Bulk Liquid Chemical Handling Guide for Plants, Terminals, Storage and Distribution Depots (BLCH Guide)

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Number of Pages:
Published Date:
May 2012
Book Height:
300 mm
Book Width:
220 mm
3.2 kg
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This publication has been developed to provide a clear, comprehensive and practical guide to all, aspects of chemical tank terminal activities, from basic design and layout to the ongoing safe and efficient operation, maintenance and management of the facility.

The Bulk Liquid Chemical Handling Guide (BLCH) is the only publication of its kind in the world. The text and imagery within this title provide chemical, terminal and supply chain companies with valuable knowledge and insight into handling bulk liquid chemical products. BLCH follows the chapters of the CDI Terminal Inspection Report, furnishing guidance to terminal managers, employees and inspectors in addressing the management functions and technical operations of a bulk liquid chemical storage terminal. Acknowledging regional legislation and focused on Health, Safety, Environment and Security, the guide is a single international reference offering solutions and alternatives to achieve safe and efficient operational performance.


1. Chemicals and their Classification
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Regulatory Considerations
1.3 Basic Chemistry
1.4 Chemical Gases
1.5 Petrochemical Products
1.6 The Polymer Industry
1.7 Oleochemicals
1.8 Some Common Liquid Products Requiring Bulk Storage
1.9 Implications of Chemical Characteristics
1.10 Naming and Numbering Chemicals
1.11 Chemical Classification Systems
1.12 Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
1.13 Special Information or Product Specific Requirements References and Further Reading

2. Storage Tanks and Equipment
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Regulatory Considerations
2.3 Risk Assessment
2.4 Overview of Tank Types
2.5 Location and Layout of Tanks
2.6 General Tank Design and Construction
2.7 Pipework Systems and Pumps
2.8 Common Fittings and Fixtures
2.9 Earthing and Bonding
2.10 Gauging, Temperature Measurement and Sampling
2.11 Vapour and Emission Control
2.12 Bunds and Drains (also Referred to as Dikes)
2.13 Fire Safety
2.14 Operational Issues
2.15 Tank Cleaning
2.16 Inspection, Testing and Maintenance References and Further Reading

3. Product Transfer Equipment
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Regulatory Considerations
3.3 Risk Assessment
3.4 General Considerations
3.5 Pumps
3.6 Pipes
3.7 Valves
3.8 Hoses
3.9 Loading Arms
3.10 Couplings and Gaskets
3.11 Measuring Systems
3.12 Ancillary Equipment
3.13 Earthing and Bonding
3.14 Operational Issues
3.15 Inspection, Testing and Maintenance References and Further Reading

4. Vapour and Emission Control
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Air Quality Management
4.3 Problems Associated with Emissions
4.4 Product Characteristics and Equipment Choice
4.5 Emissions Reduction Programmes
4.6 Sources of Emissions
4.7 Emission Monitoring and Control
4.8 Vapour Lines and Ancillary Equipment
4.9 Flame and Detonation Arresters
4.10 Blowers and Eductors
4.11 Inspection, Testing and Maintenance
4.12 Emissions from Incidents and Accidents References and Further Reading

5. Jetty and Shipping
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Regulatory Considerations
5.3 Risk Assessment
5.4 Design and Construction
5.5 Jetty Infrastructure
5.6 Cargo Transfer Equipment
5.7 Waste Handling Facilities
5.8 Jetty Operations
5.9 Emergency Response
5.10 Jetty Security
5.11 Inspection, Testing and Maintenance References and Further Reading

6. Road and Rail
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Regulatory and Terminal Considerations
6.3 Road and Rail Loading Station Risk Assessments
6.4 Loading and Unloading Infrastructure
6.5 Loading Station Product Transfer Equipment and Systems
6.6 Operations
6.7 Emergency Response
6.8 Security
6.9 Inspection, Testing and Maintenance References and Further Reading

7. Warehousing and Drumming
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Regulatory Requirements
7.3 Risk Assessment and Management
7.4 Product Hazards and Classification
7.5 Dangerous Goods Packaging Requirements
7.6 Labelling of Drums and IBCs
7.7 Drumming
7.8 Warehouse and Infrastructure
7.9 Product Implications and Warehouse Types
7.10 Storage Arrangements
7.11 Training
7.12 Drum and IBC Filling
7.13 Warehousing Operations
7.14 Pallets
7.15 Fire Safety
7.16 Emergency Response
7.17 Security
7.18 Inspection, Testing and Maintenance References and Further Reading

