Plumes of thick smoke bellowed out from a fire at Boyne Smelters Limited on May 5 at 7.30am. Photo taken at the Kirkwood Rd and Toolooa bends intersection.
Plumes of thick smoke bellowed out from a fire at Boyne Smelters Limited on May 5 at 7.30am. Photo taken at the Kirkwood Rd and Toolooa bends intersection. Contributed by Louisa Anderson

Procedures being reviewed after Boyne Smelter fire

DISMANTLING of equipment inside Boyne Smelters Limited's carbon bake furnace has been blamed for the fire at the plant last Sunday.

The fire erupted after workers cut part of the furnace with a welding chemical.

Workers were in the process of removing parts of the bake furnace when the incident took place.

The fire was extinguished within 30 minutes.

BSL general manager Joe Rea said oxy-cutting procedures, which involve water being doused on the area being cut, had been effective before the fire.

"Nobody was injured in the incident and the operation of the smelter was not impacted," Mr Rea said.

"The smelter and contractor are now reviewing procedures for cutting any steel work in the ESP area."

The carbon bake furnaces are no longer in operation, with further dismantling equipment in the old furnaces expected to be completed by the end of the year.