Incitec Pivot plagued by even more plant outages

Chemicals and explosives business Incitec Pivot long plagued by unplanned facility shutdowns has been hit yet again with new problems that will cost the company $35 million (US$26 million) to fix.

The company, only just recovering from a series of disasters, today announced that a discovery phase of works required at its Waggaman ammonia plant in the US (pictured) had exposed new problems.

The company’s original problems problems included a $60 million cost associated with a rail outage in Queensland, $16 million from a third party gas pipeline rupture in the US and $65 million from outages of its Waggaman and Phosphate Hill fertiliser plants.

Now the company estimates the work needed has extended the length of the Waggaman plant turnaround by two weeks with the plant expected to be online by mid-March.

The earnings impact of the turnaround has risen by US$15 million to a total of US$40 million, including a capital cost US$10 million.

Additionally, ammonium nitrate plants in Louisiana, Missouri and Cheyenne, Wyoming have also ‘recently experienced unplanned downtime as a result of rotating equipment failure and repair works .

“Repair works at the Louisiana, Missouri plant are currently underway.”

Incitec Pivot said that the planned turnaround and maintenance shutdowns at St Helens and Mt Isa/Phosphate Hill had been completed.

Planning for a major turnaround of the Moranbah plant in May is on track.

Incitec Pivot did not comment on the reason for these further production problems.

Picture: Incitec Pivot/Waggaman

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