We’re dedicated to proactively reducing our noise contribution in Newcastle’s working Harbour, focusing on responsible management of our Carrington and Kooragang operations for minimal impact to our neighbours and communities.
We undertake a range of activities and programmes to ensure effective control of noise sources from our 24-hour operations and reduce the impact on our neighbours. The design of our plant and equipment, project planning, scheduling of work, the systems and procedures incorporates noise management controls for daily operations and long-term noise management strategies.
Where commercially available, we install low-noise conveyor drives, rollers and coal transfer chutes and use fully enclosed transfer points with minimal drop heights, soft flow chutes and regular plant and equipment maintenance to minimise operational noise. We also use best practice design principles for offsite noise reduction such as conveyor idler change outs, and re-orientation and adjustment of alarms.
We have developed a multi-year Carrington Conveyor Drive Strategy to achieve an offsite noise reduction target of 1 decibel at neighbouring residential locations through upgrades to over 30 conveyor drives with lower noise replacements. Since commencement in 2017, 22 drives have been upgraded, with a capital expenditure of more than $6 million. In 2022, a further six drives will be upgraded with a budget of $1.7 million.
We regularly undertake noise monitoring assessments at numerous residential and industrial locations to verify our noise performance. Our performance measures include our Development Consent conditions criteria and, where these are absent, adopting internal monitoring goals and programmes to analyse and evaluate noise over time. We also measure sound power levels of our equipment, which gives us real-world conditions information that can be folded into updated noise modelling of our terminals, allowing us to target specific items of plant and equipment generating noise, and proactive improvement projects.
Our employees and contractors play a critical role in managing noise. We provide employees and contractors with ongoing noise management education and awareness to maintain effective controls, performance and processes, and encourage continuous improvement.