Anger rises against Incitec’s proposed ammonium nitrate plant

The release of Incitec Pivot's proposed ammonium nitrate plant's environmental impact statement has drawn opposition from the local community.

Incitec Pivot is planning to build the plant in Newcastle, on Kooragang Island, near Orica's existing, troubled ammonium nitrate plant.

In October last year the company, which manufactures explosives through its subsidiary Dyno Noble, met with locals over its planned ammonium nitrate plant.

At the time Incitec said it would carry out an open consultation, with expectations of a year long feasibility study.
Now it has released its environmental impact statement, and opened it up to public comment.

According to the company it is seeking approval for a facility with a production capacity of up to 350 000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate per month.

Its proposal includes a manufacturing plant, chemical storage tanks, product storage facilities, and associated infrastructure.

Local residents at Mayfield and Stockton have already come out in arms over the proposed $600 million plant, according to the Newcastle Herald.

Despite environmental studies stating that it will fall within existing standards, the Stockton Community Action Group believes it poses a high risk.

"Incitec have blatantly ignored our requests to locate the plant elsewhere," Group spokesperson Keith Craig said.

"Nowhere in the world will you find two explosives plants, operating side-by-side, less than 800 metres from residents and three kilometres from a central business district. Governments and the Environment Protection Authority should not allow it."

Last year the nearby Orica plant suffered a series of serious incidents.

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