New Zealand Treatment Plant Certification and Compliance

July 16th 2016

After some uncertainty around New Zealand treatment plant and compliance requirements from the regulators, we are now progressing well with achieving certification of pressure vessels, tanks and other plant approvals. As part of the wider strengthening of health and safety regulations, Worksafe New Zealand also promulgated the requirement that all pressure vessels are correctly inspected and certified.  In this case the code requirements had been in place for some time but had not been well communicated to or understood by a lot of the industry. Lonza’s John Hadwin and Graeme Claridge have worked extensively with Worksafe, industry associations, engineering providers and individual customers over the last 12 months to find cost effective path through the process.

Water borne treatment vessels:

Following a meeting convened in Wellington earlier this year by Kevin Hing of the TIF, we have developed a clear understanding with Worksafe on what is needed to certify water borne plants (mainly CCA and boron) under the “Exemption for Controllers of Timber Treatment Vessels.”

We have since had a large number of our customer plants assessed and, generally speaking, have found these to be in sound condition and fit for purpose under the intent of the dispensation. Any of our customers that have not been assessed to date will be contacted as soon we are able to schedule visits to them.

LOSP treatment vessels:

We are also making good progress with approval of LOSP vessels; however, many of these have proved to be more challenging depending on the age as they may require verification of the design to be completed before inspections can take place. The process we are adopting is a three step approach:

  1. Complete design verification

This can be provided by the plant manufacturers or alternatively there are independent verifiers who can do this if you prefer this option. Our technical people will keep you informed of progress and available options.

  1. Inspection of the plant

Inspections for compliance as a pressure vessel will only take place once design verification is completed.

  1. Additional Requirements

Any additional requirements identified by the vessel inspection need to be re-engineered. We recommend the relevant plant supplier to do this work. We expect that there may be a need to fit additional emergency pressure venting to both the vessel and OSV but will be guided on this by the inspection outcome.

For both water and solvent borne treatment plants, it is important that no upgrades or modifications to the plants are made before certification as the engineering provider will not be authorized to work on an uncertified vessel.

Class 3 Location Certificates:

Location certificates for LOSP plants are coming under review during either renewal or site audits. Historically plants were installed under the Dangerous Goods regulations which enabled them to be set up as they are at present. The current regulations are somewhat different and it is likely that a number of plants will therefore need to make a new application seeking applicable dispensations. This can be quite challenging and Lonza will assist you through the process.

Overall, good progress is being made with these complex issues but it is most important that everyone should engage a recognised Test Certifier to work through any approval that is not completed. Contact John Hadwin (New Zealand 027 432 2103) or Graeme Claridge (New Zealand 027 434 0054) for any further information or assistance.