Melbourne’s second port to be built – in 2055

Infrastructure Victoria has made recommendations to the Andrews government that Melbourne’s second major container port should be built near Werribee, but not for another 40 years, The Age reports.
The suggested site, Bay West, is located between Werribee and Point Wilson, though Infrastructure Victoria notes that it will not be needed until container traffic outgrows capacity at the Port of Melbourne, estimated to happen by 2055.
The port’s container terminal would offshore a four-kilometre industrial island connected via a 1.5-kilometre road and rail bridge.
Road and rail links would need to be established across Melbourne Water’s Western Treatment Plant, a protected site for birdlife.
Infrastructure Australia decided to remove another contender from the running, the Port of Hastings in the south-east of Melbourne, due to to the estimated $5 billion cost of connecting it to Melbourne’s rail network via the Pakenham-Cranbourne line, and the risk of increasing shipping traffic in the ecologically delicate Western Port.
The advisory body did add that the Port of Hastings could perform a supporting role, dealing with shipping of non-containerised goods.
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) welcomed Infrastructure Victoria’s advice on securing Victoria’s future ports capacity.
“[The] ALC provided a submission to Infrastructure Victoria which stated that the Port of Melbourne should be able to operate as efficiently as possible for as long as possible,” said ALC Managing Director, Michael Kilgariff.
“[The] ALC will continue to advocate that the recent lease of the Port of Melbourne should ensure it has an operational life of 50 years. Significant long-term investments made by those in the freight logistics industry must be respected and supported by all governments.
“The fact that a second container port has been mooted for operation post-2055, should not prevent much-needed infrastructure, such as the port rail shuttle, from being planned, financed and built as soon as practicable,” he added.
“We also look forward to the Victorian Government’s response to Infrastructure Victoria’s 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy, which incorporated practical measures such as protecting freight precincts, improving rail access at the Port of Melbourne and progressing the Western Interstate freight terminal.”

Infrastructure wins in Federal Budget

Australia’s associations and industry have welcomed the major support for Australian infrastructure in the 2017–18 Federal Budget.
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) commended the Government’s $8.4 billion support of Inland Rail,  commitments to construct the Western Sydney Airport and duplicate the Port Botany freight rail line and support of Infrastructure Australia.
“The Budget’s strong focus on infrastructure is timely, coming less than six months after the Federal Government agreed to ALC’s request to develop a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy,” said Michael Kilgariff, Managing Director, ALC. “We welcome the measures announced tonight as a positive first step in continuing efforts to deliver a safer, more efficient supply chain.”
Aurizon Managing Director and CEO Andrew Harding reported that he was pleased to see the Government commit to investing in freight rail infrastructure, adding that he believes Governments – at both the federal and state level – have key roles to play in implementing sound policy and regulatory frameworks to support a competitive rail industry.
“To improve the competitiveness of rail freight, the Inland Rail project and linked supply chains will need more than the correct design and construction, they will require major transport policy reform,” Harding said.
“Rail freight companies need to be able to compete on equal footing with other transport modes and allow rail to do more of the heavy-lifting in Australia’s freight transport task.”
Rail freight operator Pacific National and the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) also spoke out in support of the Budget.
“More than thirty years since the ambitious rail link was first suggested, the 1,700km rail line is now well on track to become a reality following the $8.4 billion commitment in last night’s Federal Budget,” Pacific National said in a statement.
“Pacific National believes the Inland Rail project will be transformative for Australia, helping revitalise regional communities and providing a boost in national productivity that will deliver for generations to come.”

Danny Broad, CEO of the ARA, said, “Linking Victoria and regional NSW with Queensland will help get freight off the road and onto rail, address rising congestion in Sydney and will deliver thousands of jobs, many in regional Australia.”

Victorian Transport Association (VTA) CEO Peter Anderson welcomed the Inland Rail investment and other long-term infrastructure commitments.

