About the Project

Following the closure of the Point Henry smelting and rolling operations in 2014, the decommissioning and rehabilitation of the site has begun.

Located on the Point Henry peninsula, Alcoa’s freehold land totals approximately 575 hectares, and comprises the former industrial site (approximately 75 hectares), former saltpans, wetlands, farmland and grasslands.

Alcoa’s local team is backed by the company’s global project and asset management group with expertise in environmental remediation, facility decommissioning and project management.

Alcoa’s strong commitment to health, safety and protection of the environment underpins every activity associated with the project.

There are three tiers to this project:

  • Decommissioning
  • Environmental management
  • Future Land Planning

Decommissioning

The decommissioning process is underway and includes the removal of equipment and infrastructure largely located on the former industrial site.

Activities include the recovery and recycling of process materials, along with the removal and recycling of manufacturing equipment, buildings and facilities including cooling towers and storage tanks.

Alcoa is working with small groups of specialist contractors to undertake the work, with decommissioning expected to be completed by late 2018.

Environmental Management

Alcoa is committed to working collaboratively with the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) Victoria and other stakeholders to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes for the future of the site.

Consistent with the National Environment Protection (Assessment of Site Contamination) Measure 1999 (as amended 2013), Alcoa has commissioned a series of site investigations to identify the potential nature and extent of contamination at the site resulting from historical land use and activities. Suitably qualified consultants have been appointed to support this comprehensive site assessment.

As part of due process for an industrial site, the EPA issued Alcoa with a statutory clean up notice in March 2015, requiring the company to manage environmental contamination at the site in preparation for future use. On 30 November 2016, the EPA Victoria issued Alcoa with an amended clean up notice to align with the plant’s decommissioning schedule and in recognition of the scale of the assessment work still to be completed. The notice outlining the site’s environmental assessment process is now due for compliance by December 2018 (previously December 2016). To date, there have been no unexpected matters identified by Alcoa or the EPA.

In line with the clean-up notice, an independent environmental auditor is assessing the processes undertaken and provides independent reports to the EPA. Alcoa is also required to provide a written update to the EPA every quarter.

Future Land Planning

The Point Henry peninsula has played a significant role in the region's history, and since 1963 Alcoa has been an integral part of the Geelong community. An opportunity now exists for Alcoa’s landholdings on the Point Henry peninsula to help reshape the region’s future.

The Point Henry 575 Concept Master Plan outlines the potential future uses of Alcoa’s landholdings and is informed by broad community engagement undertaken by Alcoa since December 2015. Following a draft released for community feedback in 2016, Alcoa published the updated Point Henry 575 Concept Master Plan in September 2017.

The plan provides a vision that guides the possible future transition of Alcoa’s landholdings over a 20 to 30-year period and unlocks the Point Henry peninsula’s potential for Geelong by:

  • connecting Geelong to a new coastal destination;
  • connecting Geelong to Point Henry’s unique landscapes; and
  • connecting Geelong to a diverse range of sustainable living opportunities.

Alcoa is tremendously proud of its contribution to the Geelong region over more than five decades and looks forward to Point Henry 575 making a significant contribution to the region’s future.

decommissioning

Significant progress has been made on the decommissioning of the former industrial site. Photo taken June 2017.

Environmental

Environment assessments have included water sampling and soil testing.

Environmental

Alcoa’s Point Henry operations commenced in 1963. Read more about the company’s history at Point Henry here.