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(08) 9964 2195    (08) 9192 7216

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(02) 6277 7840  (08) 9041 1749

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Statement, Yara Pilbara

The electorate of Durack is characterised by enormous resource development projects, agriculture and farming, and untapped tourism potential. Unashamedly, I am working hard to promote Durack within the parliament for its significant contribution to the Australian economy and for its even greater potential. We need the support of the nation and the parliament if Durack is to continue to make a disproportionately large contribution to national growth and to GDP.

Recently, with the Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb, and the CEO of the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA, Reg Howard-Smith, I embarked upon a journey to see up close some of the developments in the Pilbara. Risk, perseverance, enormous investment, ingenuity and a long-term view characterise project development in the Pilbara. It is easy, though, to get lost amongst the resource giants.

One company that is flying under the radar is a global ammonia production facility. Yara Pilbara, the operator, is located on the Burrup Peninsula, near Karratha, in the north-west. It adds value, as it is a downstream processor of gas with an annual capability of around 850,000 metric tonnes of liquid ammonia. This is shipped out of the nearby port of Dampier to markets in Asia. Thanks to construction manager David Hegarty for making us welcome on our recent visit.

With a plan to move further downstream, Yara has formed a joint venture with Orica and Apache Energy to develop an ammonium nitrate plant which will support the nearby mining industry. The existing ammonia facility will provide the feedstock for production. When mixed with fuel oil, it can be used as an explosive by the miners. With nearly 90 per cent of the construction completed, the complex is the world's first to use a modular design-and-construction approach. It is a world-scale facility with a planned capacity of 330,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate and a construction budget of around $800 million. The first production for the new plant is scheduled for around the second half of 2015. During the construction phase, it has created 500 jobs. Once completed, there will be full-time employment for around 65 people to operate the plant. The company has a $50,000 million housing project underway in Karratha. All the operational staff, with their families, will live locally. That means no FIFO, which of course I welcome.

Who sits behind this wonderful new development, with its headquarters in Norway? Yara Pilbara is a division of Yara International, the largest global producer of ammonium nitrate and complex fertiliser. Yara International has operations and offices in 50 countries. Investment of almost $1 billion in this new facility hardly cracks a mention, but I am very pleased to bring it to the attention of the House today.


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