Orica and Yara have opened their joint venture Yara Pilbara Nitrates ammonium nitrate plant, located in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, and expect it to be operational by the year’s end.
Phase one of the construction stage of the plant, opened by state premier Colin Barnett, has just finished.
The JV factory will be integrated with the neighbouring Yara Pilbara Fertilisers plant, which currently exports 800,000 tonnes of ammonia a year.
Under the joint venture, Yara operates the plant and Orica handles sales and distribution.
“Yara’s decision to go further downstream into TAN production in the Pilbara reflects the long-term value we see for our business in Australia and also the proximity of both Yara Pilbara operations to important Asia Pacific markets,” said Yara International President and CEO Svein Tore Holsether.
Orica CEO Alberto Calderon said the location was in one of the world’s great mining regions, and was a long-term, strategic investment by his company.
It would “improve Orica’s overall responsiveness to customers’ needs, and deliver increased security of supply for our customers across the region,” he said.
Currently in the commissioning phase, the plant is expected to be operational by the end of the year, and have a capacity of 330,000 tonnes annually when fully complete.