The convention on the collection, deposit and reception of waste generated during navigation on the Rhine and other inland waterways (CDNI) will progressively ban degassing of barges.  The ban should enter into force by mid-2021, and the first products affected will be benzene, petrol and fuel for automotive engine, petroleum distillates and ethanol/fuel blends for automotive engines. At a later stage, it will also apply to other products such as acetone, cyclohexane, MTBE and ETBE. The CDNI member countries are setting up taskforces to discuss topics such as the implementation of required infrastructure and the monitoring of the ban’s compliance.

Philip de Smedt, Sector Group Manager, is following the discussion in Flanders, Belgium. According to the feedback given by the Aromatics Producers Association (APA) companies attending these meetings (Total, ExxonMobil), no significant issues should be encountered by APA members, at least not for the first few years until other products are added to the degassing ban list. The degassing of benzene has already been abandoned, so it mostly remains an issue for the refining sector, where some streams will be added to the degassing ban list, that are currently not yet falling under the ban.