Environment

Queensland Alumina Limited (QAL)

Environmental performance

In 2014, QAL operated under its new Environmental Authority (EA) for the first full year since it was introduced in 2013. We made great progress, completing a number of projects as part of the Transitional Environmental Programmes (TEPs), which ensured we achieved compliance with all our EA conditions.

Five of the 12 projects in the EA TEP have now been completed.

In 2014, projects on continuous monitoring of water, noise and air discharges were all completed. Projects in the Alumina Dust TEP are now 80 per cent finished and due for completion in 2015.

Of the nine significant environmental incidents, three were related to extreme wet weather events in early 2014. A number of the TEP projects underway will help QAL to better manage the significant variability and tropical weather of Gladstone.

As we move towards completing all TEPs in 2015 and 2016, our non-compliance position and overall environmental performance will improve significantly.

9 Significant Environental Incidents
35 Technical licence breach incidents

Note: The 30 reported land incidents were hydrocarbon spills; 24 of them were <15L of hydrocarbon spilt.

Show Table

2013

2014

2014

Performance

2015

Environmental incidents (medium and above)

5

9

0

0

Technical licence breach incidents

9

35

0

0

+Freshwater use (ML)

9,605

10,158

9,163

9,271

Freshwater use efficiency (kL/t alumina)

2.84

2.85

2.45

2.45

Seawater use (ML)

35,522

35,530

35,600

35,600

Sulphur dioxide emissions

No licence breaches

No licence breaches

No licence breaches

No licence breaches

Nitrogen dioxide emissions

No licence breaches

No licence breaches

No licence breaches

No licence breaches

Waste recycled (t)

4,413

4,059

4,100

4,100

Land revegetation (ha)

5

6.4

6.4

5

Greenhouse gas emissions (t CO2-e/t alumina)

3,668,420

3,676,314

3,856,000

3,970,021

Greenhouse gas efficiency (t CO2-e/t alumina)

1.084

1.03

1.03

1.05

Bayer process energy use (GJ)

40,569,000

41,655,000

41,404,000

42,683,000

Bayer process energy efficiency (GJ/t alumina)

11.99

11.68

11.06

11.29

+Freshwater use includes all grey water and recycled water used on site.
NOTE: In 2014, QAL’s new Environmental Authority came into effect and this changed the way QAL reports environmental incidents. The increase in the ‘Technical licence breach incidents’ and ‘Significant Environmental Incident’ figures are because activities previously not required to be reported as incidents are now required to be reported.

Environmental challenges and achievements

Several achievements were celebrated by the Environment team in 2014 with huge progress made on two Transitional Environmental Programmes (TEPs) stipulated in the Environmental Authority under which QAL operates. The majority of both the Alumina Dust TEP and the Licence Compliance TEP have been completed on schedule with no milestones missed.

Seven hectares of QAL’s ash dam were also successfully revegetated. The remainder of the ash dam is used as either a working ash pond or is continually dust-suppressed. Each year, wader birds have continued to roost there and the population continues to grow.

Case Studies

Transitional Environmental Programmes make progress

Five of the eight projects associated with the Alumina Dust TEP have now been completed. This includes work on the ship loader and dust collector to minimise dust emissions from the wharf.
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