 kW or less: article 3.10b
- gas turbine: article 3.10d
- diesel engine: article 3.10e
- gas engine: article 3.10f
The emission limits are based on the best available techniques for combating emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NOx), hydrocarbons (CxHy) and total dust (TSP).
Possible ways of achieving this are:
- Optimising the burner
- Adapting the burner construction or installing new burner(s) and possibly boiler
- Using flue gas recirculation
The requirements apply not only to new combustion plants but to all boilers, engines and gas turbines, i.e. also those constructed prior to 1 April 2010.
If, at the request of the connected party, the gas installation connection is temporarily decommissioned for alterations, adaptations or repairs to the gas installation located behind the transfer point, such alterations or repairs must comply with the relevant legislation and regulations. This will usually involve an adaptation to the piping system or pipeline. See also "which standards can I apply?"
This adaptation or repair should be performed in a manner that demonstrates integrity. Integrity is demonstrated via an organisation accredited under the Commodities Act Decree on pressure equipment (Notified Body) or a certified inspection department (IVG). See also "What actions are taken when a gas delivery station (GOS) is brought into or taken out of operation?"