February 17, 2021

New equipment and systems installed after 2018 and 2019 incidents

Chemicals manufacturer, Koppers Australia, says it has continued to invest in new equipment and systems after incidents at its Newcastle plant several years ago.

Koppers has pleaded guilty to offences of breaching its licence and for air pollution in the Land and Environment Court, following incidents in October 2018 and May 2019. The Court has fined Koppers $82,500. The money will go to the Port Stephens Koala Hospital.

Plant manager Nick Moretti says the Koppers’ team regrets the incidents and the odours experienced by the plant’s neighbours. Mr Moretti said Koppers has worked closely with the Environment Protection Authority to install additional equipment and improve systems to prevent those incidents from occurring again.

“In consultation with the EPA, customers and the community, we continue to improve our performance and communication,” Mr Moretti said.

“We strive to operate in a responsible manner to protect the environment, our staff and the local community.”

Last year, Koppers formed a community reference group, created a new website, and introduced an SMS alert system for community members. Koppers also provides regular newsletter updates to neighbours.

Since 2008, Koppers has spent more than $40 million on capital projects to improve the efficiency and performance of the Mayfield plant.

Koppers’ Mayfield plant beneficially reuses coal tar from Australian steelworks to produce coal tar pitch – an essential raw material for Australian aluminium smelters – as well as carbon black feedstock oil, naphthalene, and timber preservation creosote. Its Mayfield plant has been operating for more than 50 years and employs around 60 people.

Media information: Craig Eardley on 0437 477 493