Coogee chemicals history

Coogee Chemicals was formed in the early 1970s by thirteen individual investors, mainly farmers, with the intent of producing Copper Sulphate for agricultural use. After the initial unsuccessful attempts to make this product, Gordon Martin bought 45% of the equity and restructured the company. Subsequently, using mostly second-hand equipment, he optimised the production and invented a continuous crystallisation process, which allowed the manufacture of high quality Copper Sulphate.

The headquarters of Coogee Chemicals was built in Kwinana Beach, Western Australia, amidst other significant players, where it is still today.

The Copper Sulphate manufacturing plant was reconstructed in Kwinana Beach. A new business opportunity soon arose to supply Sodium Silicate to Synthetic Rutile producers. A Silicate manufacturing plant was designed and built; all raw material input streams are locally sourced.

At Kwinana Beach in Western Australia new facilities for Copper Sulphate and Sodium Silicate production were completed.

The first steps were taken to establish a tank terminal adjacent to the Kwinana Beach manufacturing facility.

To provide excellent service Coogee progressively built a logistics chain for Dangerous Goods. The transport business began.

Aluminium Sulphate plant was commissioned to supply major water and waste water treatment customers.

Coogee designed and built a plant for the conversion of Copperas into Ferrous Sulphate Mono- and Heptahydrates. A waste stream generated during the production of titanium dioxide is converted into a valuable saleable product.

Coogee, for the first time, imported caustic soda and molasses into the new terminal in Kwinana Beach.

Coogee Chemicals entered into a Joint Venture agreement with Wesfarmers CSBP and AIDC to manufacture liquid Sodium Cyanide at Kwinana Beach. In 1988 the plant began producing cyanide solution - it was the first Cyanide manufacturing facility in Western Australia and it still is today.

Another Joint Venture opportunity arose, this time between Nufarm and Coogee. The pigment manufacturers at Kemerton and Kwinana, Western Australia, required Chlorine, and the Joint Venture built 2 Chlor-Alkali plants to meet the demand. Apart from Chlorine, these facilities also produce Caustic Soda, Sodium Hypochlorite and Hydrochloric Acid which are supplied into the Western Australian, industrial, mining and water treatment market.

A Joint Venture was established with Pride-Chem Singapore and Technogas Malaysia to produce Copper Oxide at Malaka, Malaysia. The feedstock of Copper Oxide is a waste stream from the manufacture of Printed Circuit Boards. Again, value-adding was achieved by converting a waste into a saleable valuable product.

In response to the need of local industry for input materials, Coogee developed a sodium aluminate solution process which delivers ready-made liquid reagent for use in the Pigment Industry.

With the purchase of Western Biotechnology Ltd. from Roche, Coogee entered a completely new field of business, Biotechnology. Now Coogee was involved in growing algae which produced a natural Beta-Carotene.

A Tank Terminal for the import, storage and supply of Sulphuric Acid was constructed in Port Hedland, Western Australia, to supply Copper heap leach projects in the Pilbara.

Coogee designed and constructed a continuous process granulation plant to supply trace element fertiliser into the agricultural industry.

A Sulphuric Acid Tank Terminal was constructed in Townsville, Queensland in Joint Venture with Lewer Corporation.

In 1995 Coogee entered into an agreement with a major Fuel Enterprise to store and manage its fuel requirements at Coogee's Kwinana Beach Terminal.

The Coogee Acid Terminal (CAT) with a 70,000 tonne storage capacity for sulphuric acid was completed in 1998. It is located close to the Bulk Cargo Jetty at Kwinana Beach and was designed to provide import and export capabilities, and world best handling and storage of 98% Sulphuric Acid. It is the largest acid terminal in the Southern hemisphere.

Coogee acquired a Methanol manufacturing facility from BHP Petroleum / Mitsubishi in Melbourne. This new process significantly improved the cost effectiveness and efficiency of methanol production from natural gas. The acquisition included the Intellectual property of the new process.

After the success of the first plant a second Sodium Cyanide facility was built at Kwinana Beach increasing the Cyanide manufacturing capacity by 50%.

