Thursday 11 May 2000
Dr Peter Brotherton
Jim Clements (EPA)
Ross Martin (Chem Eng Consultant)
Frank Fleer (AWN Consultants)
Frank Sachinidis (Chemical Engineer Consultants)
Wayne Jarman (Project Manager Terminals)
Mark Cahill – GHD
Jim Maiolo – City of Melbourne
Jarrod Edwards (WorkCover)
Graham Tumblety (Terminals)
ITEM 1. Welcome by the Chair
The chairperson welcomed the committee and others in attendance.
ITEM 2. Apologies
Apologies were received from Martin Brennan, Cuc Lam, Trevor Perkins Tanya Stevens, Matthew Wylie, Tess Demidiuk and Marg Leser.
ITEM 3. Confirmation of the Agenda
Include after ITEM 8 a discussion about the needs and concerns of the community in regard to the redevelopment at this stage.
ITEM 4. Minutes of the Previous Meeting
ACTION As the draft minutes had not been received by all members prior to the meeting, consideration of the draft minutes was deferred until the next meeting.
4.1 CICCC Update
Everyone has received copies of the media release that was circulated.
Robin reminded everyone that all the background and history material about Terminals at Coode Island could be found on the CICCC web page.
4.2 Web Site Activity
The CICCC web page is receiving about 50 hits a week.
4.3 The Melbourne Ports Corporation (MPC) newspaper discussed at the last meeting is circulated intermittently. An MPC representative will contact Robin prior to the next release so CICCC can have the opportunity of contributing an item.
4.4 Advice on Risk Communication (Terminals).
Work is in progress, and the item will be deferred to the next meeting.
ITEM 5. Correspondence In
ITEM 6. Expertise, disciplines and backgrounds of members of the project engineering team with particular reference to chemical/processing engineering.
George tabled detailed CV’s of the project engineering team, which were circulated during the evening.
ACTION. George will send a copy of the above to Ian Thomas.
Ian T said he was concerned that the process-engineering experts were not part of the principal contracting entity.
George reassured Ian T that all the contractors worked as equals in one large team of experts. He said that Terminals has built a team of contractors that fits the specific needs of the Terminals at Coode Island project. The GHD group forms that part of that team, and coordinates all the team’s activities.
ITEM 7. Upgrade of the Plant – Overview of the EPA Works Approval Application.
PLEASE REFER TO THE ITEM 7 ATTACHMENTS TO WHICH SOME NOTES ON THE CONTENT OF DISCUSSION HAVE BEEN ADDED.
See Attachment 7.1
See Attachment 7.2
The EPA requires a reduction in air emissions.
See Attachment 7.3
Existing Facility Air Emissions – Tanks
Other air emissions occur when
- Trucks are loaded
- Drums are air swept when filled
Existing Facility Water Emissions.
Water emissions occur when
- Wastewater from tank and line cleaning is collected in storage tanks.
- Storm water is tested and then released into the Maribyrnong River
- Portable tanks are cleaned and the waste sent off for treatment
- Ship samples are collected tested and sent offsite for waste disposal
See Attachment 7.4
Existing Vapour Emission Control
This system is cycling 2 or 3 times a day. This is 1980’s technology. We can do better than this with the upgrade.
See Attachment 7.5
One of the problems with Carbon Beds is that they can catch fire when some chemicals absorb too well. There was a fire of this type at Port Botany and Coode Island has had some hot spots. This system presently produces 60,000 litres of liquid waste every month, which is transported off-site and incinerated.
See Attachment 7.6
When cleaning tanks vapours are swept from the tanks and are taken to the carbon beds for treatment.
Caustic, ammonia and water are used as scrubbing mediums.
Waste goes to the Government treatment plant in Lindcombe, NSW for treatment.
Peter B said that the treatment plant has a thermal oxidiser at the end of its line.
See Attachment 7.7
The following practises will be adopted in the upgrade to minimise waste emissions
- Pig trap at tank
- Concrete spill pad
- Permanent ship sampling tanks
- Tank stripping. Chemicals left over at the bottom of a tank will be greatly reduced so that far less goes to waste and air emissions.
- Use of swing arms
- Use of hard pipes
- Minimise waste when cleaning lines
- Use of isolation valves
- Reuse materials that are tested rather than sending them to waste
See Attachment 7.8
Future Vapour Sources
This system will minimise the amount of air in the system.
Nitrogen blanketing will be used in all tanks to reduce the risk of fire. The increased nitrogen content above the chemical stored in the tank, prevents fire. There will be less than 5% Oxygen present. At least 8% Oxygen is required for combustion and fire to occur. Actuated valves open at certain pressures so that vapour coming off is minimised. Pressure gauges will monitor Nitrogen blanket operation at all times and alarms will sound if it is not operating correctly.
