MEDIA STATEMENT – WEST AUSTRALIAN.
Our Munster plant is the primary manufacturer of lime for Western Australia with a production capacity of 1.25 million tonnes per annum. We have a substantial local manufacturing capacity because lime is essential to the functioning of key local industries, such as construction and infrastructure, alumina, gold, and even essential services such as water supply.
Our Munster operations are part of Cockburn Cement’s integrated production and supply chain for both cement and lime, which directly employs about 210 throughout Western Australia. Our production and supply chain also includes operations at Kwinana, Dongara, and various regional supply depots.
The lime production levels at the Munster plant will vary over time depending on the WA economic cycle and this has an influence on a range of operational outcomes, ranging from employment to the level of emissions.
All emissions from the Munster plant are a long way below the National Environmental Protection Measure (NEPM) limits, which are set by the Federal Government to ensure that air emissions do not have an impact on people’s health. The Munster plant also operates within the conditions set by its WA operating licence, which is regulated by the WA Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER).
Environmental and emissions data collected by Cockburn Cement is reported as required to the Federal and State Governments, resulting in the publication of results in the National Pollutant Inventory (NPI). Where there is no data in the NPI this will be because it is a not a measurement that is currently required of the company. Data may also vary over time if there are changes to NPI methodology.
Real time monitoring results for dust emissions are available to the community 24/7 via
Viewing this live monitoring demonstrates the effectiveness of the baghouses at Munster as the dust emissions from the lime kilns are extremely low, well within regulatory limits, and very consistent.
There are multiple air quality and dust monitoring stations around the site and in the residential community. Data from these monitoring stations show that air quality is equivalent to or better than many other areas of Perth.
The baghouses at Munster contain large filters that are continually monitored to make sure they are working effectively and are changed when required. The filters have worked extremely effectively since their installation with emissions significantly reduced and within relevant national health standards. Kiln 6 filters are scheduled to be replaced during a maintenance shutdown at the end of April, which also meets the broad guidelines for changing the filters every 6 years depending on their condition.
Cockburn Cement provides a hotline for neighbours in its community to raise issues at any time. We also encourage local residents, or anyone who is interested, to learn more about our operations by visiting Munster. Anyone interested can register for a plant tour at:
Both coal and gas are used as energy sources in the production of lime at Munster. Coal is primarily used to generate the high temperature needed to convert shellsand into lime. The plant uses sulphur coal that averages 0.7% sulphur content or less.
The Munster plant makes a minor contribution to the overall proportion of SO2 in the Kwinana airshed. It is important to note that the SO2 contribution of the Munster plant would not change significantly if the plant used more gas. This is because many of the gaseous compounds produced by combusting the coal, including sulphur compounds, are absorbed into the lime product.
We do not believe that the Munster Plant is the only contributor to odour in the local community. We receive reports of intermittent odour from residents and continue to invest considerable time and resources into establishing the source at our plant. Further information on the operations of the Munster plant together with Q&A and facts sheets can be found at www.cockburncementcommunity.com.au.