The local Oil Refinery produces molten Sulphur as a waste stream. In response to this opportunity Coogee designed and built a plant at Kwinana Beach that converts molten liquid Sulphur into particulate solid Sulphur. Sulphur is a marketable product used in a range of industrial applications.

Coogee pioneered a Chemical Reagent Manufacturing Plant at the BHP Cannington Mine, Queensland. Coogee designed and constructed the facility and managed it for several years. The Reagent Facility provides ready-made liquid reagents into the processing circuit of the mine, a convenient and cost-effective solution for the customer.

A majority interest in Ampac Pty. Ltd. was acquired. The Ampac process uses ammonia as reactant to produce copper sulphate from copper scrap metal, a new concept for Coogee.

After extensive product development and design work, a Xanthate plant was built at Kwinana Beach, Western Australia. This plant produces Xanthate solution which is a safe and convenient source of this floatation agent.

A second Reagent Facility was designed and constructed at the Century Zinc Mine, Queensland. Coogee is managing the Reagent Facility providing ready-made liquid reagents for the processing circuit.

The Sodium Cyanide plant was upgraded to enable the manufacture of Cyanide in solid form, which allowed access to the international market.

In 2003, an undeveloped oil field in the Timor Sea, as well as two operating fields, were purchased from BHP and Canadian Petroleum.

The oil and gas business was demerged from Coogee Chemicals into a separate entity, and established as Coogee Resources.

Agreements concluded acquiring each of BHP Petroleum's and Nexen's respective 50% interests in the AC/RL3 oil and gas fields to underpin a possible offshore floating Methanol project.

Subsequently, Coogee Resources acquired Newfield Exploration's Timor Sea assets including the oil fields Jabiru and Challis.

A second Liquid Xanthate plant was completed in Mt Isa, Queensland.

The output of the Molten Sulphur plant was expanded to include a new product, Sulphur-Bentonite, which has applications in the agricultural field.

A Super White Hydrate Plant, based on the precipitation of high purity alumina hydrate, was comissioned. Super White Hydrate is used as a colourant and filler in the artificial marble industry. This plant has subsequently been closed.

Coogee acquired Nufarm's interest in the Chlor-Alkali Joint Venture and is now the sole owner of 2 Chlor-alkali plants in Western Australia.

In 2010 Coogee purchased a fuel terminal from Gull Terminals West in Kwinana Beach. This terminal site is located adjacent to our existing terminal facility, and after its integration, increased the storage capacity by 58 million litres.

A major expansion of the Chlor-Alkali plant in Kwinana was completed, doubling the production capacity and introducing new technology. Coogee is now the owner of 3 Chlor-Alkali plants.

Coogee Chemicals entered into an agreement with CSIRO to further develop innovative technology involved in the production of Titanium.

Coogee acquired 100% ownership of the Tank Terminal in Townsville, Queensland.

At the Kwinana Beach Tank Terminal an additional 24 million litres of storage capacity were constructed.

The Port Hedland Terminal capacity was expanded by 27 million litres storage capacity for Sulphuric Acid allowing Coogee to sell both, acid and caustic soda to the Pilbara region.

A Dangerous Goods Storage Facility was constructed at Kwinana Beach to cater specifically for isotainer and container storage.

A new Copper Sulphate facility in Mt Isa was completed backed by a long-term contract from a local mine.

The new Tank Terminal for Sulphuric Acid storage, import and export was completed in Gladstone, Queensland.

After extensive upgrades and integration work, the Fuel Terminal at Kwinana Beach is now functioning as a world-class terminalling facility providing a fuel and chemical storage capacity of more than 150 Million litres.

The expansion of the Queensland business is progressing with the completion of a Sodium Hydrosulphide dissolving plant, a Dangerous Goods storage facility at Mount Isa, and entry into the caustic soda market from Gladstone.

In 2012, Coogee has acquired the Chlor-Alkali manufacturing business, Elite Chemicals, from GE Corporation. The manufacturing facility is located at the port of Brisbane and produces Sodium Hypochlorite, Hydrochloric Acid and Caustic Soda for the water treatment industry and local industrial customers. The business includes operational branches in Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton, NSW and SA. This acquisition provides a foot print for Coogee on the East Coast for the Chlor-Alkali business and will offer new business growth opportunities.

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Laurence Sterne