If the Nitrogen blanket fails, the system will still be safe because the increase in oxygen levels will be gradual and take at least one week to get to a potentially flammable level. All potential problems will be eliminated in the designs. George will provide a measure of the possible risk of fire after all the scientific tests are run. He said this system was World’s Best Practise for process and chemical plants.
Ian T said he had heard of one incident where a fire had occurred overseas in tanks that were nitrogen blanketed. He said the plant had run out of Nitrogen and had switched off the Oxygen sensors so the plant would continue operating over the weekend.
Carlo said that Terminals will generate their own nitrogen mix at Terminals in a Nitrogen generator.
Peter R said that lighting cannot be controlled, but if all the tanks are Nitrogen blanketed, they will be safe from fires caused by lighting.
See Attachment 7.9
Trucks will be bottom loaded and the vapours drawn off at the top of the tank. They will then go to the vapour emission control centre (VECS). They will be weighed to determine their content on filling rather than using dip sticks which is the case currently. Scully Probes will ensure that the tanker is not overfilled.
See Attachment 7.10
Fume extraction will work very well so that operators will not need to wear protective clothing.
See Attachment 7.11, 7.12 & 7.13
There will be 3 different streams for treatment
- tank vapour
- truck fill/tank cleaning
- waste and drainage pits
See Attachment 7.14
Vapour emission Control Strategy (VECS) Philosophy
See Attachment 7.15
See Attachment 7.16
VECS Alternatives- Vapour Returns
Vapours will be returned to their source (ship or tank) equipped with special high-pressure attachments. A pressure of 10-15 KPA is required. It can be difficult to have control over what is occurring in the ship’s systems. Vapour balancing can be difficult at first. Vapour may get discharged at sea.
See Attachment 7.17
VECS Alternatives- Floating Roofs
A steel lid will move up and down to minimise the loss of vapours to the atmosphere. The seals can wear out and the roofs can sink. They are only ever 95% efficient which does not meet the EPA requirement .
Peter R said that Terminal’s tanks vary from being full to getting very empty, which does not suit this type of technology. It is better suited to less dramatic changes in tank content.
Ian T asked if they could be managed in such a way as to keep their content more evenly regulated.
Peter R said that worldwide practice was that floating roofs are not usually used for Chemical storage facilities.
See Attachment 7.18
VECS Alternatives- Carbon Absorption
Terminals presently generate about 60,000 litres of waste month. This represents a significant amount of the total liquid chemical waste generated in Victoria. The amount generated by the upgraded facility will be reduced by a factor of 2 or 3.
Carbon beds at Terminals discharge material to the atmosphere because the inlet concentrations are variable. Two chemicals in particular are not very compatible with carbon beds. They are Acetone and Methyl Ethyl Ketone.
Ian T said it would be useful to know where carbon beds were in use in similar sites overseas.
Peter R explained that natural gas is burnt to produce steam used to strip the carbon beds. The steam goes to a condenser where the mix of 90% water and 10% chemical waste is collected. This is then shipped to Sydney and burnt in an incinerator.
George said that the beds presently in use are not big enough and that if newer, larger beds were used, there would be less emissions to the air.
Robin said that the CICCC requires input from EPA and WorkCover about which of the described systems look most acceptable and why.
Greg said that Terminals had been asked to present a number of alternatives in their report for consideration by EPA. He said that at this stage the following looked promising
- Carbon Beds
- Combustor (Terminals favoured option)
A discussion about the possible use of Combustors then proceeded.
See Attachment 7.19
There will be 2 units
The stacks will be 20 metres high (the larger tanks on the site today are 15 metres high)
There is no flame at the top of the stack the flame is at the bottom
The nearest storage tank is 20-30 metres away from the combustor – regulation minimum distance is 15 metres.
See Attachment 7.20
Carlo said that scrubbing only, would be used for phenol and propylene oxide. Scrubbers can not be used for everything because they are only 90-95% efficient.
Peter R added that the Propylene Oxide would have vapour returns and a scrubber.
See Attachment 7.21
Vapours are cooled to a liquid waste stream
They use a large compressor
Multiple units are required
Can recover 99%
Truck fills can be complex
Ian T said that this was old and proven to be good technology.
George said that they are sometimes only 60% efficient and so would not comply with regulatory requirements.
The EPA is not able to comment on this option at this stage but they have asked Terminals to look further at this option.
Deborah asked if the Government made the decision for Coode Island to stay on the present site in light of the possible options presented for the upgrade.
Peter R said ‘ the Government have set the hurdle high and we are trying to jump it.’