“The $500 million allocated for Victorian regional rail is also welcome because it will give rural commuters additional travel options to consider, which is good for road freight because it will alleviate congestion on rural road networks,” said Anderson.
“We are also encouraged that the Budget considers a variety of perspectives that are integral to the freight task, other than infrastructure. For example investments earmarked to continue Black Spot, Roads to Recovery and other vital programs are critical for encouraging better driver safety, which is welcome news for operator and road safety in general.”
The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) stated that it felt some of the money earmarked for the $8.4 billion Melbourne-to-Brisbane Inland Rail project could be better spent on investment in Australia’s coastal shipping sector.
“Port infrastructure already exists in Australia and coastal shipping leaves the lowest carbon footprint when it comes to moving goods around our coast,” said MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin.
“This package from the Government looks a lot like pork-barrelling by the Coalition to protect their inland seats through regional Victoria, NSW and Queensland as they desperately try to stave off the threat from One Nation and other parties.”

Inland Rail funding could be spent on shipping, says MUA

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has stated that it feels that some of the money earmarked for the $8.4 billion Melbourne-to-Brisbane Inland Rail project could be better spent on investment in Australia’s coastal shipping sector.
MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin said that while the MUA agrees Australia should be trying to get trucks off the roads, the sea offers the best alternative.
“Port infrastructure already exists in Australia and coastal shipping leaves the lowest carbon footprint when it comes to moving goods around our coast,” Crumlin said.
“This package from the Government looks a lot like pork-barrelling by the Coalition to protect their inland seats through regional Victoria, NSW and Queensland as they desperately try to stave off the threat from One Nation and other parties.”
“A strong domestic shipping fleet makes absolute sense from a national security, fuel security, and environmental standpoint,” Crumlin added.

Aurizon calls for competition in Inland Rail development

Aurizon Managing Director and CEO Andrew Harding has reported that he was pleased to see the Government commit in last night’s 2017–18 Budget to investing in freight rail infrastructure, and he believes Governments, at both the federal and state level, have key roles to play in implementing sound policy and regulatory frameworks to support a competitive rail industry.
“To improve the competitiveness of rail freight, the Inland Rail project and linked supply chains will need more than the correct design and construction, they will require major transport policy reform,” Harding said.
“Rail freight companies need to be able to compete on equal footing with other transport modes and allow rail to do more of the heavy-lifting in Australia’s freight transport task.”
Harding said the previously announced decision taken by the Federal and State Governments to introduce heavy-vehicle pricing and investment reform over five years was welcome, however Aurizon wanted to see a strong focus on the detailed implementation of a new pricing methodology and governance to ensure the outcome of reform would be a consistent pricing framework applied across the haulage of both heavy vehicles and rail freight.
“Currently heavy vehicles are charged indirectly by government through diesel excise and registration to recover an historical average of spending on road infrastructure,” said Hardling. “Whereas rail freight operators are directly charged for access to, and use of, rail infrastructure, with prices that are more cost-reflective and overseen by an independent economic regulator.”
“The design will need to allow longer and heavier trains and double stacking of containers on the network and efficiently integrate existing freight supply chains to enable customers to move their freight to, and from, major export ports,” he added.
“The announcement is a big step in the right direction, and should be used as the basis for a major modal shift from road to rail along the east coast, while delivering substantial economic, community and environmental benefits along the way.
“In our grain haulage business, for example, we estimate a fully loaded train carries up to 1,750 tonnes of grain to export, which is the equivalent to 44 trucks on the road. Adopting rail over road for long-distance haulage of freight offers improved safety outcomes for the community by helping to prevent and reduce road fatalities and road trauma. Rail freight also produces an estimated 10 times less carbon dioxide than road freight per tonne-kilometre travelled.”

