The NSW Department of Planning has approved Orica’s proposal to increase the levels of ammonia at its Kooragang Island facility.
Its approved application will allow it to increase its ammonia production limit by seven per cent, from 360,000 tonnes to 385,000 tonnes, according to the NSW Department of Planning.
However production of nitric acid and ammonium nitrate will remain at current levels.
This increase in ammonia production comes after commissioning of the plant, when Orica found it could run the plant continuously at a rate of 1050 tonnes of ammonia per day for 18 months before the facility required maintenance.
Therefore the modifications do not require any actual works on or new infrastructure, although they will likely see an increase in ship exports – around 11 ships per year – as the surplus ammonia that is not used on site will be shipped to Orica’s Gladstone facility in Queensland.
The local council, the EPA, and RMS did not object to the modifications, however the EPA did note additional noise issues caused by an additional 11 ships each year.
WorkCover NSW did request modifications regarding hazard assessments relating to piping and transfer of ammonia to these extra ships.
Orica has been contacted for additional comment on the approvals