Thu | Apr 27, 2017

Dunder spill linked to malfunctioning pump at Appleton Estate

Published:Sunday | April 5, 2015 | 4:00 AM
Appleton Estate, home of J. Wray & Nephew’s rum distillery.

J. Wray & Nephew Limited says the spill of dunder in the area of North Elim River in St Elizabeth was an "accidental discharge" caused by a malfunctioning pump.

The spirits company said in a statement that the spill was linked to a March 28 incident and that once the discharge was discovered, its Appleton Estate distillery operations were suspended, remedial measures were implemented and National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) advised.

NEPA had earlier indicated last Tuesday that it had issued a warning to Wray & Nephew, following complaints by residents of pollution along the river. They said the source was traced to the Appleton Estate premises, where Wray & Nephew produces rum.

Dunder is a nutrient-rich by-product of molasses distillation. If it is discharged in rivers and streams it has the potential of harming marine and aquatic life and has been noted by NEPA as the source of several fish kills in the past. There were no reports of a fish kill in this instance.

Wray & Nephew says the dunder "is used to fertilise and irrigate the sugar cane fields as part of Appleton Estate's green manufacturing programme".

The spirits company said it has commenced investigations to identify the cause of the accident, that preliminary findings point to a malfunctioning pump that usually takes the dunder from the distillery to the storage pond, and that all required corrective actions have been addressed.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com