Australian Munitions awarded the 2019 Environmental Solution of the Year

On Thursday 16th May, Australian Munitions (Thales Australia) was awarded both “Manufacturer of the Year” and the “Environmental Solution of the Year” at the Endeavour Awards during a glittering awards ceremony held at Melbourne’s Arts Centre.

As part of National Manufacturing Week, the Endeavour Awards celebrates the many successes within the Australian manufacturing industry and helps to share successes across the country.

Australian Munitions was nominated for the Environmental Solution of the Year and was evaluated on how their initiative has made a positive impact to environmental sustainability in manufacturing. All other category award winners from the night were also judged for outstanding innovation in the areas of technology, management and product development to ultimately determine the Manufacturer of the Year.

The generation of energetics waste and by-products is a consequence of both the propellant and high explosive manufacturing process within the Mulwala facility operated by Australian Munitions on behalf of the Department of Defence. The combined issues of increasingly stringent environmental regulations and historic waste management practices had created a stockpile of waste build up over many years of running the facility.

The Australian Munitions team was able to show that waste could be treated effectively, safely and economically on a production scale by using current onsite capabilities. The project outcomes involved the successful treatment and disposal of 170 tonnes of energetic waste which avoided $4.5m of offsite disposal costs and the generation of thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gases. The solution not only processed a large quantity of hazardous energetic waste, but was also able to address other on site waste management issues. The by-products of the primary waste treatment process were used to balance the chemistry of the site’s evaporation ponds which ensured that the local community wasn’t impacted by industrial odours.

Based on the strength of the project’s outcomes, the judges also assessed Australian Munitions as a trailblazer in the areas of technology, management and product development and awarded the team the title of Manufacturer of the Year.

Congratulations to the team on a well-deserved achievement. This innovative project has proven to safely meet increasingly stringent environmental regulations for waste treatment in a cost effective manner. The technology is now being investigated to treat a range of other high explosive waste streams at the Mulwala site.