German firm offers help to PhilippinesBy Amy R. Remo |Philippine Daily Inquirer
TÜV SÜD PSB Philippines is offering the government its technical expertise to help craft the proposed pipeline bill, which will cover safety standards for pipelines and vessels in the country.
In a briefing Thursday, TÜV SÜD PSB general manager Chia Jen Wen said that the company, a service provider of product testing, inspection and certification services, may be able to offer critical insights in checking and ensuring the integrity of existing pipelines and those that will eventually be built.
“Pipeline and vessel safety is non-negotiable. There had been many industrial accidents where corroded, cracked pipes and vessels ruptured or broke apart, causing fatal accidents, destroying homes and endangering our environment,” Chia explained.
“In the Philippines, the unfortunate pipeline leakage incident in Makati City last year caused residents of a condominium to vacate their homes after their building smelt intolerably of gas and the basement was flooded with water and fuel,” he noted.
Chia was referring to the leaks found last year in the Batangas-to-Manila pipeline owned and operated by the Lopez-led First Philippine Industrial Corp.
This incident, Chia said, prompted the Filipino government to propose a bill to regulate, monitor and develop safety standards for oil and gas pipelines.
Subsequently, it will also call for the drafting of a national security plan to prevent disasters and place contingency measures in the event of catastrophes concerning oil and gas pipelines, Chia added.
The growing concern about safety standards stem from the fact that pipelines or vessels that transmit or contain hazardous materials such as chemicals or petroleum are vulnerable to corrosion, cracking and other damages.
Chia also disclosed that TÜV SÜD PSB is targeting a 20- to 30-percent growth this year, from the P100-million revenue it posted last year.
Chia said the growth will come from the various opportunities in the Philippines, with the country considered as a good market given the expected energy projects over the next several years.