Incitec Pivot increases profit, criticises Australian costs

Incitec
Pivot has posted a seven per cent half-year profit, though raised its concerns
about the cost of doing business in Australia.

AAP reports that the explosives and fertiliser company posted a $115.7 million net
profit for the half-year to March 31.

Commenting
on Incitec’s new ammonia plant in New Orleans – which is forecast to be
operational in mid-2016 – CEO James Fazzino said there were “stunning”
differences in costs between Australia and the United States.

Fazzino said the cost of building the plant would be $1 billion,
comparing this to a cost of $1.4 billion to do so in Australia.

Fairfax reports him as explaining labour costs were 35 per cent of this, and would be
more like 60 per cent if the project went ahead in Australia.

Fazzino has also criticised this country’s lack of success in ensuring affordable gas
to manufacturers. The availability of cheap shale gas was cited in Incitec’s
decision to build its New Orleans plant.

Elsewhere,
the company’s Don Briggs has criticised shipping regulations, which
give priority to country’s ships within Australian waters.

“The requirements of
this legislation substantially reduce our flexibility, so we have too much
material in one place and not enough in another because of that flexibility,” Briggs told the ABC.

Image: The Australian