Frequently Asked Questions
Why is it the intention to demolish the site?
The site contains significant quantities of asbestos that while are appropriately managed currently will only deteriorate with age. Hazardous materials and structures need to be removed to allow for future development options for the site and to minimise Health and Safety risks as these assets age.
It is the liquidators’ view that remediating the site with a view to sell the land once the hazardous materials and structures have been removed will likely provide the highest return to creditors.
The power station has been a big part of Morwell’s history. Will anything be kept for historical use?
Due to the extent of asbestos and the poor condition of buildings on the site it is our view that it is not a suitable site to be kept for historical purposes. Over the last 12 months we have worked with local historical museums and Power Works to give them access to any materials they considered valuable for their use. In addition we have recorded 3D vision of both the Power Station and Briquette Factory so that a virtual tour of the site and structures can be created. Visit www.morwellpowerstation.com.au to see more.
We are also in discussions with another Australian company on the potential purchase of some of the briquetting equipment for use in another project, so it is possible that some equipment will be re-used at another industrial site.
Will there be danger of asbestos contamination to nearby homes?
No, all asbestos will be removed under controlled and legislated conditions by authorised removal contractors. All asbestos once removed from the ‘tented areas’ will be encased in either sealed 44 gallon drums or double wrapped in plastic as per legislated requirements. In addition during asbestos insulation removal (Class A), background fibre monitoring will be undertaken at site to ensure asbestos fibre contamination does not occur outside tented areas.
Where will the asbestos be disposed of?
Due to the large amount of asbestos to be removed from the site (in excess of 10,000m3), we consider that risks can be minimised by disposing of the material at a local disposal point, rather than transporting the material long distances via public road. We are currently in discussions with local regulators about various options that exist. The community will be kept fully informed as discussions progress in this area.
How long will the demolition take?
The total program is expected to commence in April 2017 and be completed by March 2020.
Who can I contact if I have any concerns?
You can contact EBAC Site Management Team.
Please complete our enquiry form and a representative will contact you to discuss your concerns.
Who is paying for this site remediation?
When HRL purchased the site in 1996, the SECV established a site remediation fund to cover the expected remediation costs. In 2014, in recognition that the fund may be insufficient for remediation purposes, and as condition of receiving additional federal funding under the Briquette Operational Support Deed provided at the time carbon pricing was introduced, HRL Limited contributed additional funding into the remediation fund to cover the expected cost of site remediation.
Do sufficient funds exist within the remediation fund to complete all remediation work?
It is the liquidators view that a significant amount of site remediation can be completed with the funding available. EBAC will be executing all work as efficiently and safely as possible to ensure the maximum amount of remediation can be completed with the funding available.
The liquidators are working to a remediation program and have consulted with the SECV and Department of Treasury and Finance to ensure that the works that will be undertaken to remediate the site are prioritised and executed as efficiently as possible.
What level of funding exists within the remediation fund?
The level of funding available is confidential. With the majority of the work to be conducted on site planned to be via a fixed price tender and contract processes, we do not want the price to be influenced by the amount of funds that exist within the remediation fund. An independent certifier is appointed to ensure that the funds are expended efficiently during the remediation process.
Will any of remediation work involve local labour?
All large demolition contracts will be placed to public tender. Due to the size of these demolition projects it is likely they will be principally undertaken by major demolition companies both operating across Australia and overseas. (None exist within the Latrobe Valley currently). Demolition is not a high labour use business, it is conducted with very large demolition machines and equipment. Ultimately labour resourcing is the responsibility of appointed contractors, but providing efficiencies are equivalent, they will be encouraged to employ local resources where possible. It is likely that with this project and the future demolition of Hazelwood that some locals will be trained in demolition skills applicable to this industry.
What environmental surveys have been conducted on the site?
Significant environmental surveys were conducted across the site prior to its purchase by HRL in 1996 and last year at the request of the EPA. Following a comprehensive risk assessment across the site by Jacobs Engineering Consultancy, a total of 21 ground water bores and 250 soil samples have been taken and analysed across the site in 2016. While several areas of oil contaminated coal have been located on site, no other areas of concerning contamination were found. Extensive surveys have also been conducted on both quantities and locations of hazardous material on site. A full Division 6 audit has been prepared as required under site demolition standards. Environmental standards will be maintained on site to allow a 53V environmental audit to be conducted at the completion of demolition and remediation.
Who owns the site?
The site is owned by Energy Brix Australia Corporation Pty Ltd (In Liquidation), and as such the site is controlled by the liquidators. The liquidators’ duty is to maximise the return to creditors. It is their view that best return to creditors can be achieved by a sale of the land for future industrial development following the completion of the remediation and hazardous material removal from the site.
Will any buildings be kept?
The liquidators will prioritise the removal of hazardous materials from the site during the remediation process. The liquidators have identified three buildings on site which may maximise the final sale value for re-use. The three buildings which may be kept are:
- The loading shed, which currently houses a working truck weighbridge
- The past briquette storage shed, a large building used in the past to store up to 6000t of briquettes under cover
- The Power Station main store building, a building that is well removed from the demolition area and contains an internal crane still in working condition.
All of these buildings have been assessed as is sound condition and may offer potential benefits to the future use and development of the site.
What is the likelihood of the site being sold once demolition and remediation is complete?
The liquidators consider the probability is very high as they have already been approached by several interested parties. The site has a good physical location being located near the freeway and once demolition is complete it will be a relatively clean site suitable for a range of different business options.
What happens to the site now that an Interim Protection Order has been put in place by Heritage Victoria?
EBAC is adhering to the Interim Protection Order and no further demolition or removal of equipment will occur to either the Power Station or the Briquette Factory while the IPO is in place without permission from Heritage Victoria.
We continue to plan for demolition due to the level of hazardous material that exists on site along with the poor condition of buildings however as stated above we acknowledge those works cannot commence at this point in time.
The site is privately owned and the liquidators, working on behalf of creditors, believe the site is valuable as an industrial site once remediation is complete.
To date, the liquidators have received no commercial approaches in regards preserving the site as a museum or otherwise which would be likely to be impractical due to the level of hazardous material that exists on site along with the poor condition of buildings.
The liquidators are also concerned that delays experienced in completing site demolition potentially add additional costs to the remediation fund, which may result in less remediation work being completed. They will be working hard to assist Heritage Victoria wherever possible to facilitate their assessment of the site as efficiently as possible.