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Methanol

Operations

BOMMI-PRD-03.0003-rev.00

Methanol Operations
BOMMI-PRD-03.0003

Table of Contents
1

Purpose ..................................................................................................................................................... 3

Scope ......................................................................................................................................................... 3

Responsibility, authority and accountability ......................................................................................... 4

Description ................................................................................................................................................ 5
4.1
What is Methanol............................................................................................................................... 5
4.1.1
Overriding considerations ........................................................................................................... 5
4.1.2
Special provisions and protective measures .............................................................................. 5
4.2

Nitrogen ............................................................................................................................................. 6

4.3

Fire safety .......................................................................................................................................... 6

4.4

Environmental protection .................................................................................................................. 7

Records ..................................................................................................................................................... 8

Related documents................................................................................................................................... 8

Terms and definitions .............................................................................................................................. 8

Review, approval, revision and identification of changes ................................................................... 8

Revision 00. Original date: 01.05.2012. Revision date: N/A.


Procedure prepared by: BOMMI QHSE Manager Approved by: BOMMI Managing Director. Validated by: BOMMI Quality Representative.

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1 Purpose
The purpose of this procedure is to promote the safe handling of methanol in order to protect your health,
your workplace and the environment. It presents current information on Methanols properties, potential
environmental, health and safety hazards, safe handling practices, emergency response procedures and
communication risk. It also highlights the danger of producing nitrogen in confined spaces. However, this
procedure is not intended to be a substitute for applicable laws and regulations.

2 Scope
This procedure is applicable to:
All BOURBON line management, operating and/or managing vessels, which are capable of carrying
Methanol;
All BOURBON vessels with approved Methanol tanks/systems and Nitrogen producing plant.

Revision 00. Original date: 01.05.2012. Revision date: N/A.


Procedure prepared by: BOMMI QHSE Manager Approved by: BOMMI Managing Director. Validated by: BOMMI Quality Representative.

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Methanol Operations
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3 Responsibility, authority and accountability


Managing Director has the responsibility, authority and accountability for:
a) Ensuring this Methanol Operations Procedure is implemented on the concerned vessels;
b) Ensuring the concerned fleet is in compliance with the applicable laws and regulations;
c) Ensuring the concerned fleet is always fully operational (Methanol and Nitrogen plants);
d) Ensuring Methanol operations manuals and/or procedures are developed and implemented;
e) Ensuring the concerned vessels are supplied with specifics, necessary and suitable equipments for
safe methanol operations;
f) Ensuring the concerned vessels are properly manned to carry safe methanol operations.
Vessel Master has the responsibility, authority and accountability for:
a) Implementing this Methanol Operations Procedure and ensuring compliance with the requirements;
b) Verifying proper vessel manning, familiarized and experienced, to carry safely methanol operations;
c) Ensuring that the methanol and nitrogen installation plants are always operational;
d) Developing methanol operations manual specific and pertaining to the vessel installations;
e) Ensuring vessel correct certification for operation;
f) Ensuring the implementation of this procedure.
Operations Manager has the responsibility, authority and accountability for:
a) Ensuring that the requirements and expectations for Methanol Operations are communicated and
implemented onboard all vessels under his/her jurisdiction.
Contracts Manager has the responsibility, authority and accountability for:
a) Monitoring compliance with this procedure and liaising with the Master to best ensure all practical
means are addressed to support the Master executing his/her duties in respect of this procedure.

Revision 00. Original date: 01.05.2012. Revision date: N/A.


Procedure prepared by: BOMMI QHSE Manager Approved by: BOMMI Managing Director. Validated by: BOMMI Quality Representative.

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Methanol Operations
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4 Description
The following elements of this section shall be taken in consideration when developing the operation and the
specific methanol manuals.

