Rendering plant operators address community council

Three representatives from the Leo Group, owners of the Kintore rendering plant, attended this week’s Kintore and District Community Council meeting.

They explained that the Kintore plant had been utilised as a ‘bulking up’ centre taking in material for transport to rendering plants in England. But, there are only five plants capable of processing category 1 material and with a fire at a plant in England, Kintore was needed back in production.

They were clear that the operation is now very different from the days of Dundas Brothers. The plant now utilises a thermal oxidiser to remove odour and, unlike the USA and Australia, none of the material now goes into animal feed. Solid material is used in generating electricity and producing biodiesel.

The site has been going through a commissioning process. Currently it is running for three to four days per week, as adjustments and modifications are made.

The community council vice chairman explained there had been widespread concern about the plant, given the problems prior to the 2004 liquidation of Dundas Brothers. He also asked why there were similar odour concerns at another Leo Group plant in Penrith, leading to a big public campaign against the “Penrith Pong”.

The company representatives said that the Penrith plant deals with about 7,000 tonnes of category 3 material while Kintore processes 3-400 tonnes, with a maximum of 6-700 tonnes of grade 1 material. They said the issue at Penrith had been failure of the electricity and they have been losing power on the site over the last two to three years. He said that complaints about the smell at Penrith site, which was purchased in 2002, had been coming down dramatically and they were investing in a new biomass thermal oxidiser.

The Kintore plant currently employs three people and 12 drivers. The aim is to employ around 15, plus two engineers.

There is an opportunity to visit the Kintore rendering plant on Wednesday, December 4 between 12 noon and 2pm.

Anyone who wants to visit must email Cassie Irving to confirm, as personal protection equipment (protective clothing) will need to be arranged.
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