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Safety Information for the Residents

The purpose of this informative material is to inform inhabitants of the adjacent areas and companies located near Inčukalns Underground Gas Storage belonging to Joint Stock Company Conexus Baltic Grid (hereinafter referred to as Inčukalns UGS) about potential hazards and necessary actions in case of an industrial accident at Inčukalns UGS establishments, as well as about planned protection measures.

The safety measures implemented by Inčukalns UGS are aimed at preventing an industrial accident and are organized in order to comply with the requirements specified in the regulatory enactments of the Republic of Latvia. Inčukalns UGS confirms that it applies regulatory enactments on industrial accident risk assessment procedures and risk reduction measures. According to the Cabinet of Ministers’ Regulations No. 131 “Industrial Accident Risk Assessment Procedures and Risk Reduction Measures” of 01.03.2016, a Safety Report of the establishment has been developed and submitted to the State Environmental Bureau, a Civil Protection Plan has been submitted for review to the State Fire and Rescue Service, and a submission regarding dangerous chemical substances has been submitted to the State Environmental Service.

In its operations, Inčukalns UGS is guided by internationally recognized standards of quality, environmental, health, and safety systems.

INFORMATION REGARDING THE ESTABLISHMENT

AS Conexus Baltic Grid is a unified natural gas transmission and storage operator in Latvia. The company was established in December 2016, when, with the liberalization of the Latvian gas market on 3 April 2017 approaching, AS Latvijas Gāze was reorganized into two separate structural units, in accordance with the principles of regulated market established by the European Union (EU) Gas Directive and the Cabinet of Ministers. AS Conexus Baltic Grid was handed over the natural gas infrastructure: unified natural gas transmission system operator and storage operator – Inčukalns Underground Gas Storage.

LOCATION

AS Conexus Baltic Grid Inčukalns Underground Gas Storage, Krimulda Parish, Krimulda Municipality, LV-2144.

RESPONSIBLE PERSON

The person responsible for the maintenance of the existing safety system of Inčukalns UGS, planning and implementation of civil protection measures, as well as management and coordination of actions in case of an industrial accident is the Head of Inčukalns UGS.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Joint Stock Company Conexus Baltic Grid
Phone: +371 67087900, +371 67087999
E-mail: info@conexus.lv

Inčukalns Underground Gas Storage:
Phone: +371 67048000, mobile phone: +371 27880227 (Secretary)
+371 67048017, mobile phone: +371 29440121 (Operations Control Centre)
E-mail: kratuve@conexus.lv

POSSIBILITIES TO OBTAIN ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • More information about Joint Stock Company Conexus Baltic Grid is available on the company’s website: www.conexus.lv
  • Category B polluting activity permit and related decisions are available on the website of the State Environmental Bureau: www.vpvb.gov.lv
  • The Safety Report can be received at the check point of Inčukalns UGS from the security guard (on business days from 8:00 to 17:00 (till 15:45 on Fridays)) or by requesting in advance by e-mail: kratuve@conexus.lv
  • The Civil Protection Plan for activities outside the territory of the establishment is available on the website of the State Fire and Rescue Service: www.vugd.gov.lv

OUTLINE OF THE OPERATIONS OF THE ESTABLISHMENT AND INSTALLATIONS

Inčukalns UGS is an important strategic establishment in the entire Baltic region, which ensures the energy security and independence of the entire region. The active natural gas capacity of Inčukalns UGS can reach up to 2.3 million cubic meters, which can fully satisfy the needs of Latvia and the region for fuel raw materials.

The core business processes of Inčukalns UGS are:

  • natural gas injection (during the summer period);
  • natural gas storage at Inčukalns UGS;
  • natural gas withdrawal (during the winter period).

The existing technological process management, monitoring and safety system of Inčukalns UGS is automated, which reduces the possibility of industrial accidents and allows quick reaction to accidents.

Two compressor stations (KS1 and KS2) are used for natural gas injection at Inčukalns UGS, which ensure gradual compression of natural gas up to 105 bar. Natural gas is fed through pipelines to production wells and injected into an underground porous sandstone layer coated with gas-tight rock layers. Inčukalns UGS has 93 production wells, 47 observation wells and 23 control wells.

The gas storage depth is 700–800 m, which allows natural gas to be stored safely and cost-effectively. The area of the underground geological structure is ~25 km2 and is located in the territories of Sēja Municipality, Krimulda Municipality and partly – in Inčukalns Municipality. Gas bubble monitoring is performed during the gas storage period.

