News

Repair Progress

15 February 2019

It was great to meet new neighbours and reconnect with familiar faces at our Annual Resident BBQ held last Friday. Whether you came out to mingle or you missed the event, we hope you can join us next year for another enjoyable evening.

Since the last repair update, sea conditions have kept our dive crews on standby as they wait for calm waters before installing the offshore access hatch. During this time, we have continued exploring options to optimise repair success.

We currently plan to proceed with the fibreglass patch solution that initially involves winching a cleaning probe through the pipe and then immediately installing patches to the damaged sections. Constraints on the supply of materials and equipment have required us to find an overseas supplier resulting in the potential repair date being extended into March.

We are also exploring a repair solution that uses Swiss technology to insert a liner inside the pipe from above the water line out to the existing polyethene pipe. This is a reliable method for isolating contact with the original steel pipe and reducing the risk of subsequent failures.

The liner can be used on its own or in conjunction with the fibreglass patch solution. Although the liner materials are also sourced from overseas, it may arrive earlier than the fibreglass patch equipment. If so, the liner would mitigate the need for the fibreglass patch solution.

In parallel with the repair work, we continue to investigate long-term replacement solutions. A third-party assessment of the original pipeline is underway, and further camera investigations will better determine the condition of the steel pipe.

We continue to advise the public to avoid swimming and collecting shellfish within 150 metres of the pipeline. Our water is sourced from the Esk River where E.coli is naturally present and the treatment plant’s warm temperature enables these bacteria to breed in numbers. However, E.coli has a short lifespan in salt water and it is considered low risk when discharged into the sea. As a result, the District Health Board has recommended a 150m warning zone as a precautionary measure and we have installed signage to reflect their recommendation. We continue to sample and test the water regularly to monitor for changes.

 


Installing Access Hatches Along the Pipeline

1 February 2019

This week, an internal inspection of the pipeline identified various levels of corrosion. The pipe has been water blasted and further inspections are underway to verify the nature of the failed area.

Coming up, we are preparing to construct an offshore access hatch similar in nature to the one recently installed above the high tide line. These access points will allow us to winch equipment through the pipe while the repair is underway. We will expect to progress the installation of an internal patch by late February.

In parallel, we are exploring several alternatives that would see the replacement of the original pipeline that runs from our site to the extension line installed in December 2017.

We also reiterate our invitation to residents to join us for a fun evening at the 2019 Resident BBQ where we’ll take the opportunity to provide a repair update to attendees. Details are as follows:

Resident BBQ

Friday 8 February 2019

6:00pm – 8:30pm

Pan Pac Ken Ross Lookout

If you plan to attend the BBQ and have not RSVP’d, please contact jo.hart@panpac.co.nz.



Alternative Pipeline Repair Plan

25 January 2019

This week, we have identified an alternative repair method that involves fitting a series of fibreglass patches along the inside of the pipe by the end of February. This is the earliest that the specialist equipment can be prepared and brought to the site. Preparation for this work is underway as we profile the pipe alignment and begin constructing an access hatch above the high tide line. When the patches are ready for installation, our Pulp Mill will be shut down while repairs are underway.

Planning for a long-term solution is running in parallel with the immediate repair work as we investigate the least disruptive method for replacing the original section of pipe that was installed in 1972.



Pipeline Repair Update

14 January 2019
 

Last month, we attempted to repair sections of the pipe using clamps and concrete encasements. Sand intrusion issues have prevented both the clamp installation and the concrete solution from moving forward at this time.

 

Currently, we are working with two engineering firms to identify alternative short-term and long-term repair options suited for the challenging work conditions. This includes both internal and external options to seal the leak. Planning has also been initiated to look at a full replacement of the older pipework from the mill site to the new extension 300m off shore.

 

Throughout the process, we will continue to keep the community, the HB Regional Council and the HB District Health Board informed of our progress and future plans.
 

We note the concerns over the limited progress in containing the leakage from the pipeline and ask for continued tolerance as we seek to implement a solution. Given the setbacks in December, the objective now is to effect containment this summer, the sooner the better is understood.

 
 

 

Pipeline Repair - Sea Conditions 

5 December 2018

Over the weekend, a recent swell had moved the sheet piling used to isolate our work area. Although sections of steel remain firmly in place from the base, the upper portions are prone to movement that generates some noise. Our crews are ready to remedy the situation as a soon as sea conditions permit. In the meanwhile, we have recovered any loose sheet piling and it is being stored on the beach.

We continue to make progress in repairing the damaged section of the pipeline. Sealant products are being used to secure the crack and either a tight clamp or tremie concrete will be used on the outside of the affected pipe. When the weather improves, the piling will be reinstalled, and the repair work will recommence.



Pipeline Repair - Excavation Underway

9 November 2018

Within the last few weeks, there has been steady progress in accessing the damaged pipeline at Whirinaki Beach. The construction of a temporary platform was completed, and it has allowed crews to install sheet piles around the affected section of pipeline.

 

Over the coming days, we will continue the final stages of excavation to remove sediment and further isolate the damaged section of pipe. Materials are available to seal the leak once accessed.



