Project for more chemical transportation safety in Africa
- Improvement of knowledge on the safe handling of chemicals
- BASF experts practice cases of emergency together with African authorities and companies
Mombasa, Kenya – November 28, 2013 – The International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), BASF and other companies in the chemical industry want to improve the chemical transportation safety in Africa. The project “Promoting Chemical Safety Management in the African Region” runs for two years. On November 28 and 29, 2013, a workshop is taking place at the port of Mombasa in Kenya.
Chemicals arrive in Mombasa by ships and are then loaded on trucks for connecting transportation to East and Central Africa. The port Tema in Ghana supplies West Africa. The handling of chemicals at the ports is important to improve the chemical transportation safety. For this reason, ICCA, UNEP and chemical companies practice on site in close cooperation with authorities and logistics companies how to handle chemicals in a safe way and how to act in emergencies. Product leakages or fires due to inappropriate shipment and storage or transport pose a danger. Together with the port authorities, experts of the BASF fire department elaborate which steps have to be taken in case of emergency and who is responsible for which tasks. First and foremost, it is about what has to be done so that emergencies can be avoided.
“The workshops so far have shown us that the emergency preparedness has to be improved and adequate skills in case of an emergency have to be developed,” said Dr. Anna Hitschler, project head and manager for Product Safety at BASF. In order to spread this knowledge, the project provides teaching materials on the secure handling of chemicals in English and French. This information is being communicated at the workshops and is also available online.
In addition, a “Hazard Mapping” is in progress, which brings together available statistics from African authorities. “We combine statistics of accidents with data about the most important traffic routes on which chemicals are transported. According to our experience all relevant data have already been gathered but not yet connected,” explained Hitschler. By combining the data, potential places of accidents can be predicted and guidance for future transports can be given. If, for example, an accident blackspot on one of the major transport routes is near a water reservoir of a local community, then the project aims at elaborating recommendations to prevent further accidents
The project is financed by ICCA for two years with about US$300,000 and is supported locally by UNEP with relevant contacts. Together with ICCA, BASF is in charge of the project and experts from Ludwigshafen are training authorities and other companies in Kenya and Ghana.
The project “Promoting Chemical Safety Management in the African Region” is part of the initiative “Responsible Care” of the chemical industry. The voluntary initiative aims to continuously improve issues of the chemical industry such as environment, health and safety as well as a transparent dialogue with different stakeholders.
BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, we enable our customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF had sales of €72.1 billion in 2012 and more than 110,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.