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Incitec Pivot bounces back even as Brisbane plant to close

Manufacturing News

Fertiliser and explosives manufacturer Incitec Pivot has bounced back in the second half with operating profit for FY 21 up 51 per cent on the previous corresponding period on strengthened demand.

There was strong growth in advanced technologies offered by its Dyno Nobel explosives business, with American electronic detonator sales up 18 per cent, while fertilisers benefitted with an upswing in commodity prices.

Earnings before interest and tax were up 51 per cent to $566 million, while net profit after tax was $209 million, up 91 per cent on the previous corresponding period.

The strength in fertilisers came even as the company last week announced the closure of its Gibson Island, Brisbane fertiliser plant after it failed to secure an economically viable long-term gas supply.

Gibson Island will close on December 22 with the company reverting to import for the 550,000 tonnes of fertilisers despatched each year. The plant also supplies carbon dioxide plant to the Queensland market.

CEO Jeanne Johns said company had resorted to the closure reluctantly.

The troubled Waggaman, Louisiana ammonia plant (pictured) had operated at nameplate capacity in the second half and had benefitted from higher ammonia prices.

Waggaman been forced to shut with more than $100 million dollars lost – through plant failures and breakdowns and closure during Hurricane Ida.

Ms Johns said premium technology was increasing productivity and safety and reducing the environmental footprint of its customers, which was underpinning strong demand.

Ms Johns said: “We also saw significant in our manufacturing performance in the second half, with our Waggaman plant performing well following the delayed restart in June.

“We expect the benefits of our manufacturing reliability to come through following completion of the current turnaround cycle in FY22.”

Picture: Incitec Pivot/Waggaman, Louisiana

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