Palm kernel stench goes - for now

SUSAN STRONGMAN
Last updated 07:12 13/01/2014

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A shed full of palm kernel that was causing a stink at Port Taranaki has all gone, but more is on the way soon.

Used as stock feed, it was being stored in a shed owned by grain company Glencore (formerly Viterra NZ) in Ocean View Pde.

Port chief executive Roy Weaver said the shed had been emptied by the company and the smell had gone.

But he confirmed that a new shipment of palm kernel was expected in the next few weeks.

Malcolm Campbell, co-owner of Freight and Bulk Transport (FBT), the company that moved the product, said he thought the stench was not caused by the product rotting, as had been previously claimed.

He said there was nothing wrong with the palm kernel.

"It's all gone out and been eaten."

Mr Campbell believed the stink was caused by the "extremely hot" weather at the time, which was heating the product.

In the four years Mr Campbell's company had been transporting the product it had not happened before.

Moturoa resident Barry Slyfield, who had been disturbed by the odour in the past, said he had not smelt the stench since a meeting that was held with representatives from Glencore on December 4 to discuss the problem.

"Obviously they've overcome it, though I don't know how."

He was quite sure the smell had been caused after the kernel had become wet and started to rot and was surprised it was removed from the shed without making an even worse smell.

At the December meeting, a Glencore spokesman told residents the company planned to fix the problem.

Yesterday, the company's Auckland staff passed all queries on to Viterra in Adelaide, from which a spokeswoman issued a short statement saying they were looking into odour control solutions.

Taranaki Regional Council compliance manager Bruce Pope said the council had responded to a number complaints about the stink in November and December and had issued abatement notices.

"The abatement notice is currently being complied with and the council has received no odour complaints in recent weeks."

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- Taranaki Daily News

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