To ensure maximum safety, a safety case study was conducted, based on the approach to risk management adopted by a range of US, UK and European pipeline codes and the UK land use planning policy. Hazards, effects and impact management will be at the core of NIC´s integrated Management System that is consistent with ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. The effective implementation of the Management System will be monitored by reactive and pro-active key performance indicators and through a systematic and independent audit system, which will assess the adequacy of business controls for safety management.
Safety during construction
Continuous and extensive monitoring will be performed during the pipe laying process. Pipes will be inspected for transport damage before they are released for welding. They will then be welded and tested using non-destructive methods. Upon completion, each weld will be inspected by ultrasonic testing to identify possible welding defects.
Acceptable welds will be covered with an anti-corrosion coating. Furthermore, stress on the pipeline during laying will be tested to ensure it remains within acceptable limits. NIC will use the latest technology and materials and will comply with European industry standards and practices.
Risk Monitoring and Management
The pipeline system will be monitored and controlled from a Main Control Centre (MCC) and a Sub-Control Centre (SCC). Both have the facilities to monitor and control the entire pipeline system. The MCC and SCC will be operational 24 hours a day. The pipeline will be maintained and monitored to ensure the integrity of the pipe and supporting systems. Due to the length of the pipeline system, operational and maintenance staff will be located throughout the route.
NIC will take all the appropriate measures to protect the system’s infrastructure, in accordance with the requirements for the European High Pressure Gas Transmission System.
NIC has developed and will implement a corporate security plan that is consistent with the requirements to address such security concerns as vandalism, cybercrime, disruption of service, sabotage and terrorism. This is consistent with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights’ and the guidance issued for maintaining and securing such facilities.
A security plan has been developed in order to ensure the security and stability of the pipeline. This plan includes measures to assess any possible attacks to quickly detect and mitigate the negative consequences of obtaining an event.
A robust cross-border security program for critical infrastructure should ensure public confidence in the reliability of energy supplies. Risk scenarios have been evaluated and appropriate preparatory actions have been set.
NIC will ensure, that all contracts with security forces, which are deployed to protect our critical infrastructure are trained to have the necessary knowledge and skills, especially on the observance of human rights. Compliance of these minimum standards will be controlled by regular audits.
NIC clearly stated that human rights violations by its staff or contractors will not be tolerated and investigations and prosecutions will be initiated following any suspicions.
NIC will ensure that crisis management plans are in place in order to delegate specific tasks and responsibilities, in the event of an incident, and to provide care and support for victims and their families and to establish an orderly return to normal business operations.
These plans provide the management structure, key responsibilities, emergency assignments, and general procedures to follow during and immediately after an emergency or crisis situation. NIC has established these plans to address the immediate requirements in case of an emergency or crisis, during which time normal operations are interrupted and special measures must be taken to:
- Protect and preserve human life, health and well-being
- Minimize damage to the natural environment
- Minimize loss, damage or disruption to NIC’s facilities, resources and operations
- Manage immediate communications and information regarding emergency response operations
- Provide essential services and operations
- Provide and analyse information to support decision-making and action plans