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Sulphuric Acid on the WebTM Technical Manual DKL Engineering, Inc.

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Acid Plant Database   November 13, 2021

Owner Ixom

Location Port Kembla
New South Wales
Background Formerly
2002 - Orica
Watercare Inc . (USA) acquires Incitec Industrial Chemicals (Aust).
2015 - Ixom separates from Orica. www.orica.com Orica-Logo.jpg (13055 bytes)
Website www.ixom.com
Plant Port Kembla Sulphuric Acid Works
Coordinates* 34° 28' 38.5" S, 150° 54' 20" E
Type of Plant Acid Regeneration
Gas Source Alkylation Waste Acid
Plant Capacity -
Emissions Concrete Stack: 80 m high
SO2: 2800 mg/m3 per 1 h block
SO3: 50 mg/m3 per minimum 1 h block
Status Operating
Year Built -
Technology -
Contractor -
Remarks -
Pictures Orica-Port-Kembla-1.jpg (203559 bytes)
General The Port Kembla site, located 90 km south of Sydney NSW, commenced operations in 1920. It was originally constructed to manufacture superphosphate fertilizers, but today the key manufacturing asset is a Spent Acid Regeneration plant, used to recover waste acid from petroleum refineries. A second manufacturing plant supplies sodium metabisulphite into the mining and food industries. The site employs over 30 people.

2002 - Orica’s announce intention to purchase Incitec’s Industrial Chemicals assets comprising explosives and chemicals manufacture and chemicals handling at Brisbane, Newcastle and Port Kembla for $315 million (the net cost to Orica of acquiring the 23% share it does not own through its current Incitec holding, will be approximately $73 million).

References -

February 12, 2012 - Elevated levels of sulphur dioxide have been reported leaking from Orica's Port Kembla plant on the south coast.  The chemical giant said it recorded increased amounts of sulphur dioxide from its Spent Acid Regeneration plant on Friday night.  The sulphur dioxide spiked about 3000 parts per million and stayed above the 1000 parts per million limit for about 15 minutes, Orica said.  ''There was no harm to the community, the plant or the environment,'' it said.  The Environmental Protection Authority will examine the reading.  The NSW Environment Minister, Robyn Parker, said she was pleased Orica reported the leak so quickly.  ''Orica has done this as part of new requirements under the Protection of the Environment Act that became effective on Monday,'' she said. Operators who do not immediately report pollution incidents now risk $2 million fines.  In December, the company confirmed a ''contained leakage'' of about 3000 to 4000 litres of sulphuric acid from the same facility.  Orica's ammonia plant on Kooragang Island, near Newcastle, was temporarily shut in August due to a toxic hexavalent chromium leak.

January 3, 2012 - NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell says he's warned Orica he will close its Newcastle chemical plant if there are any more leaks.  The Kooragang Island ammonia plant is due to reopen on Tuesday after a string of leaks shut down the operation.  "It's no secret that I don't have much faith in Orica which has been a serial offender when it comes to its Kooragang Island facility," Mr O'Farrell told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.  The plant was shut down in August after hexavalent chromium fumes leaked near more than 70 homes in the beachside suburb of Stockton, near Newcastle.  In December, the company also confirmed there was a "contained leakage" of about 3000 to 4000 litres of sulfuric acid at its Port Kembla facility, on the NSW south coast.  Mr O'Farrell said the Kooragang plant was being reopened under strict supervision.  "And, I say again to Orica that continued offences at that plant is likely to end up with the plant not operating at all," he added.

December 19, 2011 - The New South Wales Government has again warned Orica its operating licences are on the line, after another chemical leak at one of the company's sites.  Up to 4,000 litres of sulphuric acid leaked from a pipeline leading from a ship to the shore at Orica's Port Kembla site on Friday afternoon.  Orica says the spill was entirely contained by a concrete safely culvert and caused no environmental or health issues.  But Environment Minister Robyn Parker has echoed comments by Premier Barry O'Farrell that Orica must comply with the state's environmental laws or pay the price.  "Orica are under intense scrutiny, as now under our Government all industry is," Ms Parker said.  Friday's incident was the latest in a series of leaks at Orica sites this year, many at the company's Kooragang Island plant in Newcastle.  Community anger at Orica began to build after a leak of hexavalent chromium from that site in August.  The state's Environmental Protection Authority recently gave the company the all-clear to fully restart operations at Kooragang Island.  Opposition spokesman Luke Foley has questioned how well briefed Ms Parker is on the latest incident, and says Friday's leak highlights the need to quickly replace recently departed EPA boss Greg Sullivan.  "I don't know why the Environment Minister hasn't had a full briefing over the weekend from the EPA," Mr Foley said.  "The Government needs to fill that position (EPA chief) urgently so the people of this state can have some confidence that there's someone on the case dealing with polluting industry."  Ms Parker has rejected both points of criticism.  "The EPA have briefed me ever since this incident. Since they were involved on Friday I am receiving regular updates, and they will be completing an complete investigation and report in the normal manner," she said.   "Currently we have Mark Gifford, a very experienced and competent person, acting in the role. Public service positions are advertised in due course in the normal way."  Mr Gifford says the written report should be ready for the Minister soon.  "We will be providing a written report to the minister probably in the next couple of days," he said.  "Certainly with what we know to be the case and our understanding and then we'll follow that up with a final report once we receive the report of the incident from Orica as well.  "Our concern here is that this is one of the Orica group of companies and we are paying very close regulatory scrutiny to Orica in all of its activities, so that is the reason why we responded straight away and have requested these reports from Orica."  Orica chief executive Graeme Liebelt has not yet commented on the latest leak, but has repeatedly apologised for previous incidents and told the company's annual general meeting last week they were damaging its reputation.

MTPD - Metric Tonne per Day           STPD - Short Ton per Day
MTPA - Metric Tonne per Annum      STPA - Short Ton per Annum
SA - Single Absorption
DA - Double Absorption

* Coordinates can be used to locate plant on Google Earth