We are committed to continually improving the environmental performance of our operation and reducing any potential impacts on our community and environment. During the period 2005 - 2012, in excess of $74 million has been invested in capital improvements on the Munster Plant.
It is in our interest to operate the Munster Plant in the most efficient way possible so considerable resources are expended on a planned maintenance and improvement regime.
The most significant development in emissions control at Munster is the baghouse projects for the lime kilns 5 and 6.
Construction of the $24 million baghouse filter for kiln 6, the largest source of dust emissions at the site, was completed in March 2012 and exceeded expectations in reducing emissions.
The baghouse system is designed to substantially reduce dust emissions by providing a physical barrier between the process and stack that removes particulates from the exhaust stream. The baghouse also allowed the water sprays on kiln 6, which have been anecdotally identified as contributing to odour in the area, to be turned off.
The company's plans for the $18 million kiln 5 baghouse is on schedule to be completed by mid 2013. This will further reduce emissions from the Munster Plant and the impacts on the local community.
Above: Kiln 6 baghouse, Right: Pre-assembly of the Heat Exchanger for kiln 5 baghouse
We have been working to reduce the height of our coal stockpile to make them wider which limits the risk of coal hotspots occuring. Other improvements to our coal stockpile management include:
- Only designated staff are permitted to work in the area in order to manage the stockpile and maintain handling procedures and processes
- We have changed frequency of delivery so that the coal is being used more quickly
- Loader drivers check for fires every two hours and thermal scans are undertaken twice on each shift, looking for signs that fires might be about to start.
- The use of a water misting system is being expanded to cover the whole of the stockpile.
Where a hot spot is detected, it can be smothered. We have been vigilant in detection and, on the hot days we have had so far this year, there haven't been any fires since we implemented these new procedures. Checks will be increased as necessary on very hot days.