8. Hazardous Area Classification
8.1 Introduction
8.2 Regulatory Considerations
8.3 Hazardous Area Classification Systems
8.4 Fire and Explosion
8.5 Product Characteristics
8.6 Hazardous Area Classification – Assessing the Risk
8.7 Documentation
8.8 Overview of ATEX Requirements
8.9 Vehicles as Mobile Sources of Ignition
8.10 Inspection, Testing and Maintenance References and Further Reading


9. Fire Safety
9.1 Introduction
9.2 Regulatory Considerations
9.3 Classification of Fires
9.4 Terminal Fire and Explosion Hazard Areas
9.5 Fire-Related Hazards
9.6 Fire and Explosion Hazard Management (FEHM)
9.7 Fire Prevention
9.8 Fire and Flammable Vapour Detection
9.9 Fire Protection
9.10 Fire Response Strategies and Options
9.11 Inspection, Testing and Maintenance References and Further Reading

10. Buildings
10.1 Introduction
10.2 Regulatory Considerations
10.3 Building Risk Assessments
10.4 Fires
10.5 Toxic Materials
10.6 Explosions
10.7 Management of Change
10.8 Terminal Layout and Buildings
10.9 General Ventilation Issues
10.10 Emergency Response
10.11 Security
10.12 Inspection, Testing and Maintenance References and Further Reading

11. Solid and Liquid Waste
11.1 Introduction
11.2 Regulatory Compliance
11.3 Terminal Waste Inventory
11.4 Water Management
11.5 Sewers, Drains and Bunds
11.6 Water Collection and Treatment Facilities
11.7 Cleaning
11.8 Waste
11.9 Waste Handling
11.10 Carriage and Disposal of Hazardous Waste
11.11 Inspection, Testing and Maintenance References and Further Reading

12. Electrical Equipment and Power Distribution
12.1 Introduction
12.2 Regulatory Considerations
12.3 Risk Assessment
12.4 System Drawings and Schedules
12.5 Substations and Switch Rooms
12.6 Cables and Ancillary Equipment
12.7 Motors and Ancillary Equipment
12.8 Lighting
12.9 Transportable and Portable Equipment
12.10 Alternative Energy Sources
12.11 Earthing and Static Protection
12.12 Cathodic Protection
12.13 Fire Safety
12.14 Emergency Response
12.15 Security Arrangements
12.16 Inspection, Testing and Maintenance References and Further Reading

13. Traffic Circulation and Control
13.1 Introduction
13.2 Regulatory and Terminal Considerations
13.3 Traffic Circulation Risk Assessments
13.4 Vehicle Safety
13.5 General Design Principles for Roads and Facilities
13.6 General Traffic Management
13.7 Receipts and Deliveries
13.8 Driver Requirements and Control
13.9 Emergency Response
13.10 Security
13.11 Inspection, Testing and Maintenance References and Further Reading

14. Personnel Safety
14.1 Introduction
14.2 Factors Affecting Health and Safety
14.3 Occupational Health Controls
14.4 Personal Protective Equipment
14.5 Job Safety Analysis
14.6 Permit to Work Systems References and Further Reading

15. Emergency Response
15.1 Introduction
15.2 Regulatory Considerations
15.3 Assessment of Risks and Consequences
15.4 Emergency Preparedness
15.5 Emergency Response Plans (ERP)
15.6 Post Incident Cleanup and Recovery
15.7 Information and Training
15.8 Resources (Manpower/Equipment/Materials)
15.9 Security Arrangements
15.10 Inspection, Testing and Maintenance References and Further Reading

16. Security
16.1 Introduction
16.2 Regulatory Considerations
16.3 Security Risk Assessment
16.4 Security Plan
16.5 Security Performance Standards
16.6 Security Training
16.7 Site Security
16.8 Security and the Carriage of Dangerous Goods
16.9 Pipeline Security
16.10 Jetty Security
16.11 CCTV Cameras
16.12 Computer and Document Security
16.13 Security Against Insider Activities
16.14 Security and Emergency Response
16.15 Inspection, Testing and Maintenance References and Further Reading

17. Management of the Terminal
17.1 Level 1 – Policies and Procedures
17.2 Level 2 – Objectives and Management Plans
17.3 Level 3 – Operational Disciplines

The CDI is a chemical industry organization, incorporated under the law of the Netherlands as the Stichting Chemical Distribution Institute (CDI) and operates as a non-profit making foundation.

CDI is managed by a Board of Directors consisting of seven individuals nominated by the participating chemical companies. The Board of Directors establishes policy and is responsible for overall affairs of the foundation. Individual Executive Boards are elected to oversee and direct the staff managing day to day activities for the Marine, Terminals and Marine Packed Cargo Schemes.


