Ammonia leaks investigated at Burrup plant

Eleven reportable leaks have led to investigations at the Pilbara Fertiliser site in Western Australia, owned by Yara International.

The Australian reports that two ammonia gas leaks are being formally investigated by the state’s Department of Mines: one in March involving a leak of 14 tonnes and another two weeks ago of an unspecified amount.

According to the Burrup Peninsula site’s owners, there is extensive monitoring onsite and no incident had any effect on the community.

State upper house member Robin Chapple said that the frequency of events was alarming.

“We are dealing with incredibly dangerous sites,” The Australian reports Chapple as saying.

“There have been a series of incidents that throw into question the safety of the plant.”

The site features an ammonia and ammonium nitrate plant, with the latter nearing completion.

Testing began in April, according to an ABC report at the time, and the factory will have an annual capacity of 350,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, used in mining explosives.

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