4.1 What is Methanol


Derived from natural gas, methanol is a hydrocarbon, comprised of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Its
chemical formula is CH3OH. Methanol is an alcohol and is colourless, neutral, polar and flammable liquid. It
is miscible with water, alcohols, and most other organic solvents. It is only slightly soluble in fats and oils.
Other common names for methanol include methyl alcohol, methyl hydrate, wood spirit, wood alcohol and
methyl hydroxide.
UN number is 1230 (See MSDS Methanex).
At all stages of transport methanol shall be stored securely and handled responsibly. This minimizes risk to
people and the environment, and preserves product quality.

4.1.1 Overriding considerations


Methanol is an easily ignited hydrocarbon that burns in air;
The molecular weight of methanol vapor is marginally greater (denser) than air (32 versus 28 grams
per mole). As a result, and depending on the circumstances of a release, methanol vapor may collect
in confined spaces and low-lying areas;
In certain specific circumstances, methanol vapor explodes on ignition;
Methanol is a toxin; ingestion of a small amount (between one and two ounces, approximately 30 to
60 milliliters) can cause death; lesser amounts are known to cause irreversible blindness. Do not eat
it, drink it, breathe it, or stand over it;
Methanol is totally miscible in water. A 75% water and 25% methanol solution is considered to be
flammable liquid. This has important implications for fire fighting.

4.1.2 Special provisions and protective measures


So far as possible, methanol shall be stored and used in a dedicated area that is specifically marked
off and appropriately labeled. This area shall have safety measures readily available to employees
working in the area;
Use positive materials identification for gaskets, filters, hose material, etc;
Ensure procedures are in place to ground, and periodically verify grounding;
Ensure procedures are in place to protect from water up-take and accumulation;
Ensure procedures and provisions are in place for preventing methanol entry into the water table or
aquifers;
Ensure procedures and equipment are in place for personnel protection;
Ensure procedures and equipment are in place for leak detection and alarm;
Ensure procedures and equipment are in place for onsite emergency response;
Ensure procedures and possibly specialized equipment are in place for offsite emergency
responders;
Electrical equipment shall be explosion-proof;
Positive pressure may be required to ensure that methanol-free areas are protected;
Grounding is especially important in protecting methanol from accidental ignition resulting from static
discharge;

Revision 00. Original date: 01.05.2012. Revision date: N/A.


Procedure prepared by: BOMMI QHSE Manager Approved by: BOMMI Managing Director. Validated by: BOMMI Quality Representative.

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Hoses shall be grounded in methanol loading and unloading situations. Methanol is not a static
accumulator. Electrical conductivity of methanol is relatively high when compared to that of most fuel
materials.

4.2 Nitrogen
Nitrogen is a chemical element that has the symbol N, atomic number of 7 and atomic mass 14.00674 u.
Elemental nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and mostly inert gas at standard conditions, constituting
78.08% by volume of Earth atmosphere.
UN number is 1066 (See MSDS PRAXAIR P- 4631-H).
Rapid release of nitrogen gas into an enclosed space can displace oxygen, and therefore represents an
asphyxiation hazard. This may happen with few warning symptoms, since the human carotid body relatively
slow and a poor low-oxygen (hypoxia) sensing system. An example occurred shortly before the launch of the
first Space Shuttle mission in 1981, when two technicians lost consciousness and died after they walked into
a space located in the Shuttle's Mobile Launcher Platform that was pressurized with pure nitrogen as a
precaution against fire. The technicians would have been able to exit the room if they had experienced early
symptoms from nitrogen-breathing.
Large volumes of nitrogen gas are evolved from small volumes of liquid nitrogen (1 litre of liquid giving 0.7 m3
of vapour) and this can easily replace normal air in poorly ventilated areas leading to the danger of
asphyxiation. It should be noted that oxygen normally constitutes 21% of air. Atmospheres containing less
than 10% oxygen can result in brain damage and death (the gasping reflex is triggered by excess carbon
dioxide and not by shortage of oxygen), levels of 18% or less are dangerous and entry into regions with
levels less than 20% is not recommended (Notices are posted in the stairwell altering lab workers to the
dangers in case of Oxygen deficiency alarm sounding).

