World-leading tech helps Orica slash greenhouse emissions
Kooragang Island site demonstrates decarbonisation potential
A pioneering CEFC investment in the manufacturing sector is effectively reducing the nation’s chemical industry process emissions by 11 per cent, by helping reduce emissions of a potent greenhouse gas using proven international technology in an Australian industry first.
The CEFC has been instrumental in facilitating the Kooragang Island Decarbonisation Project funding. Having effective emissions reduction technology available is important, but it’s the support and financing from our partners, including the CEFC, that’s critical in allowing us to effectively and efficiently implement this technology across our operations.Sanjeev GandhiOrica Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer
A $25 million CEFC commitment has enabled manufacturer Orica to upgrade processing plants used in the production of ammonium nitrate with technology that has reduced the greenhouse gas emissions of the plants by at least 98 per cent.
This is equivalent to 48 per cent of the Kooragang Island site's total greenhouse gas emissions and 11 per cent of all chemical industry process emissions across Australia.
Orica is the world’s largest provider of commercial explosives and blasting systems to the mining and infrastructure sectors.
The Kooragang Island Decarbonisation Project is the first major direct investment by the CEFC in the manufacturing sector and represents one of the largest single abatement projects financed by the CEFC.
To facilitate the project, the New South Wales Government Net Zero Industry and Innovation Program co-invested $13.06 million. The Clean Energy Regulator approved the project as eligible to generate Australian Carbon Credit Units.
Orica demonstrates dramatic abatement potential
The tertiary nitrous oxide abatement technology installed at three nitric acid plants at the Kooragang Island facility, in New South Wales, is eliminating a greenhouse gas that is 265 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
The Kooragang Island Decarbonisation Project, which officially opened in July 2023, will eliminate 567,000 tonnes of CO2-e from the site each year, which is equal to emissions from 50,000 Australian homes.
Orica is confident that the sustainability measures at the Kooragang Island facility will serve as a demonstration case for the opportunities to reduce nitrous oxide emissions in the manufacturing industry.
The global warming potential of nitrous oxide emissions are much more potent than carbon dioxide emissions. An investment which curtails these emissions to this extent can have a significant impact on our national emissions.Ian LearmonthCEO, CEFC
Hydrogen in next step to decarbonisation
Committed to accelerating progress towards its 2050 net zero ambition, Orica has turned its attention to tackling the remaining material greenhouse gas emissions on-site – an initiative that will require a low carbon alternative feedstock for ammonia manufacturing. This feedstock will likely come in the form of renewable hydrogen, to replace natural gas feedstock used today. It is co-developing the Hunter Valley Hydrogen Hub, to enable hydrogen to be used in the production of green ammonia and ammonium nitrate at Kooragang Island.
Navigating a lower emissions pathway
The manufacturing sector is responsible for 11 per cent of Australia’s carbon emissions. Globally, industry accounts for 23 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, with emissions from the sector rising nearly 70 per cent between 1990 and 2014.
While innovation and cost reduction have helped drive the decarbonisation of sectors such as property, transport and energy, the pathway to lower emissions in manufacturing has proved more challenging. Hurdles including a lack of technological solutions, financial incentives and customer willingness to pay a premium for green products have slowed meaningful progress.
As new advances come to market, manufacturers who are alert to the need to reduce their carbon footprint can take advantage of such technological developments.