Australia to send toxic waste to Denmark

Denmark will allow Australia to ship over thousands of tonnes of toxic waste for disposal, because Australia doesn't have the technology to deal with it.

Australia lacks proper technology to deal with the 10,000 tonnes of HCB, or hexachlorobenzene, which is produced by the Australian company Orica through the manufacturing of chemical products and explosives. The toxic waste resulted from the production of explosives from 1963 to 1991 and has been so far stored in the heart of a residential zone between Sydney and the city's airport.

Danish environment minister Karen Ellemann said her country had to act because of treaty obligations. Denmark "has the obligation to help other countries when they are confronted to an unsolvable problem," she said in a statement. Ellemann said it was "very problematic to transport dangerous waste from one area of the globe to another." As a result, Danish authorities will require the waste to be transported in double-hulled ships, with each container equipped with a GPS to allow its movements to be tracked.

A several million € worth contract for a Danish company

The shipment and treatment of the waste will also result in a major contract for a Danish company.The company that will treat the waste, Kommunekemi, welcomed the decision, which will result in a contract valued at € 7 million. Kommunekemi treats some 170,000 tonnes of hazardous waste per year, with about 40 per cent coming from other countries.

"Four freighters, carrying 2,500 tonnes of waste each, should carry these toxic chemicals to Nyborg (central Denmark) over the next three years," said Carsten Fich, the head of Kommunekemi, owned by Swedish-based investment fund EQT. The first should arrive in Nyborg in October this year.

The Germans rejected the toxic waste from Australia

The company Orica wanted to dispose its toxic waste for treatment in Germany first. Applications were sent for the import of 22.000 tons of toxic waste in 2007 but were rejected by the governments of North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein.

Copyright: © WtERT Germany GmbH (23.06.2010)


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