Staying Safe Over the Long Weekend

18 October 2018
 

With the long weekend upon us, we would like to remind the community to be safe over the holidays. Although our pipeline repair crew will not be working over the next 4 days, some equipment and temporary structures will remain in place. As such, we advise the public to maintain a safe distance from our work area.

On Tuesday 23 October, we will continue to construct a staging platform that allows heavy machinery to access the pipeline.  When this structure is in place, temporary, removable sheet piling will be installed to isolate the damaged section of pipeline (as seen in Figure 1 below).
 

Staging platform-847

 Figure 1. Design plans for the staging platform.

Next week, construction will typically take place between 7:30am-6:00pm. On occasion, we may need to begin work as early as 7:00am to take advantage of low tide conditions. However, this will not be our regular hours of operation.

 

Access to the toilet block and public roads will be maintained while beach access is limited in the direct vicinity of our work area.



Pan Pac Milestone Reached

17 October 2018

Congratulations and thank you to our Pulp Team for achieving a huge milestone! On Wednesday 17 October, we produced our 1 millionth tonne of bleached chemi-thermomechanical pulp (BCTMP).

With an initial investment of $70 million for a state-of-the-art screening and bleaching plant, our pulp mill has been churning out BCTMP since 2012. While our thermomechanical pulp (TMP) is still in demand for newsprint and board grade products, our BCTMP remains the preferred finish for a wide range of coated board, towelling/napkin and paper products for our international customers.

Well done, Team!


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Repair Progress

5 October 2018
 

Over the last few weeks, we have continued to progress our pipeline investigations and repairs. A temporary platform is being constructed to allow our heavy machinery access to the affected area. Over the next few days, additional screw piles will be installed to ensure this platform can withstand the weight of the heavy plant.

 

Our wastewater treatment facility continues to function normally while pipeline investigations are underway. The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and Hawke’s Bay District Health Board regularly monitor our progress to ensure compliance with our consent requirements. Recent water testing done by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) indicates dilution of 50:1 occurring within 10 metres of the affected area. For clarity there is no domestic sewage associated with the pipeline.

 

Construction work will typically take place between 7:30am-6:00pm. On occasion, we may need to begin work as early as 7:00am to take advantage of low tide conditions. However, this will not be our regular hours of operation.

 

Access to the toilet block and public roads will be maintained while beach access is limited in the direct vicinity of our work area.

 

We continue to advise the public to avoid our work area and maintain a safe distance from large machinery. Signage has been installed on the beach and outside of the toilet block to warn the users of our pipeline repairs.
 



Pipeline Repair 

18 September 2018
 

We are continuing to investigate the pipeline damage at Whirinaki Beach. Over the coming weeks, our efforts will focus on the following:

  1. Mobilisation of heavy plant to the affected area.
  2. Construction of temporary platforms on both sides of the pipeline. These platforms are designed to withstand the weight of the heavy plant.
  3. Installation of sheet piles which will isolate the desired section of pipeline and define our work area.
  4. Excavation and removal of sediment in our work area.
  5. Repair of the damaged pipeline.
  6. Remediation of the areas affected by construction activities (including the vegetation within the access route).

Work will begin on the morning of Wednesday 19 September and is expected to continue for several weeks. All work will typically take place between 7:30am-6:00pm on weekdays, however, occasional weekend hours may be necessary.

Access to the toilet block and public roads will be maintained while beach access may be limited in the direct vicinity of our work area.

Safety barriers will be erected as required however you will understand we are dealing with a marine environment and the vagaries of the weather.

As a safety precaution, we ask that you avoid our work area and maintain a safe distance from large, mobile machinery. Signage will be installed outside of the toilet block to warn the public of pipeline repairs.

We thank you for your patience while we attend to this matter.
 



Outfall Pipeline Damage

17 September 2018

Over the weekend, a local resident reported discolouration near the water’s edge surface at Whirinaki Beach. Although earlier thought to arise as a localised algal bloom, the source was yesterday determined to be treated wastewater from the Pan Pac wastewater treatment plant. The treatment plant continues to function normally, however, the original section of pipeline has sustained some form of damage or deterioration with small amounts of wastewater escaping from the submerged pipeline near the low tide mark. This is approximately 70 metres from Whirinaki Beach Road rather than the usual 2.4 kilometres and shows as a colour change in the immediate vicinity of the leak.

Pan Pac is working closely with the HB Regional Council and HB District Health Board to ensure the safety of the community and environment. Divers are investigating the extent of the pipeline damage and we will update our findings along with an action plan when more information is available.

In the meanwhile, we recommend avoiding the area as divers continue to assess the situation using various equipment. 
 



Repair After the Storm

17 August 2018


As a result of the storm on 6 June 2018, swells as high as 8.5 metres moved the seabed and caused a wave shape under the newly installed outfall pipeline. This had caused blockages of 30% of the ports which were also covered over. Last month you would have noticed contracted boats and divers manually removing the silt and blockages.

Recently, Pan Pac conducted a full survey of the pipeline and we're happy to report that is in good shape and operating normally. 


 

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