Incitec Pivot Halts Plans for $650M Ammonium Nitrate Plant on Kooragang Island

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By Vittorio Hernandez | September 27, 2012 9:35 AM EST

More major resources projects in Australia continued to be shelved as commodity prices remain low. The latest to be added to the list of postponed or cancelled projects is the $650-million ammonium nitrate plant of chemical giant Incitec Pivot.

Incitec placed on hold the plans to build the facility on Kooragang Island in Newcastle. It would have been built near the Orica plant in the same island.

It was supposed to produce explosives for use of the mining industry in Hunter.

Prior to the announcement of the project shelving, Stockton residents criticised the issue of an Environmental Impact Statement to the venture due to its alleged failure to address some of their concerns such as the risk of explosion as well as noise and air impacts and potential devaluation of properties.

Incitec informed the Australian Stock Exchange that it suspended the $17-million feasibility study for the plant and will postpone making a decision on it for the next two years.

The chemical firm explained its move to the expected reduction in demand for ammonium nitrate and the soaring cost of construction in Australia.

Incitec, which announced the plans for the ammonium facility in 2011, said the project failed to meet its strict financial hurdles.

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