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$13 million to halve Kooragang Island's emissions and support jobs


One of NSW’s biggest industrial sites, Kooragang Island, is on track to halve its emissions, after receiving a $13 million grant from the New South Wales Government’s Net Zero Industry and Innovation Program.

Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean said the owner of the Newcastle site, Orica, will install an emissions reduction system, which is expected to reduce emissions from its three nitric acid plants by up to 92 per cent.

“This is the first of many major projects to be funded out of our $750 million Net Zero Industry and Innovation Program, which will help businesses accelerate their transition to net zero while remaining competitive and creating jobs,” Mr Kean said.

“Orica’s new emissions reduction system is expected to cut 567,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent each year, which is equal to emissions from 50,000 Newcastle homes.

“This is a massive abatement at one of the State’s largest heavy industrial sites, which will help New South Wales meet its target of halving emissions by 2030.”

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Taylor Martin said the Kooragang Island Decarbonisation Project will see air quality improve across the Newcastle region, with the overall emissions from Orica’s Kooragang Island site expected to drop by 48 per cent.

“One of the biggest opportunity for decarbonisation in New South Wales right now sits with a relatively small number of existing high emitting industries, including manufacturing right here in Newcastle,” Mr Martin said. 

“Our Net Zero Industry and Innovation Program is a great way for industry to take up innovative technologies, while improving environmental, health and economic outcomes for the Newcastle and Hunter regions.”

Orica Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Sanjeev Gandhi said Orica has been able to co-invest and move forward on implementing a significant decarbonisation project, thanks to the support of the New South Wales and Federal governments.

“The project ensures Orica’s domestic manufacturing operations remain competitive in a low carbon economy, bringing with it significant environment, economic and social benefits for the region,” Mr Gandhi said.

“It also allows us to look at longer-term investments in technologies including production of hydrogen from renewable energy.”

This project is the first funded out of the NSW Government’s $750 million Net Zero Industry and Innovation Program, with Orica’s share financed through a loan from the Federal Government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

The project is expected to start in August 2022 and will take three months to complete.

For more information on the Net Zero Industry and Innovation Program, visit


Images of the Orica site available to download: