People have being asking me about 2500 tonne of Ammonia nitate fertiliser in Beirut and the Tiwai Ouvea dross which include Aluminium & Magenesium Oxide stored in South-land.

Base product of Lebanon was Ammonia nitrate which is sed in some explosives. Ingredients in the Ouvea include volatile magnesium aluminium oxide. Both magnesium and aluminium by themselves alone are volatile.

Well..can the 10,000 tonnes at stored at Mataura and else where (including Liddle St where it within a 100 metres of a service station) explode?

Professor Allan Blackman, School of Science at Auckland University of Technology:
“Of the ouvea premix materials, Professor Allan Blackman says the “most potentially hazardous” compound is aluminium nitride, which is what makes ammonia when mixed with water. He also has concerns about heat produced from the reaction when ammonia is made. This is because heat aids in the formation of hydrogen gas and could cause a potential explosion. But this will only happen if “large enough quantities” of hydrogen are generated. But the reaction time of aluminium nitride with water is relatively slow, he says. Which means the release rate of ammonia would be similarly slow, as would the production of hydrogen”. Newshub.

The Ouvea contains various oxides including aluminium oxide powder.

Associate Professor Sally Gaw and Professor Brett Robinson say “they believe the worst case scenario is the heat released by the reaction with water, which could generate a fire at the paper mill along with releasing ammonia gas. “The actual impacts will depend on how much of the ouvea comes into contact with water.” Newshub.


PS That summary from experts originated from the Newshub link (WHICH ACKNOWLEDGES THE COMBUSTIBILITY VS THE SOUTHLAND TIMES WHICH DRASTICALLY DOWN PLAYED THE COMBUSTIBLE RISK) below and I think is the best answer I can find to-date. As a long term bagger of corporate owned mainstream news I must say on this occasion Newshub deserve a large hand clap, for a job well done. Good on yah Newshub and thanks to Jason (Newshub’s cameraman), who was at the Mataura meeting back in Feb and to John at TVNZ Dunedin bureau, for getting the important point I made to you guys on to your website (even if it got voiced over on the TV broad cast edition) when other media present were trying to downplay the risk.

Chinese news channel PPS HK01 reported that police received reports of a bombs and arrived to find two radio-controlled explosives wrapped in cling film containing 10 kilograms’ worth of deadly components, including Aluminum Nitrate and Hexamethylene triperoxide diamine (HMTD), “highly explosive organic” compounds.


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