Manildra adds up cost of ethanol blaze

As emergency services crews begin the laborious task of cleaning up after the Port Kembla ethanol tank blaze the owner of the tank, Manildra, has begun counting the cost.

Not only did around $5 million of ethanol go up in flames but now the company is facing three investigations and could be hit with fines of over $1 million if found liable.

The privately owned Manildra, which currently produces around 95% of the country's ethanol, will come under the scrutiny of the fire brigade, Workcover and the Department of Environment and Conservation who will all look into the cause of the disaster and safety standards around the terminal.

At its height, the fire shot more than 100m into the air and a plume of billowing black smoke could be seen kilometres away. One man received minor burns and hundreds of workers were evacuated as a result of the fire.