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Nuplex Committed To Exceeding Responsibilities

25 July 2003

Media Statement


Nuplex Committed To Exceeding Its Environmenmtal Responsibilities
- Takes Immediate Action Over Small Fire Risk –

Statement from John Hirst, Managing Director, Nuplex Industries Limited

Parts of Nuplex’s East Tamaki dangerous goods site are being temporarily closed down by the company as a preventative fire risk measure, while it puts in places further safety measures.

An Environment Court decision outlined a “low probability” of fire and “no certainty” of “effect on the environment” in its interim order to shut down parts of the East Tamaki facility by Wednesday 30 July 2003.

The courts decision outlined that the potential risk of fire (which is very low) makes shutting down parts of the site worthwhile.

Nuplex has taken immediate steps to install new state-of-the-art air monitors and a deluge system to further improve the fire safety aspects of the site and expects completion of this part of the programme in the near future.

Although the probability of a fire occurring is very low (estimated by industry experts at one chance in ten thousand years) Nuplex is committed to further reducing and preventing that risk where possible.

Nuplex is committed to ensuring all our sites exceed regulatory standards and environmental responsibilities and this site plays a vital role in protecting the greater environment from inappropriate disposal of waste.

The courts decision goes against independent and expert advice.

The temporary partial shutdown will affect the oil fired boiler, the waste oil plant, the solvent recovery plant and the ethanol plant. Nuplex is contacting a small number of affected customers directly to offer alternative arrangements where possible and regrets the considerable inconvenience caused to these customers.

The company takes it’s safety and environmental responsibilities very seriously and has spent in excess of $200,000 on improving and upgrading the East Tamaki site over the last year.

Nuplex committed to spend $8million in New Zealand and Australia over the last two years to upgrade facilities and safeguards in relation to health, safety and environmental protection.

The East Tamaki site was yesterday awarded for taking every precaution to protect employees, the community and the environment from harm by the New Zealand Chemical Industry Council.

The Prince Accreditation award recognises a commitment to superior safety, health and environmental performance, confirms compliance and is a badge of corporate responsibility and excellence, according to the NZCIC.

The East Tamaki site has been one of Auckland’s most trusted hazardous waste sites for customers for over 40 years.


Ends.

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