Heritage Victoria’s decision to allow demolition and removal of the Morwell Power Station has been welcomed by Energy Brix Australia.
EBAC General Manager Remediation, Barry Dungey, said the decision provided the best outcome for all affected parties.
“It allows the ongoing development of the site by the site purchaser, Gippsland Infrastructure, to invest in the site with certainty and establish a new business within Latrobe Valley,” Mr Dungey said,
“This project offers full time and long term jobs, something that the Valley critically requires as it struggles to adjust to a range of recent business closures.
“It also allows us to remove the significant amounts of asbestos from within the Power Station structures, safely and under controlled conditions to ensure the site remains safe for the community of the Latrobe Valley in the future.”
Mr Dungey said the decision now ensured the briquette factories would be maintained as Gippsland Infrastructure intended restarting and using some of this equipment in their development.
“The use of best practice historical recording mechanisms and site interpretation plans to capture heritage information on the site so the history of the site won’t be lost to those who may seek it in the future,” he added.
“The final sale of the site to Gippsland Infrastructure once demolition and site clean-up is complete will also provide additional returns to HRL Limited creditors following HRL Limited being forced into administration and then liquidation in 2016.”
Ian Carson of PPB Advisory, Liquidator of Energy Brix, said he was pleased Energy Brix could work its way through the Heritage Victoria listing and permit process while ensuring high health, safety and environmental standards were maintained at the site.
Energy Brix has welcomed the decision by the Environment Protection Authority to approve its application for construction of an asbestos disposal cell at its site.
Energy Brix General Manager Remediation, Barry Dungey, said it was pleasing that after 15 months of investigations of suitable disposal sites and the expenditure of more than $200,000 in engineering assessment fees, the cell design met all of the EPA design criteria suitable for asbestos disposal.
“We held a public meeting in Morwell in October 2017 where we presented the planned site location along with the planned design and final landscaping pictures of what the area will look like at the completion of the asbestos removal,” Mr Dungey said.
“At that meeting, local residents had more questions on the asbestos removal process envisaged rather than the disposal cell itself.
“There is no risk of asbestos fibre release during disposal as under regulations, all asbestos must be suitably sealed prior to disposal. As an extra safety precaution, EBAC will also conduct air monitoring when placing material into the cell with the results being posted on our website within 24 hours of results being available.”
Mr Dungey stressed that once the material was buried and sealed, it was then completely safe as it was only air borne particles that were a risk to human health.
He said the selected site provided the lowest risk option for the community for disposal of the estimated 10,000m3 of asbestos to be removed from the site.
“If the site was not approved then we would have no option but to truck all of this material to Melbourne for disposal creating a risk of complete freeway blockage for up to 24 hours if a truck accident was to occur.”
The final stage of EBAC’s required approval process is the Latrobe City Council meeting scheduled on Monday night (4 June).
Council officers are also recommending the cell be approved as it meets all of the land planning requirements for EBAC’s current zoning.
A link to the approved EPA works approval and to a detailed question and answer sheet on the cell design and general asbestos information is available on EBAC’s website – https://ebacdemolition.com.au/