Orica sees Kooragang plant leak; holds restart

 Orica has seen a minor nitric acid leak at its Kooragang Island plant.

The release of between three and five litres of nitric acid occurred late last night at its Nitric Acid 3 plant.

During a routine inspection, operators uncovered the acid leaking from the plant onto the ground.

According to Orica, the release was fully contained on site and presented no risk to the community.

This latest incident follows Orica’s suspension of the restart of its ammonia plant at Kooragang Island.

It put the operation on hold as "one part of the plant is not operating to a satisfactory level," the explosives manufacturer stated.

"During the restart of the ammonia plant, the part of the plant that removes carbon dioxide as a byproduct was not working properly. The restart was suspended and investigations into the cause of the issue have commenced," Orica announced in a statement.

Kooragang Island site manager Sean Winstone reiterated that Orica will take its time to restart the plant safely.
"We will now investigate and remedy the [carbon dioxide] issue before again resuming the restart. Restarting a plant the size of Kooragang Island is a complex process and it is not uncommon for issues of this nature to occur," Winstone said.

Orica has previously put the restart on hold due to a vibratory issue with a compressor in the plant.

Earlier this week, it also reported a leak at its Port Kembla facility.

 

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