Incitec Pivot says Queensland ammonia plant forced offline

23 July 2013 12:28  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Australian fertilizer and explosives producer Incitec Pivot Limited (IPL) on Tuesday revealed an ammonia plant outage at a Queensland facility will blow a A$23.5m ($21.7m, €16.5m) hole in its bottom line.

The Melbourne-headquartered company said the ammonia plant at its Phosphate Hill site was forced offline earlier this month "in response to site management identifying issues with the performance of the iso-thermal shift reactor".

IPL expects the unit to remain offline "until mid-next week" and says the outage will reduce ammonium phosphates output for the second half ending 30 September 2013 to 400,000 tonnes, and 763,000 tonnes for the full year.

"The financial implication of this outage is estimated to have an earnings impact in the region of A$23.5m after tax," the statement to the country's stock exchange disclosed.

IPL managing director and CEO, James Fazzino, added: "Following the unplanned outage at Mount Isa earlier in this financial year, a detailed analysis was undertaken to identify the root cause which was found to lie in the 2010 scheduled turnaround for Phosphate Hill and Mount Isa operations.

"From this analysis, we are far advanced with a review of global manufacturing and will accelerate its conclusion with details to be announced in the near future."

IPL operates six ammonia plants and also produces urea, ammonia, sulphuric acid and ammonium sulphate (AS) at facilities in Queensland and New South Wales.

The company also owns and operates manufacturing plants in the US, Canada, Turkey, Mexico, Chile and Indonesia, and has joint venture operations in South Africa, Malaysia and China.

($1 = A$1.08, $1 = €0.76)

By: Richard Ewing
+44 208 652 3214

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