Orica's Outstanding Performance in China
17 May 2000
Today, in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing before an audience of senior Chinese government officials and industry representatives, Australian-owned chemicals and explosives company, Orica, presented an award to China National Chemical Construction Company (CNCCC) for an outstanding safety record on the construction of a new explosives plant in Weihai, northern China.
Orica’s 80% equity in the joint venture with explosives manufacturer, Weihai City 711 Factory, represents the first foreign investment in the commercial explosives industry.
With a global market share of 20% prior to entering the Chinese industry, Orica now has access to the largest commercial explosives market in the world valued at US$1 billion and rapidly expanding with the development of the Chinese open market reforms.
Orica has spent a number of years working with the Chinese authorities to amend the industry regulations to permit the entry of foreign companies. The joint venture with Weihai was agreed in 1995, construction commenced in 1998, and production will begin in late May this year.
Orica’s managing director Mr Philip Weickhardt said "There are enormous benefits in this joint venture for both parties. The benefits for China will be better service to the existing mining and construction markets, employment opportunities to the local region of Shandong Province and, importantly, the transfer of skills and technology.
"Equally, Orica’s presence in China will help grow our leadership position internationally by servicing market leaders in the mining and construction industries, and establishing low cost manufacturing centres in China to supply the Orica businesses globally."
Mr Weickhardt said, "The commissioning of this plant is the culmination of a rare opportunity for Orica to strengthen its leadership position in terms of both market share and cost base, with the delivery of these benefits consistent with Orica’s safety vision."
The Weihai explosives plant was constructed over a two-year period, without a single recordable injury in more than one million man-hours.
"We are very proud to reach one million injury-free hours on this project, and believe that this achievement is testimony to an excellent relationship with our joint venture partner, Weihai City 711 Factory, and the commitment of our contracted construction company CNCCC."
Mr Weickhardt also emphasised Orica’s global safety standard. "Whilst Orica operates in 29 countries around the world, every business adheres to one strict safety code, and safety is the number one priority for every employee. The Weihai safety achievement upholds Orica’s safety vision of No injuries to anyone, ever.
"Our safety perspective is wider than avoiding injury just to our own employees and contractors. By introducing other organisations to our vision and helping them to adopt the tools we use to achieve that vision, we might be helping them to avoid injury too."