Port Botany Chemical Spill and Hydraulic Oil Clean Up

Project Overview

Patrick Terminals is a container terminal operator that handles over three million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) containers per annum. They operate some of Australia’s most technologically advanced container terminals at four strategically located ports around the Australian coast. Their Sydney AutoStradTM Terminal at Port Botany is the largest container terminal in Sydney by capacity with four berths, 1400m qual line, 1.6 million TEU capacity over a 63ha site.

In 2018 Patrick Stevedores engaged McMahon Services to provide emergency incident response services at Port Botany and by early 2019, MaMahon Services had completed two response projects on site.

Port Botany Acid Spill

In March 2018 the response team were called out to the Port Botany terminal to contain and decontaminate a shipping container leaking hexafluorosilicic acid. Due to rough seas, the metal cage around one of 18 intermediate bulk containers (IBC) broke, piercing the plastic allowing the acid to leak.

A bunded area was constructed to contain further spillage. As well as its toxic and corrosive properties, hexafluorosilicic acid can release hydrogen fluoride when it evaporates which is an additional health risk to personnel. The team required specialised personnel protective equipment including multi-layered chemical resistant coveralls and powered air purifying respirator systems.

Each individual intermediate bulk container was removed from the 20ft container using a forklift and inspected before a hydrated lime mixture was applied to the external surface. The acid in the damaged intermediate bulk containers were decanted into new containers and re-sealed. The new intermediate bulk containers were wiped over and placed into new shipping containers. The freight was then secured and inspected before shipment.

Container Vessel Hydraulic Oil Clean Up

In July 2018 the team was called for a hydraulic oil leak incident. Works included cleaning oil from surfaces.

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