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CICCC Update—1 April 2004 Meeting

Site Visit by CICCC

Terminals Pty Ltd invited members of the CICCC to undertake a site inspection prior to the April meeting. Those who attended inspected:

  • the new loading facility for acrylates, designed for bottom loading of road tankers, with vapour collection;.
  • a number of the refurbished tanks in Plant C West which are now fully in operation;
  • the remaining tanks in B West in various stages of upgrading, a number lifted off the ground and supported by timber “sties” while the supporting base is upgraded and any necessary repairs are made to the tank bottoms;
  • the new exchange pit at Plant C West.

Carlo Fasolino, the Victorian Manager of Terminals Pty Ltd, advised that the tanks in Plant B and C West were almost totally committed to customers, since Exxon Chemicals have ceased storage at Spotswood and entered into contracts to store hydrocarbons at Coode.

Contract extensions for Huntsman and DOW

Contract extensions for Huntsman have been finalised, and negotiations with DOW are well advanced. The extension to the period for which Terminals will continue to provide storage of benzene and propylene oxide is until 31 January 2005, at which time it is anticipated that the Marstel storage facility will be in operation. The last ship delivering these products to Terminals will be three months earlier (i.e. 31 October 2004). Terminals will then have 12 months to remediate and vacate the sites on the east side of Mackenzie Road, prior to handing the sites over to P&O Ports by 31 January 2006 when the Terminals’ leases expire.

Advice from EPA

Following queries from the CICCC in February, Quentin Cook from EPA told the Committee about the procedures the EPA adopts in considering an Accredited Licence application. The performance of the site over the last three years is one of the cornerstones for an Accredited Licence. As March 2001 was a bad month for odour emissions from the site, it is now anticipated that the Accredited Licence will be granted in early April 2004.

With respect to the decision by EPA not to require a Works Approval for the new tanks at Plant C West, Quentin advised exemptions are allowed under the conditions shown in Table B of the Environmental Protection (Scheduled Premises and Exemptions) Regulations 1996. In this case, the products to be stored have low volatility and combustibility, and emissions are expected to be below the threshold of 5 kg per day listed in Table B.

Incidents on site

Carlo told the Committee about a shut-down of the combustor system in February, which was caused by the failure of the compressor supplying air to the combustor. When the shut-down occurred, the vapour emission lines were switched to the stand-by carbon beds, though the load was negligible as their were no loading or unloading operations taking place, and as it was night-time, tank breathing was minimal. Nevertheless the shut-down exposed an inadequacy at the plant, and back-up compressed air will be connected from Plant C. The Committee queried whether an alarm should be triggered by the compressed air failure, and Terminals will consider this matter and report back at the next meeting.

Another incident since February concerns a leak in the fire main in Plant B West. The leak is in a buried section of the main, at a depth greater than one and a half metres (below which ground water would be encountered, and greater safety risks would be incurred). A new above ground section of fire main will be installed.

Next meeting of the CICCC

An extra meeting will be held on 6 May 2004, at which Terminals will outline their plans to store phenol on their west side leases.

The next scheduled meeting of the CICCC will be held on Thursday 15 July, 2004 at the Maribyrnong Town Hall on the corner of Hyde and Napier Streets, Footscray at 6.30 pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting. Bronwyn Brookman-Smith of WorkSafe will make a presentation on the report by Sweeney Research on the WorkSafe safety regime.

Robin Saunders, Chair CICCC, 6 April 2004