Tag Archives: ammonium nitrate

Orica, Origin partner on ‘Hunter Valley Hydrogen Hub’ feasibility study for Kooragang Island

Orica and Origin have announced a partnership to assess opportunities to collaborate on the development of a green hydrogen production facility, and associated value chain, in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, Australia.

Signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Orica and Origin will conduct a feasibility study into the viability of a green hydrogen production facility, or ‘Hunter Valley Hydrogen Hub’, and downstream value chain opportunities.

The feasibility study will assess ways an industrial hydrogen hub could enable use cases that support a meaningful green hydrogen industry in the Hunter Valley and beyond, Orica said. This includes the supply of hydrogen for heavy industry and transport, conversion into green ammonia at Orica’s existing Kooragang Island ammonium nitrate manufacturing facility, blending hydrogen into natural gas pipelines and the potential to stimulate Australia’s hydrogen export industry.

Green hydrogen, produced via electrolysis using renewable electricity sources, has emerged as a potentially significant enabler of Australia’s transition to a lower carbon economy. The proposed hub would produce green hydrogen from recycled water sources and renewable electricity, using a grid connected 55 MW electrolyser.

Orica Chief Executive Officer, Sanjeev Gandhi, said: “We’ve been operating our Kooragang Island site for over 50 years, and are committed to ensuring both our manufacturing facility and the Newcastle region remain competitive in a low carbon economy, while also strengthening Australia’s domestic manufacturing capability.

“We support both the Federal and New South Wales Hydrogen Strategies, and this partnership will allow us to define opportunities and ways we can contribute to a more sustainable future for the region.

“This partnership aligns with our corporate strategy and our ambition to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, and our target to reduce our scope 1 and 2 operational emissions by at least 40% by 2030. By partnering for progress, we can drive sustainable change and achieve our decarbonisation ambitions, together.”

The project marks an important step in transitioning Orica’s business model towards a lower carbon economy, it said. Exploring opportunities to diversify, Orica is committed to ensuring its Kooragang Island facility remains competitive in a lower carbon economy, while creating more sustainable products for customers and broader applications for industry.

The project builds on several initiatives to enhance the long-term sustainability of the site, including the recently announced Kooragang Island Decarbonisation Project and planned installation of an Australia-first tertiary catalyst abatement technology for decarbonisation of nitric acid production. The A$37 million ($27 million) project is designed to deliver up to 95% abatement efficiency from unabated levels, reducing the site’s total greenhouse gas emissions by almost 50%.

Orica to install tertiary catalyst abatement tech at Kooragang Island ammonium nitrate plant

Orica has announced plans to install an Australia industry first tertiary catalyst abatement technology, EnviNOx®, at its Kooragang Island manufacturing plant in New South Wales.

The technology, provided by thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions, is designed to deliver up to 95% abatement efficiency, reducing the site’s total greenhouse gas emissions by almost 50%, Orica said.

The A$37 million ($27 million) spent on the Kooragang Island Decarbonisation Project, which will help accelerate Orica’s progress towards achieving its 2030 emissions reduction target, will see proven nitrous oxide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions tertiary abatement technology installed at its Kooragang Island plant from 2022, with commissioning in 2023, Orica said.

To facilitate the project, the New South Wales Government’s Net Zero Industry and Innovation Program will co-invest A$13.06 million, together with Orica’s A$24 million, financed by a five-year debt facility provided by the Federal Government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation. The Clean Energy Regulator has also approved the project as eligible to generate Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs).

Viewed as a long-term aid for emissions reduction in high-pressure nitric acid manufacturing plants, the tertiary catalyst abatement technology uses catalytic decomposition to destroy nitrous oxide emissions. Nitrous oxide, generated as a by-product of nitric acid production, is the primary source of GHG emissions at the Kooragang Island facility.

The technology will be installed across all three nitric acid manufacturing plants used in the production of ammonium nitrate at Kooragang Island. It is designed to eliminate at least 567,000 t/y of CO2e from the site’s operations, with expectations of reducing the site’s total emissions by 48%, while delivering a cumulative emissions reduction of at least 4.7 Mt of CO2e by 2030 based on forecast production.

Orica Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Sanjeev Gandhi, said: “The Kooragang Island Decarbonisation Project is a powerful example of a public-private partnership towards decarbonisation and marks a critical step in achieving our medium-term 2030 emissions reduction targets and progress towards our net zero ambition. We’re committed to working with our stakeholders to forge a pathway towards a lower carbon future together.

