Opal Australian Paper has applied to the EPA to downsize its Maryvale Mill as it transitions to 100% brown packaging paper production following the closure of its white paper operations. Opal is also seeking changes to the mill’s emissions discharge limits.


Opal has submitted a DL application to EPA Victoria seeking approval for:

“The permanent reconfiguration of the Maryvale site from three pulp plants to two pulp plants, and to transition to the preferred Continuous Kraft Mill and Neutral Sulphate Semi Chemical operating configuration.”

In a statement, Opal said: “The changes are required to the operating licence and discharge limits associated with the above changes and closure of the white pulp and paper manufacturing facilities. The DL application will be advertised publicly on the EPA website or Engage Victoria and through one other publication. The community will have at least 15 business days to give feedback on the application.”

The DL was “essential for the successful transition of the Mill to 100 per cent brown packaging grades," Opal said.

The planned changes at the Mill will provide benefits including:

  • Move to 100 per cent plantation timber with pine softwood supplied from sustainable resources predominantly from the Gippsland region.
  • Delivering on-going pulp capacity requirements for brown packaging paper production.
  • Utilisation of modern pulp processing technology in the Continuous Kraft Mill.
  • Improvement in product quality and process stability and efficiency with consistent continuous pulping.
  • Overall reduction of site environmental and human health risks – including water use, energy and odour sources.”

Operating licence changes

The proposed operating licence changes requested for air are:

  • Recovery Boiler R6 air emissions of oxides of sulfur (as SOx) maximum increased from 2,500 g/min to 5,000 g/min. The 90th Percentile air emission limits for oxides of sulfur (as SOx) will increase from 500g/min to 1500g/min.
  • Site bubble limit – Carbon monoxide maximum decreased from 4500g/min to 3500g/min.
  • Site bubble limit – Oxides of Nitrogen maximum deceased from 3000g/min to 2500g/min.
  • Removal of Discharge points 34 (Chlorine Dioxide Generator), 35 (Recovery Boiler 5) and 57 (Bleach Scrubber Stage) as these are no longer required based on changes to the Mill’s operations.

The proposed operating licence changes requested for water are:

  • Discharge to Latrobe River colour increased from a daily maximum of 200mg/L to 230mg/L, annual median increased from 140mg/L to 170mg/L.
  • Annual discharge to the Latrobe River flow decreased from 20,130ML/year to a total of 14,600 ML/year.
  • Daily maximum discharge to Latrobe River sulphate decreased from 500mg/L to 400mg/L.
  • Removal of daily discharge to the Latrobe River of adsorbable organohalogen (AOX) and dioxins and furans as there is now no requirement for a bleaching process at the Mill.

All other discharge emissions licence limits remain unchanged.

EPA Victoria is currently reviewing Opal’s submission.



Pin It