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Nufarm one of Australia’s leading Agribusinesses decided to rationalise its Australian manufacturing operations in April 2014. As a part of this decision the company decided to relocate its Queensland Operation based at Lytton to Laverton Victoria. It is always disappointing to see a business relocate from Queensland. icubed had assisted Nufarm in the development of its Lytton Chemical Manufacturing site (2,700 m2 Dangerous Goods Warehouse – 2005, Controlled Release Chemical Manufacturing Plant 2008, Amenities and Office Upgrades 2007). When the time had come for Nufarm to relocate the manufacturing facilities to a site closer to its main manufacturing location in Laverton. Nufarm contacted icubed Consulting to assist given our intimate knowledge of the site and experience in civil, structural, planning, risk and environmental matters.
icubed provided a range of consulting services to assist Nufarm’s relocation. Some of the work icubed undertook is highlighted below;
icubed project managed the staged shutdown, clean up, remediation and assisted with disposal of the site. This included working with the Sales and Operations Planning team at Nufarm to stage the shutdown of various plant areas, while ensuring that vital product inventories of long lead time products could manufactured. This was a particular challenge as the site continued to operate as a Major Hazard Facility until the final weeks of the project. icubed staff were part of the overall project team and allowed the site manufacturing team to focus on the day to day business of producing product while we assisted with the valuable project planning and preparations for closure and relocation of assets. In its final year of operation the site was producing at >200% of its previous maximum production rates.
Various asset disposal options were available for Nufarm and icubed assisted with preparing and refining various land disposal options to provide maximum financial benefit to Nufarm with minimal capital outlays. Our planning team assisted in providing options analysis and advice with regard to future land development options critical to the evaluation of the various options available and ultimately assisting in successful divestment of the property.
Our Civil team provided options advice an analysis to assist in strategic commercial decisions around the final condition of the site and storm water management systems.
Our Risk and Environment team were involved in developing a site history dossier that allowed for a targeted Stage 2 contaminated land investigation (by others) that identified areas of the site with low levels of contamination. When Nufarm voluntarily elected to remediate contaminated soils, icubed assisted with supervision, advice and oversight of the process. Soil was remediated on site (land farmed) to reduce hydrocarbon and pesticide levels on the site to ensure the land could be safely used for future industrial use and that any potential ongoing environmental impacts from the nearly 30 years of the site operations were appropriately managed. Our role included the coordination of validation testing, engagement of an approved contaminated land auditor and lodgement of the relevant contaminated land documentation with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. We also assisted in preparation of the necessary documentation to facilitate hand back of the Environmental Approvals.
Our structural team was instrumental in providing innovative solutions that allowed remediation of soils from within manufacturing buildings that avoided demolition of the buildings to provide an excellent outcome for Nufarm, saving both time and money.
In addition to these works, we worked with Nufarm to develop a De-construction safety management plans to ensure the staged decommissioning and relocation of the works that involved bringing workers onto the site who were unfamiliar with the hazardous nature of the materials handled on the site and could work safely. The site maintained its exceptional standards of recording no Medical Treatment or Lost Time Injuries during the project works.
While it is disappointing to see the loss of a manufacturing asset from Queensland, we have been pleased to be an integral part of both the construction of the site and its closure and relocation.