See Attachment 7.22
Carlo said this was not a suitable option for Terminals operations because it runs best when converting low levels of chemical waste. This would not be the case at Coode Island. The biomass is killed off by large concentrations of chemicals, lack of oxygen and complex chemical cocktails.
See Attachment 7.23
These work well when dealing with one chemical only. The efficiency drops of markedly when dealing with a cocktail, as will be the case at Coode Island. Some of the terminals chemicals would dissolve the membrane.
Peter R said that some of the chemicals involved could be made inert, but that would not be possible with Benzene. He said Acrylates and Benzene are the major emissions from Coode Island and they will have to be processed by incineration.
See Attachment 7.24 and 7.25
Frank F said the biomass would be very cheap to operate.
Carlo said it would have to be very large and so would not be appropriate.
Peter B said it was one method that offered flexibility for use with different chemicals.
Deborah asked if the matter of safety had been seriously considered with all the options.
Carlo said that at this early stage they were primarily considering what would be most environmentally sound.
The committee discussed the pros and cons of table 7.24. The following comments were made
- There should be information showing comparable redundancies?
- Ratings of 1-5 would be more useful than YES/NO
- Sensitivity analysis information needed
- Greenhouse effects through life cycle needed
- Add a ‘Community Acceptability’ column
Peter R said Terminals have to consider the operating costs/ energy usage of each system. He said that the Corowa High Temperature Incinerator operates with a mix of chemicals however Terminals will know exactly the mix of chemicals in its incinerators.
Peter B said that Corowa also know what goes into their incinerator. He said that operators may start out operating such a system for specific chemicals but that over time other things can be added into the mix. Peter B alerted the committee to the fact that as a rule, communities do not like kilns and burning stacks and they do not like landfills.
Deborah said she thought that the incinerator at Melbourne Hospital was used to burns items other than those generated by the hospital.
George said that the design of the upgrade could not be ‘one size fits all’.
Jim Clements said that ‘mopping up’ with combustion might be acceptable.
Peter B said the community will want more details about the options and their possible use with each specific chemical.
Peter R said that the plans were at a very early stage and they were simply getting an idea of the possible community concerns at this stage.
Ian T said that Terminals should adopt methods already in operation world wide, and shown to be safe.
Faye said she thought the community did not trust regulating bodies to safely control emissions. She said that at present truck emissions are not controlled. She questioned if stack emissions would be safely controlled?
Peter R said that he heard the community reps saying that combustion may not be a desirable option for the community for reasons other than its high efficacy.
Robin asked if the waste could be processed elsewhere.
Peter R said that there were arguments for and against such a proposal.
Table 7.25 should not read ‘Nil’ as there are by products present.
See Attachment 7.26
Proposed Vapour Control System
Frank Sachinidis presented this information. He said that there will be three separate stream going into the combustor.
- Vapour emissions
- Natural gas
- Air steams with high Oxygen levels and low levels of volatile materials
The small one will run continuously.
See Attachment 7.27
The smaller combustor would operate 24 hours a day. The other one would only be operating for peak loads like shipping. It will also backup to the smaller combustor. The small one will take
- Vapour from tanks
- Truck fill vapours
- Air sweeps from waste tanks, pits, etc.
See Attachment 7.28
The burners are at ground level
Air from the air sweeps and additional gas are fed to the burners.
Frank F asked what would happen if the gas flow stopped? George said that the whole plant would shut down. Another gas storage plant has not been considered at this stage.
Emissions will be consistent. There will not be any smoke. There will be nothing visible coming out of the stack except some water vapour which will be visible sometimes. There would be trace elements in the stream. There may be slight glow visible from the stack during the night.
Carlo said that when he was overseas, he has stood beside such a stack and he could not feel any heat from the burning source.
Peter B said the emission stream from the combustor would contain carbon dioxide, materials that had not burnt and new substances that are formed during combustion. (See also overhead 7.32)
Frank S said that unusual circumstances could cause the system to shut down automatically.
Some of the unusual things that could occur included
- The gas level drops
- Heat levels increase
- Malfunction with the automatic flame arresters (stops the flame going back down the line
- Faulty gas valve
- High organics in the air sweep stream
The stack will be continually monitored for
- Temperature (870 C at burning point)
- Replace mixer materials with organics in stack
A Water Scrubber is proposed to be used for the vapour control of Propylene Oxide. Frank S said that they are presently being used at Coode Island and they work very well. Wastewater is incinerated in Sydney.
A Caustic Scrubber is proposed to be used for the vapour controls of Phenol. The existing caustic scrubber will have its tower replaced and will be the same dimensions as that presently used on the site.
See Attachment 7.29
Carbon canisters will continue to be used because they work well.
