Through the Oosterheem district of Zoetermeer runs a pipeline that goes from Rotterdam to Amsterdam. The pipeline continues along the eastern border of the Rokkeveen district. The pipeline is used to transportCO2 (carbon dioxide). ThisCO2 is released during the production of hydrogen by Shell in the Botlek and the production of bio-ethanol by Abengoa in the Europoort. From these sources, the pipeline is filled withCO2 and this gas is used by greenhouse horticulture in North and South Holland.

What isCO2?

CO2 is an incombustible gas that occurs freely in the ambient air. We are constantly breathing it in and breathing out more of it.CO2 is best known as a "greenhouse gas," but it is essential for plants and trees. They needCO2 at the moment of light. Plants takeCO2 from the air and convert it into oxygen. The moreCO2 a plant gets (up to a point) the better and faster it grows. Gardeners therefore fire the central heating boiler in their greenhouses (even in summer!), because this releasesCO2. By supplying theCO2 through a pipeline, these boilers no longer need to be fired. And that in turn contributes to a cleaner environment.

Excavation

No digging above and next to theCO2 pipeline is allowed without permission up to a distance of 5 meters. In order to prevent any digging damage, digging activities must be reported in advance to the Cable and Pipeline Information Center(external link) (KLIC). When planting, care must be taken that the roots do not get too deep.

What are the risks?

CO2 is a non-toxic gas. However, whenCO2 is released in very large quantities, it displaces the air normally present and the oxygen it contains. This creates the risk of suffocation in humans and animals. In addition,CO2 can also affect the nervous system at very high concentrations. Research shows that the risks are very low and if the pipeline ruptures outside a radius of 4 meters, there is no longer any danger to life.

What to do whenCO2 does get released?

If a problem ever arises with theCO2 pipeline, the municipality will take the broadest measures as a precaution. Even though with theCO2 line in such a case, scientists say there is only a very limited area of potential risk. That means the siren will go off outside the monthly siren test. In any case, get yourself to safety as soon as possible and, if possible, help those around you.

Does the siren go off outside the monthly test?

  • stay inside or go inside
  • close windows and doors
  • extinguish open fires
  • Turn off all ventilation systems (including the range hood). Close all vents. If time permits: close the main gas valve and shut off heaters
  • go to a room where there is no draft, preferably in the middle of the house or building
  • watch or listen to RTV West and follow the instructions

Whose leadership?

The pipeline officially belongs to the Dutch Pipeline Company (NPM) and is used by OCAP. NPM and OCAP are owned by gas supplier Linde Gas. The company Pipeline Control manages the pipeline on behalf of OCAP.

CO2 pipeline through areas

Map showing areas through which the CO2 pipeline runs