News & Media
NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) lifts Ammonia Storage System Prevention Notices
6 December 2011
The NSW EPA has today lifted the Prevention Notices that were issued following an incident on 9 November 2011 on Orica’s Pressurised Ammonia Storage System. The lifting of these notices allows Orica to commence start-up of the Nitric Acid and Ammonium Nitrate Plants.
Kooragang Island Site Manager, Sean Winstone said, "We have worked very hard to demonstrate to the EPA and other regulatory bodies that we have satisfactorily addressed the issues that caused the 9 November incident. We have put in place a range of activities and programs to support the safe and environmentally sound operation of the Nitric Acid and Ammonium Nitrate Plants through start-up and into the longer term. We are pleased that the EPA has now announced the lifting of the Prevention Notices."
Orica has been working closely with the EPA and other regulatory bodies as part of the interagency Ammonia Plant Start-up Committee to meet the requirements of the Prevention Notices of 11 August which prevents the re-start of the Ammonia Plant. As part of these activities, Orica has been undertaking pre start-up testing on the Ammonia Plant as directed by the EPA, including further cleaning of the vent stack involved in the 8 August incident.
Orica has put in place a team of experts to manage and oversee the start-up of the Nitric Acid and Ammonium Nitrate Plants, with technical experts supervising the process. Orica is contacting key stakeholders to advise them of the EPA's approval to re-start the Nitric Acid and Ammonium Nitrate Plants, and has put in place a program of communication activities to advise the community of the progress of start-up activities. Residents (who have registered for the service) have already begun to receive email and sms alerts of key activities. A fact sheet on the start-up process is available on www.oricaki.com.au.
Orica is committed to the safe operation of our Kooragang Island plant and to being a responsible corporate neighbour in the Newcastle community. Our operations play a key role in the NSW economy, supplying critical ammonium nitrate to the mining and infrastructure sectors, and ammonia, nitric acid and carbon dioxide to the agriculture, water supply, food, dairy and medical sectors.
The next in a series of community information sessions will be held on Thursday 15 December from 3.30 - 5.00 pm at the Stockton RSL Club and from 7 - 8.30 pm at the Stockton Surf Life Saving Club.
Orica encourages residents to call the Kooragang Island Complaints and Enquiries hotline on 1800 789 044 with any questions.
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