During the withdrawal of natural gas, specific wells of the gas storage facility are opened and natural gas with the storage pressure is supplied to the gas collection points, where it is purified and dried. After the natural gas accounting, it is fed into the natural gas transmission system owned by the company. The total length of the transmission system gas pipelines in the territory of Latvia is 1191 km, and they connect the Latvian natural gas market with Lithuania, Estonia, and the North-western region of Russia.

INFORMATION REGARDING DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES THAT MAY CAUSE AN INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT

Dangerous chemical substances that may cause an industrial accident:

  • Natural gas, CAS No. 8006-14-2
  • Intrinsic hazards: Category 1 flammable gas
  • H220 – extremely flammable gas

Chemical mixture, which is lighter than air. The main component is methane 98% and other gases and compounds. The stored natural gas is odourless. Thus, in order to make the smell of the gas perceptible to humans, the transmission system operator performs its odorization by adding ethyl mercaptan. As a result, natural gas acquires a specific odor before being delivered to consumers.

The gas may form explosive mixtures with air. Natural gas is one of the greenhouse gases.

Symptoms and effects of exposure: if a concentrated jet of natural gas gets on the skin or in the eyes, it may cause frostbite. Natural gas is not toxic when inhaled. In high concentrations may cause asphyxiation.

Methanol, CAS No. 67-56-1

Intrinsic hazards: Category 2 flammable and Category 3 toxic liquid

  • H225 – Highly flammable liquid and vapour
  • H301+H311+H331 – Toxic if swallowed, in contact with skin or if inhaled
  • H370 – Causes damage to organs

Inčukalns UGS uses it as an auxiliary product to ensure accident-free technological process. Flammable. Vapors are heavier than air, may spread along floors and form explosive mixtures with air. May form flammable or explosive vapor-air mixture.

Symptoms and effects of exposure:

After contact with the eyes, conjunctival redness develops in the eyes, conjunctival oedema (chemosis), conjunctivitis (pink eye). After contact with the skin, local redness forms. After swallowing: nausea, dizziness, vomiting, narcotic effects. High doses may cause coma and death, headache and dizziness may be followed by loss of consciousness and unconsciousness, risk of blindness. After inhalation: cough.

INFORMATION REGARDING INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT HAZARD, SCENARIOS OF DEVELOPMENT OF INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS, AND RISK FACTORS

An industrial accident risk assessment has been performed at Inčukalns UGS, in which risk factors that may cause an accident at each of the technological establishments with effects outside the establishment have been analyzed. Potential industrial accident risk factors are:

  • compressor stations (KS1 and KS2), their technological equipment and systems;
  • gas collection points (GSP1, GSP2 and GSP3) and their technological equipment;
  • wells and their fittings;
  • pipelines and their fittings.

The risk assessment does not consider scenarios of the development of industrial accidents related to the underground gas storage, as geological studies have shown that the layers covering the storage are airtight and there are no gas flows in the vertical direction.

Industrial accidents in the territory of Inčukalns UGS may be related to the leakage of dangerous chemical substances and mixtures (natural gas and methanol) and the consequences of such leakage.

Natural gas

Natural gas is lighter than air, so in the event of a leakage, in the absence of igniters, it will rise relatively quickly and mix with clean air masses. However, due to the high pressure of natural gas in gas communications and technological equipment, there is a possibility that mechanical sparks may occur in the event of an accident, which may ignite the leaking gas. Taking into account the properties of natural gas, the following scenarios of an accident and effects are possible:

  • jet fire;
  • gas cloud fire;
  • gas cloud explosion.

During a sudden fire and/or explosion of natural gas, the spread of heat radiation, combustion products, smoke, and toxic fumes in the vicinity of the fire source is expected. In the event of a gas cloud explosion, an overpressure wave propagates which may destroy buildings and endanger human life and the environment. The exposure distance and consequences of the explosion depend on the amount of product involved in the explosion. People may suffer from flying objects due to the explosion wave, which may cause death or serious injuries.

Attention! In the event of an explosion of a gas pipeline, the subsequent combustion of gas in an area of approximately 600 m may result in the formation of large amounts of heat radiation; therefore, it is necessary to immediately evacuate this area.

Methanol

Since methanol is a liquid chemical substance, its leakage will result in a puddle of the product which, depending on the leakage site, may flow out into a limited area (concrete bund wall). When methanol does not ignite, it evaporates, causing air pollution. However, calculations show that, under typical environmental conditions, hazardous vapor concentrations are expected only in the immediate vicinity of the leakage site.

In the event of a methanol ignition, the scenario of the accident will develop as a puddle fire with the spread of heat radiation.

