Coal ash storage in Gympie "industry standard" says firm
THE company under investigation for storing coal ash in a Gympie industrial shed has defended its practices as industry standard and compliant with environmental approvals.
Coal ReUse executive chairman Rodney Hudspeth said he had "complete confidence" the company was abiding by regulations, following allegations that keeping the ash stored was in breach of its environmental approvals.
"Coal ReUse has demonstrated to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection that cenospheres - a non-hazardous product under Work Safe Australia standards - are stored safely," Mr Hudspeth said.
The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection has reassured residents the stockpile at a Wadell Rd facility on the outskirts of Gympie poses no health risks.
Coal ReUse takes both cenospheres (a silica and alumina product) and fly ash (a more hazardous waste product used in cement) from the Tarong and Tarong North power stations.
Spokesman Wentworth Hill said all fly ash Coal ReUse removes from the Tarong power stations is immediately on-sold, and the company does not store fly ash.
The cenospheres are stored in Gympie and Pinkenba in Brisbane before they are on-sold to domestic and international customers.
Coal ReUse is storing 1450 tonnes of cenospheres worth almost $2 million across the two facilities.
Mr Hudspeth said Coal ReUse follows common practice for the industry.
"Coal ReUse practices are standard in the industry and the implications of any change in approach directed to Coal ReUse are likely to have significant implications for wider industry," he said.
Coal cenospheres are used for manufacturing a range of products, including cosmetics, cement mixes and concrete, ceramics, adhesives, fire retardant linings, insulation and metal alloys.