In 2015 a new Health and Safety at Work Act was introduced, which included specific regulations for Major Hazard Facilities (MHFs). If a facility has certain hazardous substances present in quantities above a set threshold, then it is classed as a MHF under the MHF Regulations. The Regulations are overseen by a specialist group within WorkSafe New Zealand and are designed to provide oversight and safety assurance of MHFs.
Our Major Hazard Facilities
We operate two geothermal power stations which are classified as MHFs. MHF facilities may be either an upper tier or lower tier facility depending on the quantity of specified hazardous substances onsite.
Te Ahi O Maui (TAOM) is a geothermal power station located outside the township of Kawerau in the Bay of Plenty. We use a liquid known as n-Pentane at TAOM to drive the turbines and produce power. The n-Pentane is fully contained in a closed-loop process which recycles the liquid through the system for continuous operation. Due to the quantity of n-Pentane onsite, TAOM is identified as an upper tier MHF.
|Name of Operator||Eastland Generation Limited|
|Location of Facility||Statehighway 34 Kawerau|
|Person from whom information can be requested||The Duty Operator 07 923 6040|
|General Description||Te Ahi O Maui is a geothermal power facility utilising Ormat binary cycle energy conversion technology. This technology uses n-Pentane as its motive fluid in a closed loop process. The site is situated in an isolated area on private land surrounded by indigenous and exotic forestry and is accessed via a private access road.|
|How will a major incident at the facility be notified|
|What should members of the public do if an incident occurs|
The MHF Regulations require upper tier MHFs to develop a Safety Case that demonstrates our ability to operate and maintain our power station safely. This means that we have identified all potential major incidents and we are using appropriate controls to minimise the risks of these incidents so far as is reasonably practicable.
A major incident is defined in the regulations as an uncontrolled event at a MHF that involves specified hazardous substances (e.g. n-Pentane) and exposes multiple persons to a serious risk to their health or safety.
We believe worker engagement and buy in is critical to achieving our goal of a safe site with zero harm to workers and visitors. We used a number of team-based methods for developing our Safety Case involving the entire team from operators through to senior management as well as specialists and external agencies such as Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
Our TAOM Safety Case was approved by WorkSafe New Zealand on 16th April 2018.
The TAOM Safety Case has four main parts:
Audible evacuation sirens are sounded to alert onsite personnel to follow the site evacuation procedures and activate the EMP. Fire and Emergency NZ will assume control of any major incident onsite, in collaboration with us, local authorities and other emergency service agencies.
Due to its isolated nature, people in the community do not need to take any immediate action if they hear these sirens. In the event of a major incident we will notify any potentially affected parties by telephone. In the case of an emergency Fire and Emergency NZand other emergency services will direct members of the public if any action is required.
It is important members of the public do not approach or try to gain access to TAOM. If required barriers will be erected to prevent access to site.
We will provide information to the local community via regular news channels or through our Eastland Group social media page.
We have systems in place to ensure the safety case and its requirements are maintained, reviewed and revised in accordance with the MHF Regulations. This includes assessing the need for resubmission of the safety case when significant changes have occurred at TAOM. WorkSafe NZ will routinely review the safety case.
This document presents a summary of the safety case for TAOM power station. For further information please contact the duty operator on 07 923 6040.
More information regarding the requirements for major hazard facilities is available from the WorkSafe NZ website www.worksafe.govt.nz/topic-and-industry/major-hazard-facilities/