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We are in the process of renewing our Coal Dust Resource Consent, which enables us to store and handle coal for export.
Our prior consent was granted in 1997 and is due to expire in 2022. Since that time, new national standards for air quality have come into effect as part of the Resource Management Act (RMA). The new standards require detailed assessments to be undertaken as part of the resource consent application.
Where are we up to in the process?
LPC lodged the resource consent in August 2021. Following its review, Environment Canterbury (ECan) asked questions about the assessments and LPC subsequently responded to allow the application to be released for public notification.
LPC volunteered to publicly notify the application to allow residents and members of the public with interest in the application to submit their views. ECan notified the application on 16 November 2022.
The resource consent hearing was held from the 19 – 21 of July 2023 and a decision is expected soon.
What kind of coal do we export at Lyttelton Port?
Approximately 95% of the coal we store at LPC is a type of coal called “coking coal”. When most people think of coal, they think of thermal coal – coal which is burned for heat and widely associated with the effects of climate change. Coking coal, however, is actually one of the ingredients used to make steel.
The coal we store at LPC comes in by train from the West Coast and is shipped mostly to China, Japan, India and Australia. New Zealand coking coal is considered some of the best in the world due to its high carbon content. It enjoys strong export demand and makes a significant contribution to our regional economy.
Coal to steel production:
What impacts might coal storage and handling at LPC have for nearby residents?
An issue with coal storage and handling is the dust that can get blown off the yard on windy days. We minimise coal dust in a range of ways, for example spraying water on the yard using a water truck and sprinkler system when high-risk weather is identified. This prevents dust from being blown around and becoming a nuisance or potential health hazard. All water is also collected and treated before it can be safely discharged.
Your voice is important to us.
We welcome questions, comments and concerns from our neighbouring residents and the wider community. We will be keeping this webpage updated, sharing articles in the LPC Update and sending out emails during this process.