See Attachment 7.30
These are dry cleaning chemicals. These will be stored in floating roof tanks. This material cannot be scrubbed, burnt or absorbed on carbon beds.
See Attachment 7.31
Proposed Emission Points
See Attachment 7.32
Proposed Emissions to Air
Frank Fleer said the emissions will contain low level organic compounds, traces of Benzene, low level PAH’s (poly aromatic hydrocarbons) and sulphur dioxide from the sulphur in the compounds that are burnt. There will not be an odour.
Peter B said that burning for electricity generation might be marginally more acceptable to the community. Frank Fleer said the burning for electricity generation was less efficient so that more unburnt emissions go into the air.
Peter R said that the difference in total energy use between using carbon beds and using a combustor, was similar but the combustor would consume a bit more energy. Emissions from the combustor would be less than from the carbon beds. Carbon beds would operate at 95% efficiency and the combust at 99.9%.
The community reps Peter B and Deborah agreed that they preferred the cleaner combustion system but Peter B stated strongly that the community would be anxious about stack emissions especially in light of the given history of the Coode Island facility.
Frank F asked if the committee should be consulting with the community at this early stage of the plan development.
Peter R said this would happen after the EPA assessment of the proposal.
Peter B suggested Terminals present 2 options to the CICCC. Their favoured option and an alternative that everyone could live with.
The EPA wants one proposal but will discuss other options. If need be further discussion about options will proceed.
Ted said that he wanted the EPA to tell him what is good about the combustor.
Proposed Liquid System
Stormwater from bunds will be stored and tested before release.
Stormwater from the roads will be contained, tested and discharged through an API separator.
The operational areas will be covered, collected and sent to the sewer. Spills will go to the containment pits for treatment.
Tank and line washings will be contained in waste tanks and sent off site for disposal.
Shipping samples/Line Flushes will go to dedicated tanks to be returned and recovered.
See Attachment 7.33
ITEM 8. Incinerator Vapours
Included as part of the information and discussion in ITEM 7.
ITEM 9. Effectiveness Review (Ian Swann)
See Attachment 1. Draft Questionnaire.
On behalf of Ian Swann who had to leave the meeting early, Robin distributed copies of the brief for the Effectiveness Review, in the form of a questionnaire.
ACTION. The CICCC members are asked to review (NOT FILL IN) the Draft Questionnaire prior to discussion about its content at the next meeting. The next step will be to arrange for the review to be undertaken by a suitable consultant.
ITEM 10. Update on MHF Regulations & Report on WorkCover 6 monthly Audit.
Due to time constraints this has been deferred to the next meeting.
ITEM 11. Confidentiality Procedures Paper (Peter Brotherton)
Due to time constraints this has been deferred to the next meeting.
ITEM 12. The Manchester Agreement – need for action (Ian Thomas)
Due to time constraints this has been deferred to the next meeting.
ITEM 13. Formal Terminals consideration of the option of relocating the propylene oxide storage to Corio (Terminals, Ian Thomas)
Due to time constraints this has been deferred to the next meeting.
ITEM 14. Agenda for the Next Meeting (29 May 2000)** Please note that the date has changed.
- EPA will provide preliminary views on the Terminals’ proposals.
- Michael Isaachsen’s paper on rail transport to relieve congestion and truck traffic at the port (previously circulated) will be put on the agenda for the meeting on 15 June.
ITEM 15. Other Business
Due to time constraints the agenda items for Other Business were deferred to the next meeting.
15.1 Jarrod Edwards ( WorkCover)
Jarrod informed the CICCC of a future stakeholder briefing meeting where the Revised Draft Regulations will be discussed. Understanding of how public comment was assessed and incorporated will be included.
Meeting Details Date: Tuesday 16 May
Venue: Level 24
222 Exhibition Street
Robin indicated that he would be an apology for this meeting.
15.2 Attachments 2 – 6 were tabled. These will be discussed at the next meeting.
Close 11.45 pm
* Monday 29 May…this is a new date. The 25 May meeting has been moved to the 29 May.
Thursday 15 June
Note: Forum 14 June
CICCC ATTACHMENTS TO DRAFT MINUTES 27 April 2000
Attachment 1 CICCC Effectiveness Review Draft Questionnaire
Attachment 2 Ian Thomas notes re Propylene Oxide Storage Tanks
Attachment 3 Ian Thomas notes re Altona Complex Neighbourhood Consultative Group
Attachment 4 Ian Thomas notes re Australian Workers Union and the CICCC
Attachment 5 Ted Towson notes regarding community concerns
Attachment 7.1 – 7.33
Overheads for presentation of the ‘Upgrade of the Plant’
** These attachments will be sent by post to those who have received e-mailed minutes.