Oxygen Content
(Volume %)

Effects and Symptoms

21%

Normal breathing

17%

A candle is extinguished. Vision may be impaired

12-16%
11-14%
8-11%
6-8%
0-6%

Labored breathing, increased heart rate.


Lack of attention and coordination
Unable to think. No longer perceives danger. Ability to self rescue is
impaired. Fatigue, injury to heart, fainting
Fainting without warning. Nausea, vomiting, unable to stand, walk or
crawl. Person is dying but does not care. Its all quite painless.
Faint almost immediately, heart may continue beating for a few minutes,
resuscitation possible if immediate
Fainting, almost immediate coma, convulsions, respiratory arrest, death,
brain damage even if resuscitated

4.3 Fire safety


Flammability: Methanol is defined by OSHA as a class IB flammable liquid.
Flash point is defined as the minimum temperature at which the vapor pressure of a liquid is sufficient to form
an ignition mixture with air near the surface of liquid. Pure methanol has a flash point of 12C (54F).
When the ambient temperature is less than the methanol flash point, the fire hazard is reduced. However,
local hot spots can exceed the flash point and methanol can be ignited. Warmer ambient conditions increase
the overall fire hazard.

Revision 00. Original date: 01.05.2012. Revision date: N/A.


Procedure prepared by: BOMMI QHSE Manager Approved by: BOMMI Managing Director. Validated by: BOMMI Quality Representative.

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Fire Safety precautions:


Smoking shall be prohibited;
Electrical equipment shall be explosive proof;
Alcohol Resistant - Aqueous Film Forming Foam of the alcohol-resistant type (AR-AFFF) with 6%
foam proportioning (with water) equipment is advised for use on methanol fires;
Dry Chemical extinguishers shall be accessible for small fires. An adequate supply of hand held and
wheeled types shall be available;
Hydrants shall be strategically placed with adequate hoses;
Small spills shall be remediated with sand, earth or other non-combustible absorbent materials, and
the area then flushed with water. Larger spills shall be diluted with water.

4.4 Environmental protection


Methanol biodegrades easily in water. Methanol in high concentration in fresh water or salt water can have
short term harmful effects on aquatic life within the immediate spill area.
SMPEP/SOPEP equipment shall be ready for use on deck. Scuppers shall be closed and plugged to prevent
any methanol spillage to the sea.

Revision 00. Original date: 01.05.2012. Revision date: N/A.


Procedure prepared by: BOMMI QHSE Manager Approved by: BOMMI Managing Director. Validated by: BOMMI Quality Representative.

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BOMMI-PRD-03.0003

5 Records

N/A

6 Related documents

B-GDL-03.0007 OSM Guidelines


Methanex- Methanol MSDS February 2007.
Methanol Institute - Methanol Safe Handling Manual Edition 1.0 - October 2008.
Praxair - Nitrogen MSDS. reference P-4631-H, dated July 2007
The Affiliate Organisation / Vessel specific - Methanol Manual
MSDS PRAXAIR P- 4631-H

7 Terms and definitions


AR-AFFF
Alcohol Resistant - Aqueous Film Forming Foam.
MSDS
Material Safety Data Sheet.
OSHA
Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
SMPEP
Shipboard Marine Pollution Emergency Plan.
SOPEP
Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan.
UN number
Four digit numbers that identify hazardous substances and articles such as explosives, flammable liquids
and toxic substances for the purpose of international transport.

8 Review, approval, revision and identification of changes


Reviewed by
(job title)

Approved by
(job title)

Validated by

Revision
(N and date)

Changes
(chapter/reference)

Revision 00. Original date: 01.05.2012. Revision date: N/A.


Procedure prepared by: BOMMI QHSE Manager Approved by: BOMMI Managing Director. Validated by: BOMMI Quality Representative.

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