“Thanks to the support of the New South Wales and Federal Governments we have been able to co-invest and move forward on implementing a significant decarbonisation project.”

New South Wales Treasurer, and Minister for Energy and Environment, Matt Kean, said: “This is a great example of what can be achieved by hard-to-abate industries transitioning towards net zero emissions, under our A$750 million Net Zero Industry and Innovation Program announced earlier this year.”

Gandhi added: “The project ensures our domestic manufacturing operations remain competitive in a low carbon economy, bringing with it significant environment and regional economic and social benefits. There are also benefits for our customers, by reducing the emissions intensity of our ammonium nitrate we are in a position to offer competitive and lower carbon-intensity ammonium nitrate products, helping them to achieve their sustainability goals.

“It also allows us to look at longer-term investments in technologies, including production of hydrogen from renewable energy.”

The Kooragang Island Decarbonisation Project was approved in March 2021 by the Clean Energy Regulator to participate in Australia’s carbon market. Orica is eligible to generate ACCUs and was awarded the first optional Carbon Abatement Contract under the Facility Method for the purchase of around 3.4 million ACCUs by the Australian Government. This approach has enabled investment confidence by managing ACCU price risk, it said.

The findings from the Kooragang Island Decarbonisation Project will serve as an important Australian industry case study, demonstrating the potential for tertiary catalyst abatement technology to be deployed more widely across the sector, Orica said.

Orica has also recently partnered with the Alberta Government in Canada to commission a similar tertiary catalyst abatement technology at its Carseland ammonium nitrate manufacturing, reducing emissions by approximately 83,000 t/y of CO2e. It has also assigned approximately A$45 million over the next five years in capital to deploy similar tertiary abatement technology across its Australian ammonium nitrate sites, including its Kooragang Island site.

Orica addresses Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions in latest GHG reduction pledge

Orica has announced its ambition to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, covering Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and its most “material” Scope 3 GHG emission sources.

The ambition builds on Orica’s previously announced medium-term target to reduce Scope 1 and 2 operational emissions by at least 40% by 2030.

To advance its net zero emissions ambition, Orica says it will:

  • Continue to reduce its operational footprint: prioritising Scope 1 and 2 operational emissions reductions by deploying tertiary catalyst abatement technology, sourcing renewable energy and optimising energy efficiency and industrial processes;
  • Collaborate with its suppliers: as new and emerging technologies scale and become commercial, partner with suppliers to source lower emissions intensity ammonium nitrate (AN) and ammonia to reduce Orica’s Scope 3 emissions, which account for approximately 70% of Orica’s total Scope 3 emissions;
  • Prioritise lower carbon solutions: developing lower carbon AN, as well as new products, services and technology offerings to help customers achieve their own sustainability goals; and
  • Report progress: transparently disclose performance consistent with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure.

Orica Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Sanjeev Gandhi, said: “Our ambition of net zero emissions by 2050 shows our commitment to playing a part in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. This is a strong signal that the decarbonisation of Orica will, and must, continue beyond 2030 and requires a collaborative approach across all of our stakeholders.

“We’re making solid progress having already achieved a 9% emissions reduction in financial year 2020 (to June 30, 2020) and further reductions this financial year. We’ve taken our 2030 medium-term target and extended our planning over the long term, developing a credible roadmap to support our ambition to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

“Over the next decade, Orica is deploying tertiary catalyst abatement, prioritising renewable energy opportunities and supporting a trial of carbon capture utilisation and storage technology. Beyond 2030, how we achieve our ambition is dependent on effective global policy frameworks, supportive regulation and financial incentives, and access to new and emerging technologies operating at commercial scale.

“Orica is a company with a long history of technical innovation which is already helping our customers improve mine site safety, productivity and efficiency. We will apply the same approach by deploying low-emissions technologies to our major manufacturing sites and working with our global suppliers and stakeholders on reducing the footprint of our supply chain.”

Orica says it has already undertaken several initiatives to drive action towards its medium-term target and support its 2050 net zero emissions ambition.

In FY2020, Orica’s Bontang AN manufacturing facility in Indonesia recorded a 43% reduction in net emissions and its Kooragang Island nitrates manufacturing plant (pictured below) in Australia achieved a 6.3% reduction in net emissions, by replacing and improving the performance of selective catalyst abatement technologies, the company said.

In partnership with the Alberta Government this year, Orica’s Carseland AN manufacturing facility in Canada has commissioned tertiary catalyst abatement technology, reducing emissions by approximately 83,000 t/y of CO2e.