DHL doubles StreetScooter production

Deutsche Post DHL Group will double the production capacity of its own electric vehicles – the StreetScooter electric van – from 10,000 to as many as 20,000 by the end of 2017.
In addition, the company is now also selling its own electric vehicles – which have so far been optimised for postal operations and delivery purposes – to third parties.
At least half of this year’s annual production is planned for external prospective buyers of the vehicles, the company has shared.
In future, DHL hopes to sell its vehicles to municipal authorities, strategic partners and large fleet customers in Germany and the rest of Europe, aiming to at least double its own StreetScooter fleet from the current 2,500 vehicles this year.
“The large demand for the StreetScooter and our own ambitious climate-protection goals have encouraged us to further expand our commitment in the area of electro-mobility and to also make our expertise available to others,” said Jürgen Gerdes, board member for Post – eCommerce – Parcel, Deutsche Post DHL Group.
“As a result, we are confirming our aspiration to remain the engine of electro-mobility and to become market leader in green logistics.”

DHL Express launches electric vehicle in Australia

DHL Express has put its first fully electric vehicle on Australian roads following a successful trial. The electric vehicle is a Renault Kangoo ZE Van and will be used as the company mail car in Sydney, driving between DHL Express offices.
The Renault Kangoo ZE Van is part of the company’s already operational fleet of hybrid delivery vans. The electric vehicle, dependent upon the driving style and conditions, can be on the road for an average of four hours, an equivalent travelling distance of 100 kilometres on a single charge, eliminating the production of 4.75 tonnes of carbon emissions from the environment over the course of one year. The vehicle runs on a lithium-ion battery and takes six to nine hours to complete a full charge.
“As a global company, we acknowledge the environmental impact of our day-to-day operations and our responsibility to reduce this wherever possible,” said Gary Edstein, CEO/ Senior Vice President at DHL Express Oceania. “Globally, we have seen a 30 per cent improvement in our carbon efficiency since 2008 – and we are aiming to further improve this through new green initiatives like this electric vehicle.”
Overseas, DHL Express has introduced electric vehicles, including electric vans and scooters, on routes in Germany, Japan and Taiwan.
DHL’s parent company, Deutsche Post DHL Group will also proceed with increased production of its own StreetScooter electric vehicle in 2017.
The company announced on March 8 the ambitious target of reducing all logistics-related emissions to zero by 2050. On the road to achieving this, it has also outlined a number of interim goals, including increasing its carbon efficiency by 50 per cent and operating 70 per cent of its own first- and last-mile delivery with clean transport solutions by 2025.
“We looked to our DHL Express colleagues around the world to see the solutions they had developed and were inspired by the success of electric vehicles in these countries,” Edstein said.
“In 2016, we trialled an electric courier van delivering to Sydney’s CBD, and found that a wider rollout of electric vehicles within DHL Express Australia’s courier fleet would require more conveniently located electric charging stations in cities across the country, and vans that can travel longer distances without needing to recharge.”
“Compared to small, densely populated European and Asian cities where electric vehicles are currently operating, Australian cities have unique geographical challenges in terms of distance.”

UPS investing in natural gas fleet, infrastructure

US-based United Postal Service (UPS) will invest more than US$90 million ($117 million) in building an additional six compressed natural gas (CNG) fuelling stations and add 390 new CNG prime movers and terminal trucks and 50 liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles to its alternative fuel fleet.
“With more than 4,400 natural gas vehicles and a network of fuelling stations, UPS has had great results using natural gas as an alternative fuel in our fleet,” said Mark Wallace, Senior Vice President Global Engineering and Sustainability, UPS. “We know the importance of investing in natural gas globally for our fleet and the alternative fuel market. In 2016, we used more than 61 million gallons of natural gas in our ground fleet, which included 4.6 million gallons of renewable natural gas. This helped us to avoid the use of conventional gas and diesel, and decreased CO2 emissions by 100,000 metric tons.”
 
UPS CNG small
The six new CNG stations will be built in Ontario, California; Orlando, Florida; Salina, Kansas; Louisville, Kentucky and Greensboro, North Carolina in the US, and Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada. Renewable natural gas (RNG) will be used at the station in Ontario to fuel UPS vehicles in the area with renewable compressed natural gas (RCNG).
In 2016, UPS invested $100 million in CNG fuelling stations and vehicles. The postal service currently operates 31 CNG fueling stations in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Tennessee, and West Virginia and runs CNG vehicles in 38 states in the US in addition to vehicles in Germany, the Netherlands and Thailand.
The company has driven more than one billion miles since 2000 with its alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet.
 