Number of Pages:
Published Date:
May 2012
Binding Format:
Book Height:
300 mm
Book Width:
220 mm
3.2 kg


  • 5
    ostensibly a handbook for those subject to CDI-T inspection but in reality an encyclopaedic summary of everything you need to know about chemical terminals, depots and product handling

    How to do it all SAFETY This month sees the publication of the BLCH Guide, ostensibly a handbook for those subject to CDI-T inspection but in reality an encyclopaedic summary of everything you need to know about chemical terminals, depots and product handling The Chemical Distribution Institute (CDI) has been instrumental over the past 15 years or so in improving standards in the chemical and gas tanker shipping sectors and in bulk storage terminals handling liquid chemicals. Its CDI-T inspection protocol, which is part of the European chemical industry’s application of the Responsible Care precepts, has spread beyond its original bounds and is now recognised worldwide as an objective and useful system of third-party verification, used by cargo owners and terminals themselves as a means of benchmarking quality. CDI’s expertise in the terminals sector has now been bundled into a two-volume, 560-page handbook, the Bulk Liquid Chemical Handling Guide for Plants, Terminals, Storage and Distribution Depots, handily abbreviated as the (BLCH) Guide, published for the first time this month. The stated aim of the Guide is to provide detailed guidance for managers and employees at terminals and other facilities and for terminal inspectors when answering the questions contained in the CDI Terminal Inspection Protocol. However, CDI says, it should also be useful to anyone involved in bulk liquid chemical handling, either as a terminal or as a service provider. Indeed, the list of potential readers includes not just terminals but chemical shippers, chemical shipowners, road tanker operators, chemical processing facilities and those companies that provide equipment and services to storage terminal facilities. One world vision CDI does not set standards. Similarly, the BLCH Guide does not offer an industry standard but, rather, recognises the requirements of applicable legislation in various territories. It also references industry best practice for the safe and secure handling of bulk liquid chemicals, as provided for by the various international, regional and national standards-setting bodies and by respected industry associations. To meet corporate and legal requirements, chemical companies storing products at terminals around the world need to ensure that they all meet generally accepted minimum technical and operational standards, both local and international. Some terminals are located in countries or regions where there are established high standards and strict regulatory requirements and controls that have been established and implemented over decades. Some are located where standards and regulatory requirements and controls are in varying stages of development or implementation. The BLCH Guide provides guidance on the various solutions available to achieve an international level of consistency for safe and high quality operation of bulk liquid chemical terminals and the handling of liquid chemicals in bulk in the associated transport and distribution sectors. That guidance is spelled out in 17 chapters covering: - chemicals and their classification - storage tanks and their equipment - product transfer equipment - vapour and emissions control - jetties and shipping - road and rail connections - drumming and warehousing - hazardous area classification - fire safety - buildings - solid and liquid waste - electrical and power distribution - traffic circulation and control - personnel safety - emergency response - security, and - management of the terminal. Meeting a need The need for the Guide is outlined by Capt Howard Snaith, CDI’s general manager: “In addition to chemical industry demands for a robust inspection scheme, CDI receives a constant stream of enquires from the bulk liquid chemical storage industry, seeking guidance and understanding of best industry practice. CDI’s primary objective is to constantly improve the operating standards of the supply chain, and whilst the global players generally have excellent standards of operation, there remains an obligation for CDI to raise operating standards of all players. “Compliance in the world fleet of chemical tankers is relatively easy to measure against international regulations and the abundance of established best industry practice. In sharp contrast, for the bulk liquid chemical storage industry, there is no international legislation and the national legislation differs widely from one region of the world to another. Both the chemical industry and the storage industry require an industry reference, a quick guide to provide answers for the terminal manager, the supply chain manager, the employee, the surveyor and not least as a teaching reference for the next generation. Additionally and most important, the reference has to be international to bring the global consistency that is desired.” As the process of putting the Guide together went along, however, it became clear that it had wider applicability. Snaith continues: “Originally it was envisaged that the Guide would be an essential handbook for both the chemical and bulk liquid storage industries. However, as the work progressed, it has become clear that the publication will be valuable to a much wider group of industries. A liquid storage terminal has so many operations taking place, each with individual and critical disciplines: tanks, drumming, packaging, road and rail, ships, barges, waste water, emergency response, etc, all requiring the application of best industry practice. Information exists, but from so many sources that it is fragmented and often difficult to locate; no single publication brings the data together in one volume of internationally consistent best practice. This publication will provide answers for the numerous employee groups involved in the whole chemical distribution industry, and beyond.” Publisher Witherby Seamanship has set up a dedicated website for the Guide, which contains more details about the book and also full ordering details – go to www.chemicalhandling.org for full information.

  • 5
    Very useful Guide!

    (Posted on 15/11/2012) I have read The BLCH Guide and in my opinion is a very useful guide to all persons involved working in the concerned environment.