The external safety policy aims to prevent as far as possible the potential for and the consequences of the unwanted escape of natural gas as a result of damage to the gas infrastructure. In order to be able to guarantee safe and reliable gas transport, it is of vital importance that the infrastructure remains undisturbed. That means that we make particular efforts to prevent any possible damage to the infrastructure.
Excavation work is still the main cause of damage to the underground pipeline network. Since 1 July 2008, the Act on Information Exchange for Underground Networks (Wet Informatie uitwisseling Ondergrondse Netten (WION)) has come into force in the Netherlands. Excavators are obliged to report planned excavation work. This Act also comprises precautionary measures for the relevant networks, such as marking the pipeline at the place where proposed work is planned and supervision during the work.
Gasunie participates in the Pipeline Owners’ Association in the Netherlands (Vereniging voor Landeigenaren in Nederland VELIN). This involves endeavouring to communicate precautionary measures in a uniform manner. Consequently a standard format for KLIC communication statements has been designed and general excavation conditions have been drawn up for work carried out close to transport pipelines. Reference is made to these conditions wherever possible. To lay down the agreements with the groundwork contractor, the Gasunie supervisors make use of an electronic form, in the form of a special app based on the VELIN model form Confirm Agreements Groundwork Activities.