Application of Economic Analysis to the Selection of Security Measures Against Environmental Accidents in a Chemical Installation

  • Valeria Villa
  • Genserik Reniers
  • Valerio CozzaniEmail author
Conference paper


Recent events have arisen a growing concern toward possible major accidents triggered by external acts of interference in chemical installations, often resulting in severe environmental losses. Therefore, optimal selection of security measures also addressing cost issues becomes a relevant topic for decision-makers. Economic models, such as cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis, have proved to be fundamental within the decision-making process. However, applications tackling the specific features of security-based accidents within chemical installations are limited. In this study, the fundamental terms of security cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis within the chemical industry domain are discussed, including the evaluation of the likelihood of the attack, security measures performance, and cost assessment and losses evaluation. Then, economic analyses have been applied to an illustrative case study, regarding a sabotage to an oil depot, resulting in severe environmental damages. Starting from a site-specific analysis of the baseline physical security system performance, the model allows comparing the costs of several security upgrades with possible losses. Indeed, economic analyses application enables selecting the most profitable security upgrades according to budget constraints. Therefore, economic indications derived from the model may be included in the decision-making process, to offer rational criteria on the possible security upgrades to be adopted in a chemical installation.


Security measures Cost-benefit analysis Cost-effectiveness analysis Security decision-making Chemical industry 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valeria Villa
    • 1
  • Genserik Reniers
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Valerio Cozzani
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.LISES – DICAM, Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Materials EngineeringAlma Mater Studiorum – Università di BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.TPM Faculty, Safety and Security Science GroupDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Faculty of Economics and Management, CEDONKU LeuvenBrusselsBelgium
  4. 4.Antwerp Research Group on Safety and Security (ARGoSS)Universiteit AntwerpenAntwerpBelgium

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