Sulphuric acid plant back online

 Incitec Pivot’s sulphuric acid plant has restarted, which will lead to a cut in emissions from Xstrata’s copper smelter in Mount Isa.

The plant has finished maintenance, and will once more begin take the smelter’s byproducts and emissions to create sulphuric acid, the ABC reports.

According to Incitec operations manager Brian Corrie the company is now doubling its work to make up for loss production.

"Quite a drop in our output – but we’ll try and catch up the rest of the year," he said.

"What we’ll do now is we will just make sure that we keep the plant running reliably and we will maximise what we produce."

Since its shut down the smelter’s emissions are all released via the stack, which raised fears in the local community.

"During the shut down maintenance period of Incitec Pivot Limited, 100 per cent of our sulphur dioxide is sent through to our copper stack," an Xstrata spokesperson explained.

She went on to stress that the increased emissions would not reach harmful levels.

"During the shutdown of the acid plant, Xstrata Mount Isa Mines will continue to operate its smelters in accordance with procedures undertaken by its air quality control system, which is the most intensive air quality monitoring system of any city in Australia," she said.

"The air quality control system in Mount Isa directs the smelters to shut down if unfavourable wind conditions blow smelter emissions eastwards towards town and they impact the local community."

Incitec Pivot, the fertiliser and explosives manufacturer, was forced to shut down the plant for maintenance.



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