April, 2021

Koppers spends additional $1M on environmental performance improvement projects

Koppers, is investing around $1M on additional projects this financial year at its Newcastle chemical plant to further improve its operational and environmental performance.

Plant manager, Nick Moretti, said the projects include: replacing emergency vents; a back-up furnace to thermally oxidise fumes; a new software system for monitoring plant performance and alarms; further automation of manual fume control valves; and new magnetic, sea- less, fume scrubbing pumps.

“In consultation with the EPA, the Koppers’ team is continually improving performance through equipment and systems upgrades as well as better communication with the local community,” Nick said

“We strive to operate in an environmentally responsible manner to and will continue to work on improvements to the site,” he said.


Koppers gave its Community Reference Group an update on the projects, listed below, at last month’s meeting. Plant neighbours will be updated in the company’s community newsletter which will be letter box dropped to neighbouring businesses and residents this month.

  • A new $113,000 software system and console to better monitor plant performance and alarms.
  • A $100,000 project to enable the plant’s spare hot oil furnace to have capacity to thermally oxidise fumes. The plant’s licence was upgraded by the EPA in 2020 to require that all fumes from the site’s tanks be scrubbed and oxidised prior to emission.
  • A $236,000 project to replace existing mechanically sealed pumps with seal-less magnetic drive pumps to further reduce the potential for emissions.
  • A $300,000 project to improve the site’s fume control system including fitting fail safe valve actuators to scrubber tanks, automating all manual fume pressure valves and furnace safety shutoff valves and a new fume fan to direct vapours from the Naphthalene Tank Farm to the reboiler.
  • A $240,000 Emergency Hatch Replacement project to prevent emergency vent emissions by installing 19 new, and better sealing, vents. This is a first stage, with more stages to follow.

These projects are in addition to the $5M Koppers spends annually maintaining its Newcastle plant.

Nick said Koppers was continuing its community support as well as minimising community impacts from its operations. Local refugee support organisation, Zara’s House, now has a BBQ where local women can cook, gather, and share an understanding of various cultures. The Koppers’ team presented Sister Di, Zara’s House Founder and 2017 Newcastle Citizen of the Year, with the BBQ earlier this year.

People or businesses wishing to find out more about Koppers’ initiatives or to join its Community Reference Group should call its community information line on 1800 066 243.


Media information: Craig Eardley on 0437477493