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The Kooragang Island facility opened in 1969 as a manufacturer of fertiliser, making ammonium nitrate for use in the agriculture industry.

The original operations at the site included the ammonia plant, a nitric acid plant and an ammonium nitrate plant. When the site began operation it produced 150,000 tonnes per annum of ammonium nitrate as fertiliser.

A second nitric acid plant and ammonium nitrate plant were constructed in 1989 increasing the ammonium nitrate production to 300,000 tonnes per annum. Orica gained ownership of the Kooragang Island site in 2003. The following year, a third nitric acid plant was added to the site which increased the ammonium nitrate production to its current level of approximately 400,000 tonnes per annum.

Fertiliser is no longer produced at Kooragang Island. Ammonium nitrate is now exclusively manufactured to service the mining industry.