DHL commits to zero emissions 2050 target

Deutsche Post DHL Group has set itself a target of net zero logistics-related emissions by 2050, both through the company’s own activities and those of its transport subcontractors. DHL also announced that it wants to become the market leader in green logistics and plans to expand its portfolio of green products and services to help customers achieve their own climate protection targets. “The decisions we make today will determine how our children live 30 years down the line,” said Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL Group.
The company’s zero emissions logistics mission is supported by four interim milestones to be achieved by the year 2025 as part of the Group’s environmental protection program GoGreen.
First, Deutsche Post DHL Group will increase the carbon efficiency of its own activities and those of its transport subcontractors by 50 per cent globally, compared to the 2007 baseline.
Second, the Group will operate 70 per cent of its own first- and last-mile services with clean pick-up and delivery solutions using, for example, bicycles and electric vehicles.
Third, the company is aiming to have 50 per cent of sales incorporate ‘green solutions’, helping to make customers’ supply chains greener.
Four, the Group will train and certify 80 per cent of its employees as GoGreen specialists by 2025. It will also actively involve them in its environmental and climate protection activities.
DHL’s previous climate target – to improve carbon efficiency by 30 per cent over the 2007 baseline – was achieved in 2016, four years ahead of schedule, thanks to a diverse range of measures to optimise the Group’s vehicle fleet, buildings and logistics networks.

Amazon uses fulfilment centre rooftops to generate clean energy

Amazon has launched a solar energy initiative which will see the e-commerce company install solar systems on 50 fulfilment facility rooftops worldwide by 2020.
The initial 15 solar projects planned for completion by the end of 2017 will generate up to 41MW of power at Amazon facilities in California, New Jersey, Maryland, Nevada and Delaware. Depending on the specific project, time of year and other factors, the company reports that a solar installation could generate as much as 80 per cent of a single fulfilment facility’s annual energy needs. Solar panels installed on the rooftop of the fulfilment centre in Patterson, California, cover more than three-quarters of the 1.1 million square foot building’s rooftop and will power the hundreds of Amazon Robotics utilised by associates at ground-level.
“As our fulfilment network continues to expand, we want to help generate more renewable energy at both existing and new facilities around the world in partnership with community and business leaders,” said Dave Clark, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations, Amazon. “We are putting our scale and inventive culture to work on sustainability – this is good for the environment, our business and our customers. By diversifying our energy portfolio, we can keep business costs low and pass along further savings to customers. It’s a win-win.”

Olympus instruments support environmental safeguards

Industrialisation has left much of the urban environment contaminated with a variety of heavy metals, chemicals and pesticide residue.

Research by a team from Macquarie University has produced a series of maps that plot the concentrations of metal pollutants across cities like Sydney and Darwin, and towns such as Mount Isa and Port Pirie.

Director of the Macquarie team is Professor Mark Taylor, an academic and former Commissioner of the NSW Land and Environment Court. 

Senior researcher, Marek Rouillon, and the rest of the group, investigate environmental pollution and risks to human health from aerosols, dusts, sediments, soil and water. The team works in a range of locations across Australia, including Broken Hill, Mount Isa, Newcastle, Port Pirie, Sydney and Townsville.

Professor Taylor also provides expert evidence and advice to government, industry, lawyers and community groups on a range of environmental matters, particularly environmental pollution. He has also written more than 100 research papers and reports that have been published in peer reviewed journals, in addition to articles for magazines and newspapers.

Results of the survey indicate the spread of contamination in many ways reflected the growth of major cities, with the highest concentrations in older suburbs. The contaminant of most concern across Sydney backyards is lead. According to Professor Taylor, it would be expected that there would be contamination in a major city. “We live in an industrial environment,” he said. “We have used lead-based petrol and paint for most of the 20th Century.”

