Orica emissions reduction project successful

Monday, 17 July, 2023

Orica emissions reduction project successful

Orica has announced the completion of its Kooragang Island Decarbonisation Project in Newcastle, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions released by its three nitric acid plants by at least 98%.

This is equivalent to 48% of the site’s total GHG emissions and 11% of all chemical industry process emissions across Australia. The project will continue to eliminate 567,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the site each year, equal to emissions from 50,000 Australian homes.

The New South Wales Government’s Net Zero Industry and Innovation Program co-invested $13.06 million to facilitate the project, together with Orica’s $25 million financed by the federal government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation. The project was also approved as eligible to generate Australian Carbon Credit Units by the Clean Energy Regulator.

Sanjeev Gandhi, Orica Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, said the project demonstrates that emissions reduction is possible in hard-to-abate industries with the right policy settings and corporate commitments.

“The policy certainty from the passage of the government’s Safeguard reforms means we can now continue to accelerate our decarbonisation plans with confidence. We will continue to invest across our operations, to ensure Australian manufactured products remain competitive as the world transitions to a lower carbon economy. Our focus now moves to decarbonising our operations at Yarwun in Queensland utilising the same proven technology,” Gandhi said.

Chris Bowen, Minister for Climate Change and Energy, said, “The government is proud to be working in partnership with companies like Orica as they use innovative technology to reduce their emissions.

“This is exactly the type of innovation that our safeguard reforms incentivise, helping industrial emitters reduce their emissions while staying competitive.”

Orica has turned its attention to tackling the remaining material greenhouse gas emissions onsite, an initiative that will require a low-carbon alternative feedstock for ammonia manufacturing. The feedstock will likely come in the form of renewable hydrogen to replace natural gas, freeing up domestic gas supply for households.

Orica is also working with Origin Energy on the Hunter Valley Hydrogen Hub (HVHH) to deliver a renewable hydrogen supply chain in the Newcastle industrial and port one. Phase one of this project is expected to produce renewable hydrogen from recycled water and renewable electricity using a grid-connected 55 MW electrolyser. The Hub will be located next to Orica’s Kooragang Island manufacturing site in Newcastle.

Hydrogen from the facility will be piped to Orica’s site, where it will be used to replace natural gas in the production of green ammonia and ammonium nitrate — crucial products used in mining, agriculture, health and food industries.

Memorandum of understanding (MoU) agreements have been established between Orica, Origin Energy and the Port of Newcastle to potentially scale up production in subsequent phases of the HVHH development in the Clean Energy Precinct.

Opportunities between the Port of Newcastle and Orica are being explored for ammonia storage and a potential domestic and international terminal located on the Clean Energy Precinct.

Gandhi said projects to futureproof manufacturing, jobs and economies take time and have significant challenges. Collaboration with government, community, industry, academia and commercial partners will be critical to the success of the project.

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