News & Media
HCB waste export application
26 May 2014
Orica Limited today confirmed it has lodged an application with the Federal Government to export 132 tonnes of Hexachlorobenzene (HCB) waste currently stockpiled at the Botany Industrial Park in Sydney for safe and permanent destruction in France at a facility operated by the international company Tredi SA.
Orica’s application to the Federal Government follows many years of consultation and engagement with the local Botany community regarding the options for destruction of HCB.
It is envisaged that, if approved and successfully destroyed, further applications would be made to progressively destroy the remainder of the Botany stockpile at the Tredi facility.
“Orica shares the overwhelming desire of the community to find a safe, permanent and environmentally sound solution to the HCB stockpile at Botany. We believe that we have the right partners and the right solution to now resolve this difficult and long running issue,” Orica Executive Global Head Corporate Affairs and Social Responsibility, Gavin Jackman said.
Tredi is an international leader in the destruction of industrial waste, including HCB waste. Tredi’s High Temperature Incinerator operations have safely and effectively destroyed around 7,500 tonnes of HCB related waste from other countries.
“If Orica’s application is successful, the company believes it will have identified the means to resolve an enduring industrial and environmental legacy. This process can ensure that this legacy is not left for future generations to address,” Mr Jackman said.
As Australia is a signatory to both the Basel and Stockholm Conventions, (which deal with the international protocols for the handling of toxic wastes) Orica has taken great care to ensure that the application complies with both Conventions and has received detailed technical and legal opinion in support of this.
Mr Jackman said Orica had elected to seek approval for offshore destruction of the HCB stockpile after an exhaustive evaluation of potential alternatives.
“There is no viable alternative destruction method available in Australia nor is there likely to be in the foreseeable future. The only other alternative is continued long term storage at Botany Industrial Park which is not acceptable to the community,” Mr Jackman said.
Mr Jackman said Tredi SA is a global leader in the transportation and destruction of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). Tredi and Orica are committed together to providing a safe and effective solution and share responsibility for each step of the process.
The cost of the proposed shipment is accounted for in Orica’s environmental provisions.
Subject to regulatory approval the shipments are scheduled to commence during 2014.
Further information is available at www.orica.com/HCB.
Facts about HCB:
- HCB is categorised as a Persistent Organic Pollutant (POP) under the Stockholm Convention.
- HCB was produced as a waste by-product of now discontinued solvent manufacture at the Botany Industrial Park (BIP) between 1963 and 1991.
- There are currently 15,000 tonnes of HCB safely and securely stockpiled at the Botany Industrial Park site.
- The stockpile will continue to grow as the waste requires regular repackaging. Old, used packaging then becomes a new component of the stockpile.
- The Tredi destruction process – high temperature incineration – is the only process for destruction proven on an industrial scale.
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