One technique that is key to the work being conducted by the Macquarie team is X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF) analysis for measuring levels of contaminant metals. Simple screening for toxic metals is performed by placing an analyser—such as the Delta Premium from Olympus—directly onto soil or dust. The analyser provides detection of metals for site characterisation, contamination tracking, remediation monitoring and property evaluations.

Andrew Saliba, Regional Sales Specialist with Olympus, said the latest portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) analysers, such as the Delta Premium, have been developed specifically for complete environmental investigations of metal contaminants in a wide range of industrial and domestic materials. The high-power, high-performance, incredibly rugged Delta allows in-situ analysis in a wide range of harsh environments from remote mining and exploration sites to backyards in major urban centres.

The latest model Delta unit offers increased speed and improved sensitivity. It also lowers the limit of detection (LOD) for challenging elements such as cadmium, barium, lead, mercury and tin. An ability that is unique to the Olympus product.

According to Saliba, the traditional use of pXRF has been for alloy identification, grading ore, mineral exploration, metallurgy and mine site remediation. “The technology has been refined and is now often used by environmental consultancies specialising in contaminated land remediation and recycling companies needing to determine what materials are in waste products,” he said.

Macquarie researcher Marek Rouillon has been working to evaluate the reliability and repeatability of XRF analysis on environmental samples. Professor Taylor and Rouillon regularly present their findings at seminars, outlining the spread of heavy metal contamination in suburban gardens in addition to explaining the application and relevance of the pXRF instrument for this project.

Typical 'natural' or 'background' concentrations of lead for the Sydney region are in the range 20 – 30 mg/kg or parts per million (ppm). However, due to the intense use of lead containing products, much of Greater Sydney has been contaminated with the metal. Their results indicate Sydney residences have a mean soil lead concentration of 220 mg/kg which is approximately 10 times the typical natural background for Sydney's soils and rocks.

In 2012, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA stated that there is no safe blood lead level for young children. Prior to this, health authorities around the world had issued guidelines for 'acceptable' levels of lead contamination, but surveys and reports have shown that even at the lowest levels there were health effects in children, including impaired brain development and behavioural disorders.

In conjunction with the contamination mapping, Macquarie researchers also run the community orientated VegeSafe program. This is the largest study of its kind in the country and has provided information about metal contamination levels to more than 500 households across Sydney, and over 1000 households across Australia.

VegeSafe seeks to inform people about metals and metalloids in their garden soils and provides a free sampling program for domestic and community garden soils. Participants submit soil samples from private or community gardens and receive a formal report and links to information and advice about "what to do next" if the soils contain elevated concentrations of metals and metalloids. “The VegeSafe motto is 'Carry on Gardening'," Professor Taylor said, “because this is exactly what we want people to do knowing that their soils are metal free as is the produce from their gardens.”

According to Rouillon, the simplest mitigation technique for householders would be to cover the contaminated soil with either grass or mulch, to effectively reduce the potential generation of dust if the soil is dry and gets picked up by wind.

In contaminated suburbs where vegetables will be grown, the Macquarie team recommends growing produce in above ground Vegetable plots, using fresh clean topsoil. “Typically, undisturbed soil in urban areas accumulates contaminants over long periods of time and should be avoided when growing home produce” Rouillon stated.

“Our recommendations are determined by different scenarios and contaminant concentrations,” Rouillon said. “VegeSafe provides specific recommendations and advice to a gardener for their particular situation.”

Other uses of pXRF analysis include extreme-weather debris migration studies, agriculture soil inspections and construction and demolition waste sorting. A further use is as part of hazardous waste screening for disposal classification.

Olympus IBD is a business division of Olympus Corporation that develops and markets advanced, non-destructive testing systems, and a large selection of industrial scanners, probes, software programs, and instrument accessories. “We are committed to the development of new technologies, products, and services that offer the best solutions to the needs of our customers,” Saliba concluded.

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