Orica plant to remain closed

 Orica’s Kooragang Island plant may reportedly remain closed indefinitely after a false start last night.

A spokesperson told the Newcastle Herald that the plant is not in a condition to be restarted and that work is unlikely to resume until it had solved a number of issues.

The spokesperson explained that Orica is focused on a safe reopening of the plant, and are reassuring the local community that if Orica "‘‘weren’t happy then they were not going to proceed.

"When we did the pre-start checking there was one bit of the plant that we felt required further work before we recommenced the start," she said.

"We have therefore put it on hold until we are certain that this has been addressed.

"As we have stated, our priority is to restart the plant safely and this action is part of that commitment."

Sean Winstone, the site’s manager, stated "we need to get this right.

"There is no requirement for the plant to be up and running tonight or tomorrow.

"The only requirement is for the plant to be run safely" he told the Herald.

These statements follow the EPA lifting the prevention notice on operations at its ammonia plant earlier this week.

This lates decision comes after Orica held its annual general meeting yesterday.

At the meeting Orica managing director Graeme Liebelt stated that the August incidents were unacceptable and that focus remains on safety and its ties with the community.

"The fact is, we have damaged our relationship with the community, and we will have to work to rebuild that trust."

He went on to say that is working on improving "communication processes with communities and the authorities."

Orica chairman Peter Duncan added that the company "places the highest priority on safety, health, and the environment and aspire to no injuries to anyone.

"Therefore, the environmental incidents which have occurred at the Kooragang Island plant in NSW in recent months are cause for great regret. As for this for those living in the area, I take this opportunity to add my apology.

"We acknowledge that our reputation has been damaged and we are working hard to repair this."

Orica is also focusing on legacy issues at its Port Botany site in Sydney.

 

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