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Orica and Yara open the world’s first modular ammonium nitrate plant in Western Australia
25 Aug 2016
The next generation of downstream processing has arrived in the resource rich Pilbara region of Western Australia with the official opening of the Yara Pilbara Nitrates technical ammonium nitrate (TAN) manufacturing plant.
The plant, developed in joint venture by Orica Limited and Yara International ASA, will have capacity to produce 330,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate (AN) per annum. Ammonium nitrate is the main component of explosives used in the mining, quarrying and construction industries. The plant is currently in the commissioning phase and is expected to be operational by the end of 2016.
The Orica and Yara joint venture facility was opened today by Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett at a ceremony marking the completion of the plant construction phase. The plant is fully integrated with the neighbouring Yara Pilbara Fertilisers ammonia plant, which exports 800,000 tonnes of ammonia per annum to world markets.
Orica CEO Alberto Calderon said the plant was strategically located in one of the world’s great mining regions.
“Ideally situated in the Pilbara, the plant will deliver a local source of ammonium nitrate, improve Orica’s overall responsiveness to customers’ needs, and deliver increased security of supply for our customers across the region. Ammonium nitrate from the plant will underpin predicted growth across the Pilbara mining sector. As such, this is a strategic, long-term investment for Orica.”
Yara International President and CEO Svein Tore Holsether said the completion of the world-scale plant was an exciting development in the company’s growth strategy and investment in Australia.
“Yara’s decision to go further downstream into AN 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,” Mr Holsether said.
“We are using Western Australian gas to first create a highly valued product, ammonia, and then undertake further processing to deliver a crucial material for the mining and civil works sector,” Mr Holsether said.
As part of the joint venture Yara will operate the plant and Orica will manage sales and distribution of the product.
The Yara Pilbara Nitrates plant is the first in the world to be built using modularised construction. Using specialist project teams in Norway, Spain, Indonesia and Australia, key segments of the facility were built offshore and shipped to site.
At its peak more than 500 workers were required on site to complete the project. The facility will have 70 operational employees and all will live with their families in the nearby community of Karratha.
The Pilbara facility utilises the latest technology and design to minimise its environmental footprint, while production close to where the product will be used reduces the need for transportation, resulting in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
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Orica (ASX:ORI) is an Australian mining services company with global operations, Orica has a diverse workforce of over 12,000 people servicing customers across more than 100 countries. Orica is focused on developing long term partnerships that reduce total cost of mining, improve productivity and enhance our customers’ licence to operate.
Orica is the largest provider of commercial explosives and blasting systems to the mining, quarrying, oil and gas and construction markets, a global leader in the provision of ground support in mining and tunnelling, and a leading supplier of sodium cyanide for gold extraction. www.orica.com
Yara's knowledge, products and solutions grow farmers', distributors' and industrial customers' businesses profitably and responsibly, while protecting the earth's resources, food and environment. Our fertilizers, crop nutrition programs and technologies increase yields, improve product quality and reduce the environmental impact of agricultural practices. Our industrial and environmental solutions improve air quality by reducing emissions from industry and transportation, and serve as key ingredients in the production of a wide range of goods. We foster a culture that promotes the safety of our employees, contractors and societies. Founded in 1905 to solve emerging famine in Europe, today, Yara has a worldwide presence, with close to 13,000 employees and sales to more than 150 countries. www.yara.com
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