Fire causes minor damage to R&D facility
Our High-Volume Test Facility at Bacchus Marsh was involved in a fire incident yesterday (Sunday 16 April 2017). The incident was attended by the CFA and the cause is currently under Police investigation.
Media reports were overstated and the Company is pleased to report that the fire was isolated and ongoing operations of the plant are not threatened by this event.
The Company was not contacted for a fact-check by the media prior to reports being published, so it’s not surprising that reports that the fire had “engulfed 120 tonnes of Brown Coal” were exaggerated. There was a considerable amount of black smoke which was almost entirely related to the incineration of the rubber conveyor belts and was quickly extinguished by the attending CFA.
Evidence at site shows that the fire is likely to have started from the outside conveyor belt early Sunday morning with it then spreading to the bottom of our product drying hopper, igniting only several tonnes of coal.
ECT Chairman, Glenn Fozard, who attended the site yesterday, said, “I’d like to thank all attending emergency services for their swift and efficient action.”
“I’d especially like to thank our site manager, who was our first staff member to attend and continued to co-ordinate and support the attending emergency service personnel on site and continued with the help of other staff, to work tirelessly into the early evening to ensure the site was safe and ready for the clean-up and repairs.”
The Company believes it is fully insured for events like this and will run the clean-up and repairs in parallel with our continued upgrades of the facility in support of our test regime and sales.
Considering this event, we are also bringing forward our planned security upgrades at the site, including CCTV installation, to enable real-time monitoring of activity within and around the facility.
Should anyone have any information about any suspicious activity between 12am-7am on Sunday 16th of April, we ask that you contact the Company, the investigating Police officer at Bacchus Marsh or Crimestoppers.