Frequently Asked Questions
Is Alcoa responsible for rehabilitating the land?
Alcoa recognises its responsibilities and we will continue to work in the manner that we always have – with our values of health, safety and environmental protection at the forefront. We are working closely with EPA Victoria to progress requirements that need to be addressed as part of the clean-up notice and our overarching approach is consistent with the relevant components of the National Environment Protection (Assessment of Site Contamination) Measure 1999 (as amended 2013) (NEPM). Alcoa has engaged qualified experts to support the site assessments.
What is involved in the rehabilitation?
In line with the NEPM, Alcoa has commenced this process by commissioning a series of Tier 1 preliminary site investigations to identify the potential nature and extent of contamination at the site, consistent with historical land use and activities. Suitably qualified consultants have been appointed to support this comprehensive assessment. Based on the outcomes of the Tier 1 preliminary investigations, detailed investigations and site specific risk assessments may be undertaken to enable future site management strategies to be devised.
What is the environmental impact of 50 years of Alcoa operations?
Alcoa has engaged qualified experts to support a comprehensive site assessment. We have extensive environmental records, and an expert Alcoa team, to support this process. Environmental monitoring continues, as does vermin and weed control. There are three onsite landfills that also continue to be monitored. As part of the EPA clean-up notice, Alcoa has engaged an EPA Victoria appointed environmental auditor to perform an environmental audit of the site. The auditor will provide independent reports back to the EPA for assessment. Read more here.
What is happening to all of the equipment and buildings?
Decommissioning of equipment has commenced. The decommissioning includes recovering and selling scrap materials from inside the smelter and rolling mill, and removing and recycling equipment. Read more here. In addition to this some surplus equipment is being offered for sale to the public via Liquidity Services. Contact details can be provided on request for this activity.
How long will the decommissioning and remediation take and what is going to happen to the site?
This is expected to be a complex process over a period of three to five years with final decommissioning, environmental remediation requirements, and long term land use being closely inter-related. Read how you can share your views on the future of the site here.
Who is undertaking the work?
A dedicated and experienced local project team was established in 2014 and is located at the Point Henry site. The local Alcoa team, made up of 12 people, is backed by the company’s global project and asset management group with expertise in environmental remediation, facility decommissioning and project management.
We have also engaged qualified experts to support the site assessments and decommissioning activities. Decommissioning activities are being undertaken by contracted companies and include small groups of specialised teams undertaking the work.
Is the community going to have a say about the future?
We recognise that the community wants to have their say about what might be next for our site. Alcoa has a long history of engaging with the community including via a Community Advisory Board (CAB) operating since 2001.
In December 2015 Point Henry 575 was launched to help shape Alcoa’s Master Plan for its 575 hectare site at Point Henry. Alcoa is working with the community to create a shared vision for the future of Point Henry 575. Read more here.
How much land does Alcoa own?
Alcoa owns and manages 575 hectares of land at Point Henry, with the industrial site representing approximately 75 hectares of this.
Does Alcoa own the pier?
The pier is owned by the GeelongPort. When the smelter and rolling mill were operating it was leased by Alcoa. The equipment on the pier is owned by Alcoa.
What is happening to the transmission lines?
There are two transmission lines to Point Henry. The line coming from North Geelong belongs to Ausnet Services and provides ongoing power to Alcoa's Point Henry site. The second line is an Alcoa owned line that provided power from the Anglesea Power Station to Alcoa's Point Henry site.
There are easements in place for this line. While Alcoa no longer requires the transmission line for the power station or smelter, Powercor uses a section of the line to transmit power to residents in Anglesea and Lorne. The line may be a key power asset for the region and discussions have begun with state government, relevant authorities and power companies about the future of the line and easements however at this point in time no decisions have been made. Powercor, on Alcoa’s behalf, will continue to perform some routine maintenance activities to ensure the transmission line remains in a safe state. Should it be determined that there is no future use for the transmission line, Alcoa will remove the line inclusive of first communicating with property owners and considerate of all relevant regulations.
Any other questions?
Further updates are available on this website. Please contact us if you would like any further information.