Orica has assigned approximately A$45 million ($33 million) over the next five years in capital to deploy similar tertiary abatement technology across its Australian AN sites, which, it says, could deliver an annual reduction of 750,000 t CO2e.

Orica will also support the construction of a mobile demonstration plant of carbon capture, utilisation and storage technology at its Kooragang Island manufacturing facility, led by Mineral Carbonation International, in partnership with the Australian Government and the University of Newcastle. The plant is scheduled to be built on Orica’s Kooragang Island site by the end of 2023 and have direct access to some 250,000 t of captured CO2 from Orica’s manufacturing operations.

AECI Australia cements Thiess relationship with five-year contract extension

AECI Australia has been awarded a five-year contract extension by contract miner Thiess for the supply of bulk emulsion explosives, initiating systems and related services for mines in Queensland and New South Wales.

This contract consolidates AECI’s base business in Australia and further strengthens the relationship between the two companies, which began in 2014 when AECI entered Australia to support this major mining customer, AECI said. The two also have long-standing partnerships in Indonesia and in several countries in Africa.

The Australian contract, using AECI’s existing in-country capabilities and infrastructure, includes supply of bulk emulsion explosives formulations produced at AECI’s site in Bajool, Queensland, as well as gassing technology for down-the-hole delivery by Thiess; supply of ammonium nitrate; and supply of the Intellishot® electronic initiating system and booster.

Mark Dytor, AECI Chief Executive, said: “AECI Australia is celebrating the achievement of seven years worked without a lost-time injury. We are proud to deliver a safer, innovative and cost-effective product offering that enables ‘One AECI, for a better world’. Better Mining is one of our sustainability goals because we recognise the importance of making global mining safer and more circular. Significant opportunities exist and we look forward to realising more of these in collaboration with customers such as Thiess.”

Enaex and Sasol start up Southern Africa explosives joint venture

Integrated chemicals and energy company Sasol and Enaex, a subsidiary of the Sigdo Koppers Group, have announced the start of operations in Southern Africa.

The new explosives joint venture, Enaex Africa, started operating today on July 1, 2020.

In 2017, Sasol commenced with an asset review to ensure all assets in its global portfolio delivered against financial metrics and were aligned with the company’s growth strategy, the company said.

“In line with this review, Sasol’s explosives business was identified as having substantial growth potential that could be unlocked through collaboration opportunities, including the possibility of partnering with a world-class explosives brand,” Sasol said.

In June 2019, after the evaluation process, Enaex SA was selected as Sasol’s preferred strategic partner to create an explosives business on the African continent.

The new company will operate under the name of Enaex Africa. Enaex will be the majority shareholder and will take over management and operational control of the entity from July 1. Enaex, in association with Sasol, will comprise certain assets and associated activities spun off from the current explosives and rock fragmentation value chain of the base chemicals business of Sasol South Africa. This joint venture includes the associated business activities in both South Africa and other countries in Southern Africa.

Sasol President and CEO, Fleetwood Grobler, said: “We are delighted to announce that on July 1, 2020, Enaex Africa in association with Sasol, will officially start operating in South Africa and on the African Continent. Enaex is a Chilean company celebrating 100 years of history and leadership in the explosives business in South America and together with Sasol will be a force to be reckoned with in the mining industry.”

Founded in 1920 in Chile, Enaex’s core business is ammonium nitrate production – Enaex is the third-largest industrial grade ammonium nitrate producer in the world – explosives production and blasting services, according to Sasol.

“Enaex is also one of the few explosives companies in the world that can produce and offer the entire spectrum of products and solutions to execute the blasting process,” Sasol said. “The company has subsidiaries in 11 countries, including Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Colombia, France, the US, Mexico and Australia, and exports to more than 40 countries all over the world.”

Enaex, provides blasting services to some of the major mining companies in the world, such as Anglo American, BHP, Codelco, KGHM, Glencore, Vale, Yamana Gold and Teck Resources.

This deal is part of the strategic plan of Enaex to continue strengthening its international presence in the most important mining regions of the world, according to Sasol.

Francisco Baudrand, CEO of Enaex Africa, said: “This is truly an incredible day for Enaex with a new venture on a new continent. This joint venture is a platform of growth for Enaex not only in Southern Africa, but also for us to become the leaders in explosives and blasting services for the mining industry on the African continent.”

Meaningful participation for BBBEE has also been catered for in the shareholding structure in line with South Africa’s transformation agenda, which is fully supported by both Sasol and Enaex.