Chemicals and explosives maker Orica Ltd. (ORI.AU) said Sunday it is ready to resume the restart of its troubled Koorangang Island ammonia plant north of Sydney after repairing one of the plant's compressors.
The plant has been shutdown since the release of hexavalent chromium, a toxic pollutant, on Aug. 8 as the plant was being restarted after six weeks of scheduled maintenance.
"The restart of a plant such as this is complicated and must be done cautiously. We will not compromise on this restart and if we need to again pause in order to assure its safety, we will do so," Chief Executive Graeme Liebelt said in a statement.
Kooragang site manager Sean Winstone said in a statement the plant restart was expected to resume Tuesday.
The company said during its annual general meeting on Dec. 15 the shutdown had cost the company up to A$50 million (US$53.8 million) to that date, or about A$4 million a week.
Orica has been under close scrutiny following a string of safety breaches at Kooragang and its Botany plant in Sydney in recent months.
A few weeks after the hexavalent incident, Orica said that Kooragang had released chemicals, including arsenic, into the Hunter River.
In December, Orica said there had been a release of mercury from its Botany plant. There was also a fire at Kooragang last month when lightning struck a hydrogen venting stack, but Orica said that the plant wasn't damaged.
Ammonia from the plant is used to produce ammonium nitrate, one of the ingredients used to make mining explosives.
-By Gavin Lower, Dow Jones Newswires; firstname.lastname@example.org