Tag Archives: Jeanne Johns

Incitec Pivot looks for EMEA explosives growth with Titanobel transaction

Incitec Pivot Limited, owner of Dyno Nobel, has entered into an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares in Explinvest, the holding company of the Titanobel Group, an industrial explosives manufacturer and drilling, blasting and technical services provider based in France.

Incitec has agreed to pay €91 million ($103 million) for Titanobel in a transaction it says is highly complementary to Dyno Nobel’s existing operations, providing access to new markets where the company can leverage its premium technology offering through substitution and growth strategies.

Titanobel has a strong customer base in the mature and stable European market with exposure to the quarry and construction sector, the growing African hard-rock sector and the rapidly expanding mining of future-facing minerals in the EMEA region, Incitec Pivot said. The company is supported by a well-established manufacturing base in France, which will be key to the delivery of the Dyno Nobel strategy in the region.

The transaction remains subject to the satisfaction of key milestones and conditions, including the French employee works council consultation process, and Incitec Pivot receiving foreign direct investment regulatory approval from the French Ministry of Economy and Finance. It is expected to complete by June 2022.

Titanobel provides drilling, blasting and technical services in France and across Europe, as well as in parts of western and southern Africa, Asia and the Pacific region. It has two main business units, explosives as well as drilling and blasting services.

Following the acquisition, Incitec Pivot intends to leverage the existing manufacturing footprint, the skills and technical experience of Titanobel’s existing workforce, and to enhance its offering through the introduction of Incitec Pivots’ technologies.

“Over time, IPL’s value adding technologies will be expanded into other markets in the EMEA region from this newly enhanced base,” it said. “The EMEA market is significant in size, characterised by low ammonium nitrate requirements, stable or growing minerals markets, and large initiating systems usage with low penetration of electronic detonators.”

IPL’s Managing Director and CEO, Jeanne Johns, said: “Titanobel’s acquisition will fit well with our strategy of taking our core explosive business, for which we are recognised globally, to new markets. We are excited for the potential to service new clients and partners with our market-leading technology.”

Fortescue Future Industries, Incitec Pivot to study ‘green’ hydrogen options at Gibson Island

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) says it is partnering with Incitec Pivot, Australia’s largest fertiliser supplier, to conduct a feasibility study to convert its ammonia-production facility at Gibson Island in Brisbane, Queensland, to run on green, renewable hydrogen.

The ammonia-production facility at Gibson Island currently uses natural gas as a feedstock and has a contract in place for this supply until the end of 2022.

FFI also plans to construct an on-site electrolysis plant, which will produce up to 50,000 t/y of renewable, green hydrogen for conversion into green ammonia.

The project, if successful, will create a new domestic and export market for green, renewable ammonia, according to FFI. The resulting green ammonia could also provide a low-carbon fuel supply to the Port of Brisbane and Brisbane airport.

Decarbonising existing industrial plants remains a major challenge in the transition to a green, renewable future, FFI says. The company aims to demonstrate that infrastructure conversion is both technically and economically feasible, in order to accelerate decarbonisation while protecting jobs.

FFI says today’s announcement aligns with the Queensland and Commonwealth governments’ strategy to develop an innovative and competitive green hydrogen industry that delivers reliable domestic supply and new export opportunities.

Incitec Pivot produces around 2 Mt/y of fertilisers for use in Australia’s grain, cotton, pasture, dairy, sugar and horticulture industries. The first step of the project will be a feasibility study, with preliminary results available by the end of 2021.

This is the second major announcement by FFI this week in Queensland, following an announcement to establish the world’s largest electrolyser, renewable industry and equipment manufacturing centre, the Global Green Energy Manufacturing Centre, at Gladstone.

FFI says it is committed to generating 15 Mt/y of green hydrogen by 2030, rising to 50 Mt/y in the decade thereafter. While FFI’s green hydrogen will supply both domestic and export markets, it will also enable Fortescue to achieve its industry-leading target of carbon neutrality by 2030.

FFI Chief Executive Officer, Julie Shuttleworth, said: “FFI’s goal is to become the world’s leading, renewable energy and green products company, powering the Australian economy and creating jobs for Australia as we transition away from fossil fuels.

“FFI’s partnership with Incitec Pivot is an exciting opportunity to harness existing infrastructure at Gibson Island, fast tracking the production of green ammonia at an industrial scale.”

Incitec Pivot Managing Director, Jeanne Johns, said: “We are pleased to be partnering our world-class manufacturing and ammonia expertise in Australia with FFI’s hydrogen and renewable energy capabilities to contribute to Australia’s potential as a green ammonia powerhouse.

“If feasible, this project would sustain highly skilled manufacturing jobs at Gibson Island and allow us to leverage our existing capabilities and assets to create a thriving renewable hydrogen ecosystem in Australia in the near term.”