The potential scenarios of the development of industrial accidents at Inčukalns UGS have been assessed in cooperation with the consultants of SIA Risks un audits and summarized in the Safety Report of Inčukalns UGS. The most important conclusions and data of the assessed industrial risk scenarios are included in the Civil Protection Plan of Inčukalns UGS.

INFORMATION REGARDING HOW PEOPLE WILL BE WARNED AND INFORMED REGARDING AN INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT, AND HOW PEOPLE WHO MAY BE AFFECTED BY SUCH ACCIDENT SHOULD ACT AND BEHAVE

Inčukalns UGS confirms that an alarm and notification system has been installed, as well as procedures (notification scheme) have been established, in which cooperation with the State Fire and Rescue Service and other operational services shall be carried out, as well as response and consequence elimination measures shall be taken in case of adverse events or industrial accidents. In case of an accident, in accordance with the prompt notification scheme, all necessary state institutions, local governments and Inčukalns UGS persons shall be notified.

In order to warn the public in case of an industrial accident, which may endanger the inhabitants with exposure to hazardous substances or heat radiation, three alarm sirens installed at Inčukalns UGS establishments will be activated, which are located in a way that the sound signal can be heard within a radius of about 1.5 km.

In addition, in the event of an industrial accident, local governments and nearby companies will be alerted by phone.

When the sound of the alarm siren is heard, in order to receive information about the reason for its activation, we ask the inhabitants to call the following phone numbers as soon as possible:

  • Inčukalns UGS phone numbers: +371 67048017, +371 67048019, mobile phone: +371 29440121;

​local government’s phones:

  • Sēja Municipality phone number: +371 67977739
  • Krimulda Municipality phone number +371 67976858
  • Inčukalns Municipality mobile phone: +371 29186697.

Please be aware! Currently, Inčukalns UGS is working on engineering solutions that are able to provide early warning of the inhabitants about the threat of an industrial accident and the necessary action.

ACTION AFTER AN ACCIDENT WARNING

When a continuous alarm siren signal is heard, additional information about the industrial accident and the protection measures to be taken can be obtained by calling Inčukalns UGS phone numbers +371 67048017, +371 67048019, mobile phone +371 29440121.

Action when indoors: after an accident warning, close and seal windows, doors, vents, flues and turn off air conditioners.

Action when outdoors: after an accident warning, immediately leave the danger area perpendicularly to the wind direction (so that the wind blows on to your side). If this is not possible, seek refuge in the nearest building.

Listen and follow the instructions announced via loudspeakers by the State Fire and Rescue Service, the State Police or the Inčukalns UGS personnel.

Do not use open flames or carry out any activity that may cause sparks or fire. If possible, make sure that people around you are aware of the accident and are clear about what to do.

Evacuation: information on the need for evacuation and its procedures will be communicated to the public via the media or rescue services or police loudspeakers. In case of evacuation, take along identity documents, money, medicine and basic necessities. Shut off power, gas and water supply before evacuation.

In case of deterioration of health (headache, weakness, balance problem and vomiting) go to the nearest medical institution or, if there are victims near you, call 113 immediately for the Emergency Medical Service.

DO NOT PANIC AND STAY CALM!

IN THE EVENT OF AN ACCIDENT, WE ASK YOU TO FOLLOW THE ORDERS, INSTRUCTIONS AND REQUIREMENTS OF THE OPERATIVE SERVICES!

WHERE DO I NEED TO CALL IN THE EVENT OF AN ACCIDENT?

  • Single emergency call number: 112
  • Timely and immediate notification of the relevant services guarantees prompt and effective action in the event of an emergency. The call is free from any phone, as well as without a mobile phone SIM card, from any place in Latvia with mobile network coverage.
  • State Fire and Rescue Service: 112
  • State Police: 112 or 110
  • Emergency Medical Service: 112 or 113
  • In the event of signs of gas leakage, fire or other accidents in the vicinity of Inčukalns UGS establishments, gas pipelines or wells, please inform the dispatchers of Inčukalns UGS by phones: +371 67048017, +371 67048019, or mobile phone: +371 29440121.

Inčukalns UGS has the necessary material and technical support to act in case of an industrial accident, as well as to implement preventive measures to reduce, limit or eliminate the possible consequences of an accident. Inčukalns UGS continues to work on the improvement of the risk situation monitoring, analysis and security system.

This informative material has been approved by the State Fire and Rescue Service and is available on the website of the State Environmental Service.

Joint Stock Company Conexus Baltic Grid, 2017.

(Insignificant editorial changes were made in 2021)