Orica hit by operational issues

UNPLANNED maintenance issues, particularly at the Burrup Technical Ammonium Nitrate Plant in Western Australia’s Pilbara, has hit Orica’s first half performance, even as miners start to demand more explosives.

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Reliability issues hitting Orica results.

In Australia earnings before interest and tax declined 3% due to unplanned maintenance at Yarwun in Queensland and Kooragang Island in New South Wales and operational issues at the Burrup Technical Ammonium Nitrate Plant.

That led to additional sourcing and freight costs to meet customers' supply requirements. The bulk of that material came from Yarwun, putting increased manufacturing pressures on it that led to unplanned maintenance issues.

Both Orica's Bontang plant in Indonesia and Wesfarmers CSBP plant in Perth had no extra capacity to give.

The Burrup TAN plant issues are tied to quality issues with its heat exchangers and Orica's joint venture parter and the operation of the TAN plant, Yara, is progressing repairs.

The repaired heat exchangers ar...