Orica's Kooragang Island site suffers second ammonia leak in a week

15 March 2013 13:00  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Australian chemicals and industrial group Orica on Friday revealed its Kooragang Island facility had suffered its second ammonia leak in five days after a relief valve at the New South Wales plant “lifted prematurely” on Friday morning.

The company said “operations personnel took a precautionary approach and activated the site’s emergency response plan” at 7.40am local time.

“A relief valve in the ammonia storage plant lifted prematurely as the result of a mechanical malfunction, well before the alarm’s trigger point in this section of the plant,” the firm said, adding: “Orica operations personnel took immediate action to reset the valve.

“The event resulted in an ammonia vapour release, but no ammonia odour was detected on, or off site. The relevant equipment has been removed from service. After inspection, operations at the storage plant are now continuing normally.”

The Victoria-headquartered group confirmed “all relevant authorities were immediately notified” and that the latest release “was unrelated to a lifting of a relief valve at the ammonia plant on 11 March”.

According to Australian media reports following the first ammonia leak earlier this week, the NSW plant experienced two similar incidents in 2011, one of which involved ammonia and the other hexavalent chromium.

By: Richard Ewing
+44 208 652 3214

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