In 2015, essenscia and the federal authorities in Belgium reaffirmed their commitment to work together closely in the event of an accident involving the transport of dangerous products. A new Belintra (Belgian Incidents with Transport of hazardous substances) contract was signed by the Minister of Home Affairs and essenscia at BASF’s Antwerp site, one of the two Belintra coordination centres. The new contract includes updated communication strategies to deliver even faster and more efficient intervention in the event of an emergency.
The chemical industry has taken significant steps since 1998 to fulfil its responsibility to society in the event of an accident involving the transport of dangerous products. Authorities, fire brigades and civil protection services can call chemical industry experts 24/7, even if they are not involved in the incident. Through two national coordination centres – one at Solvay for emergency calls in French and one at BASF Antwerp for Dutch calls – Belintra brings together a network of specialists from about 40 companies who are able to share their knowledge and expertise about thousands of listed dangerous products.
Three levels of support are provided: (1) remote product information and general advice by telephone or fax; (2) advice from an expert at the scene of an incident; and (3) assistance with personnel/equipment at the scene of an incident. A European database keeps track of which companies can provide expertise or material for which products.
The support provided by Belintra is available for both roads and rail accidents, and is integrated in the European ICE (Intervention in Chemical transport Emergencies) system