Ensuring the safety of transport-related operations is an important part of Neste Oil’s activities. Neste Oil recognizes the risks associated with the transportation of its feedstocks and products, and works to reduce these risks by maintaining high equipment standards and ensuring that personnel have the expertise they need.
Neste Oil uses haulage contractors to handle its road shipments. A total of 23 haulage partners, and 184 vehicles and 320 drivers, were used to carry Neste Oil products and feedstocks in 2013. All the company’s haulage partners were audited in 2013 to review their administrative practices, the training given to their personnel, the service status of their vehicles, and the documentation covering their operations, for example.
A total of 0.03 traffic accidents involving Neste Oil tanker trucks per 100,000 kilometers took place in Finland in 2013; the equivalent figure for accidents overseas was 0.02. The total amount of accidents in Finland was 8 (5) and 1 (0) abroad. A total of 28,680,000 kilometers were covered carrying Neste Oil cargoes in 2013.
In addition to annual inspections, the trucks used by Neste Oil’s haulage contractors are also subject to European Truck Safety Control inspection. This focuses especially on vehicle bodies and the structures of tank vehicles. Annual inspections will extend to the Baltic countries, in addition to Finland and Russia, in 2014.
All tanker trucks used by Neste Oil in Finland are fitted with a tachograph for monitoring areas such as speed and driver behavior, including acceleration and braking. Drivers have been supplied with a report on how they drive since 2013 to help make them safer on the road.
Neste Oil and its haulage contractors train the drivers that handle the company’s cargoes annually. Neste Oil also works closely with the authorities and agencies in the industry, such as the police, the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi), and the Finnish Petroleum Federation to harmonize overall road transport performance and improve safety.
Neste Oil uses both its own fleet and vessels operated by other shipping companies to handle its marine shipments. As of the end of 2013, the Neste Oil fleet consisted of 19 tankers, of which 11 were time-chartered from other companies. In addition, hundreds of time-chartered tankers owned and operated by other companies were used to carry the company’s marine shipments. Neste Oil also owns three tugs. All the vessels Neste Oil uses to ship its cargoes are ice-strengthened.
Neste Oil’s in-house shipping company, Neste Shipping, is responsible for the commercial operation of vessels and the safe operation of vessels that come within the scope of its regulatory safety management system. The safety of chartered tankers is the responsibility of the companies that handle their safety management systems. Neste Oil’s ship vetting function is responsible for reviewing and approving tankers chartered from other companies.
Shipping operations carried out by Neste Oil’s own vessels did not result in any significant seaborne emissions during 2013, nor did these vessels suffer any fires or run aground. One tanker was involved in a collision with a freighter in the ice in the Bay of Bothnia in April 2013. No injuries or environmental damage resulted from the incident.
Safety work on vessels owned by Neste Shipping during 2013 concentrated on safety in the workplace, developing systematic safety management procedures, and near miss reporting. A total of some 2,300 safety observation reports were logged for ships coming within the scope of the company’s safety management system in 2013. Neste Shipping’s safety management system is regularly audited and inspected by official agencies and other oil companies that use Neste Oil ships.
All of the ships used by Neste Oil have crew training plans in place, and exercises are carried out continuously. Seagoing personnel are required to have qualification certificates covering the work they do and be qualified to deal with oil spill response, firefighting, and other similar specialist duties. Neste Shipping arranges regular training for its personnel covering areas such as navigation, safety, and environmental protection.
Neste Oil has been part of the joint Tanker Safety program, coordinated by the John Nurminen Foundation and aimed at improving marine safety in the Gulf of Finland, since 2010. The ENSI risk assessment and prevention service that has been developed as part of the project was introduced on all vessels operated by Neste Shipping in 2013.
Watch a video about the ENSI service:
Neste Oil holds regular exercises with the rescue authorities to ensure the effectiveness of its oil spill response capabilities. The company has also collaborated in this area with WWF Finland for many years, and the two organizations held a joint oil spill exercise at the Porvoo refinery in 2013.
Neste Oil does not own any rail freight cars or locomotives and uses the VR Group to handle its rail shipments. Neste Oil is responsible for the safety and maintenance of the rail tracks it owns. Following the introduction of new railway legislation, all companies operating private rail lines in Finland are required to have a safety permit from the Finnish Transport Safety Agency; Neste Oil was awarded one in 2013. Neste Oil owns and administers eight rail-connected terminals.
One particularly serious safety incident involving a Neste Oil rail shipment took place in 2013, when the seal around a safety valve on an LPG car failed during loading at the distribution terminal in Porvoo, resulting in the controlled release of the car’s contents. A total of five major near misses occurred. All incidents and the investigations that follow are reported to the Transport Safety Agency. Serious safety events are investigated and reported internally.
A new rail safety management system covering the maintenance and safety of company track, as required under the terms of Neste Oil’s new safety permit, was introduced in 2013. All of the company’s terminal managers received training on the new system during the year. Rail safety training for operators was also started in 2013.
New LPG loading equipment designed to improve safety during loading operations was installed at the Tornio terminal in 2013.
In addition to Finland, Neste Oil also has rail shipment operations at its terminals in the Baltic countries. Although its safety permit only covers Finnish operations, Neste Oil is looking at how the safety of rail shipments can be developed in these countries as well.