Client name: NSW Ports (formerly Port Kembla Port Corporation)

Duration: 2007 - 2012

Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Port Kembla is the country’s largest vehicle import facility, and serves as a key export facility for coal and other bulk products. Coffey supported the Port to maintain sound environmental management practices.

Assessing sediment quality and evaluating disposal options

The Port needed a tug berth facility in the outer harbour. Given the local environs and tidal flows there was a need to assess the sediment quality to evaluate disposal options.  Sediment disposal attracts a relatively high cost due to complex management including the need for dewatering, if disposed on land.

Coffey completed a sediment assessment and works included arranging specialist divers to retrieve core samples for sediment analysis. The results were compared to offshore disposal and waste classification guidelines which enabled the Port to make informed decisions regarding disposal.

Environmental chemical testing and geotechnical field trials to determine spoil disposal options

Port Kembla inner harbour had a large stockpile of dredged spoil.  Without a clear picture of the makeup of the spoil it could not either be permanently disposed of or re-used.

We completed an assessment of the spoil. By employing environmental chemical testing and geotechnical field trials we were able to advise the Port of their options. The material was found to contain acid sulfate soils and so couldn’t be re-used on site.

The stockpile was eventually disposed below water in a reclamation area within the inner harbour.  This enabled the Port to minimise their reclamation and disposal costs.

Analysing sediment and water quality 

Several sediment pond sites within the inner harbour needed to be assessed for sediment and water quality.  The ponds were to be reclaimed to allow construction of a new car import facility.  The assessments were needed to ensure an adequate sediment and water disposal option was selected.

The works involved assessment of chemical contaminants, acid sulfate soils and water quality parameters for disposal or re-use options. Our advice enabled the Port to make decisions regarding appropriate sediment and water disposal options.

Re-using material in accordance with NSW EPA resource recovery guidelines

The Port had a relatively large stockpile of ballast fines. Potentially these were going to have to be disposed of offsite - at considerable cost to the Port.

Our team navigated the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA) resource recovery guidelines and were able to make specific application to EPA for beneficial re-use of the material. A successful sustainable result was achieved allowing the material to be re-used without having to be disposed and wasting valuable landfill space.