Cyclone Yasi affects Incitec Pivot's N Queensland fertilizer plants

03 February 2011 12:11  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Incitec Pivot’s fertilizer production and distribution operations in North Queensland, Australia, have been negatively impacted by Cyclone Yasi, managing director and CEO James Fazzino said on Thursday.

Incitec Pivot’s operations in North Queensland comprise the Phosphate Hill fertilizer plant, the Mount Isa acid plant, fertilizer distribution centres in Cairns, Townsville and Mackay and export fertilizer port operations at Townsville.

Fazzino said that the Phosphate Hill and Mount Isa plants had been operating at reduced rates over the past two days and had now temporarily stopped production.

“We suspended or reduced operations to allow employees to be with their families, make appropriate preparations or evacuate,” he said.

Fazzino added that assuming a return to normal conditions and availability of people, it was expected that the plant would return to full production early next week.

It is estimated that the Phosphate Hill facility has lost the equivalent of five days production.

Additionally, Fazzino said that all operations on the coast at Cairns, Townville and Mackay were suspended on Tuesday.

“Assuming minimal damage to port facilities and no loss of access to rail, distribution and port operations would ramp up quickly,” he said.

Phosphate Hill has the capacity to produce 975,000 tonnes/year of diammonium phosphate (DAP) and monoammonium phosphate (MAP), while the Mount Isa plant has the capacity to produce 1m tonnes/year of sulphuric acid, according to the company website.

Cyclone Yasi made landfall as a Category 5 storm near Mission Beach, Queensland, around midnight local time (14:00 GMT) on Wednesday. It was later downgraded to Category 2 as it made its way inland.

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By: Rebecca Clarke
+44 20 8652 3214

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