Orica restarts ammonium nitrate production

 Orica has resumed production of ammonium nitrate at its Kooragang Island facility.

It comes as the explosives manufacturer restarts some of its ammonium nitrate production plant after the EPA lifted the prevention notice on its ammonium operations last week.

When the prevention notice was lifted, Orica said it would be able to begin the process for the start up of its ammonium plant facilities; however another spill days later put the future of production in jeopardy.

Despite concern over the spill, Orica reassured local residents that it was a minor incident, with an Orica spokesperson stating that the solution was comparable to garden fertiliser, and that there was no risk to the public; NSW Health also confirming the low level of risk.

Kooragang Island site manager Sean Winstone told the Newcastle Herald that it has now successfully restarted two nitric acid and ammonium nitrate plants after continuing work over the weekend.

"We took our time with the start-up," he said.

"Our primary focus was to ensure the start-up of each plant was completely safe."

Orica says pre start-up testing on its ammonia plant is continuing, but that this plant remains closed subject to the lifting of the prevention notices issued in August.

Image: Newcastle Herald – Robert McKell

 

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