Urea plant plan for Collie off the table

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times

A multi-billion dollar urea manufacturing plant in Collie has again been shelved with Perdaman Industries taking the project north.

The $4.3 billion fertiliser plant is set to be built on the Burrup Peninsula after Woodside Petroleum said it wanted to supply the gas needed to create a giant urea factory.

More than 2000 jobs are expected to be created during the three-year construction of the two-million-tonne-a-year plant near Karratha.

For nearly a decade, the project had been earmarked for Collie using the town’s coal but supply problems stalled plans.

Perdaman chief executive officer Vikas Rambal said last year the project could be dusted off if the Dampier to Bunbury gas pipeline was extended to Collie.

Several State Government candidates spruiked the pipeline as a priority in their election commitments.

The plant will create more than 200 permanent jobs following construction.

Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray said he was disappointed the project had gone north, but time would tell if the plant would become a reality.

“I’m certainly disappointed to think that a lot of work has been done and now it’s going somewhere else,” Mr Murray said.

“In some ways it’s understandable, others I’m not quite sure why that decision has been made.

“There was a lot of work done behind the scenes, a lot of planning.

“Shotts Industrial Park was created and I think around $18 million was spent there, especially for the urea plant. It is disappointing to see something go north, but time will tell whether it will actually get off the ground.

“When the project was first mooted, urea prices were $700 a tonne and now they’re down to $150 – I find those figures quite remarkable to say the least, then it’s up to the bankers to make up their mind whether it’s a bankable project or not.”

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