A UN working party on the transport of dangerous goods has taken its first decisions regarding the regulation of extra-large tank containers.
The decisions – on definition, shell thickness and pressure resistant closures – offer regulatory clarity for manufacturers and users.
Extra-large tank containers were developed in 2015 by Van Hool and BASF, and first used in 2017 at BASF’s site in Ludwigshafen, Germany.
The tanks come in a range of sizes with the largest measuring 15.8 metres – two and a half times a conventional container – with a capacity of 73,000 litres.
The regulations for transport of dangerous goods by road (ADR) and rail (RID) were developed assuming a maximum capacity of around 36,000 litres, leading to questions over the need for additional legal provisions for them.
At the UN Economic Commission for Europe (Unece)’s Working Party on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (WP.15) in March, it was agreed the tanks would be defined as having a volume of more than 40,000 litres.
A spokesperson for Cefic, which proposed it, said: “New definitions and regulations in the RID regulation aim to ensure that safety levels are maintained in the future. The new definitions would also offer clarity and legal certainty for investors, leasing companies, manufacturers and users to invest in or use extra-large tank containers as their new system.”
A minimum thickness for the shell was also agreed at WP.15: 3mm for a conventional and 4.5mm for an extra-large tank container.
Chemical Watch, 24-05-22