Electronic blasting demand sees Dyno Nobel boost manufacturing output

Demand from customers for Dyno Nobel’s electronic blasting technology is, the company says, boosting manufacturing in regional Queensland, Australia.

The Helidon plant, in southeast Queensland, has expanded to increase electronic detonator production, helping boost regional employment, it said.

Since the plant expansion late last year, the number of employees has grown to 103, up 63%, with more people needed at the plant to manufacture the company’s premium technology, which Dyno Nobel says has seen continued growth.

A business of Incitec Pivot, Dyno Nobel’s half-year results released in May showed a 14% increase in electronic initiating systems sales in Asia Pacific, compared with the same time last year.

Incitec Pivot Managing Director and CEO, Jeanne Johns, said: “Dyno Nobel’s overall mining volumes continue to be supported by our premium technology offering. We are seeing strong demand for our technology from customers who want to improve their productivity and safety outcomes, while also reducing the impact on the environment.

“We tailor our premium technology solutions to manage specific sites requirements and issues and, as a result, our customers are getting better blast outcomes.”

President of Dyno Nobel Asia Pacific, Greg Hayne, said Australia’s mining sector was continuing to operate well.

“We are continuing to invest strongly in our technology pipeline, assisting our customers and supporting the Australian economy with local jobs in manufacturing,” he said.

Looking forward, Dyno Nobel is focused on rolling out its DigiShot®Plus.4G system to further improve safety and productivity at mines across Australia. Released in 2018, DigiShot Plus.4G is designed to help reduce overall costs and increase productivity by reducing blasting delays and introducing programming speeds seven times faster than existing systems.

It was this technology that produced a world record blast at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s (BMA) Caval Ridge Mine in Queensland last December.

Dyno Nobel’s record blast saw 8,144 DigiShot Plus.4G electronic detonators fired in single blast event that took 14 days to prepare and involved loading 2,194 t of bulk explosive into 3,899 blastholes.

“As we continue to develop our technology road map, it’s nice to see these types of outcomes, which reinforce the way our technology aligns with the needs of our customers,” Hayne said.

BHP looks for blasting safety and productivity gains with Dyno Nobel deal

BHP has announced an agreement with explosives supplier Dyno Nobel, a business of Incitec Pivot Limited, to invest in a blast technology research program to improve the safety and productivity across its Australian operations.

As part of a Technology Alliance Agreement with BHP, Dyno Nobel will invest A$25 million ($17 million) over the next five years to pursue technology improvements that will directly benefit BHP’s mining operations.

Dyno Nobel’s research and development will be undertaken collaboratively with input from BHP, with the aim of focusing the investment in areas with the greatest potential impact, Dyno Nobel said. In addition, BHP will provide ongoing reviews, feedback and site access for prototype testing.

“For example, Dyno Nobel’s Differential Energy and Digishot Plus 4G technologies are proven to improve safety, efficiency and environmental impacts on the ground today,” the company said.

Dyno Nobel says it will also have semi-autonomous mobile processing units (MPU) (the trucks that fill blast holes with explosives) developed by the end of this year, followed by the development of fully-autonomous MPUs – all of which have the potential to take people out of harm’s way and improve efficiency.

Dyno Nobel’s technology roadmap is broad, the company said, including new developments in digital technologies, bulk explosives, equipment automation and initiating systems including wireless technology.

BHP Group Procurement Officer, Sundeep Singh (left), said: “The Technology Alliance Agreement is a great example of BHP partnering with suppliers to drive improvement that will benefit our company and the sector as a whole.

“As well as providing an avenue to improve our own drill and blasting activities in Queensland and Western Australia, the partnership will support our pursuit of better environmental stewardship through a joint commitment to eradicate the use of palm oil in the explosive manufacturing process.”

Managing Director and CEO of Incitec Pivot Limited, Jeanne Johns (right), said, “Our industry leading technology is on the ground today, and this joint value sharing Technology Alliance Agreement is an example of our customer focused approach to building strong collaborative partnerships. I am excited about demonstrating the value of our current offer on the ground today and developing technologies with our valued customer and global mining house, BHP for the mine of the future.”

Johns added: “Our leading explosives technology is clever in design, adds immediate value to BHP’s operation through productivity, safety and environmental benefits, and demonstrates the potential of technology to transform the Australian resources industry.”

Pivotal to this alliance is Dyno Nobel’s market leading Differential Energy technology. With successes in the US market, it is now being rolled out to sites across Australia as the benefits are recognised by leading mining companies, the company said.

This Technology Alliance Agreement was an integral part of a suite of contract renewals for the supply of explosives products and services to BHP’s open-pit operations at BMA, BHP Iron Ore and Nickel West, according to Dyno Nobel.