Deer Park - Early Wealth to the Lean Years
The Deer Park, explosives factory was built on the open plains of Deer Park, Victoria (Australia) in the 1870s. A young and prosperous Victoria needed explosives for building roads and railways and the site was ideal– a stony creek cut through opal land with waterholes that were always full. Just over a kilometre away ran the railway to Bendigo and its nearby goldmines, which for years would be the largest buyers of the company’s explosives.
The explosives factory on Ballarat Road was joined in 1928 by the Leather cloth coated fabric factory facing Station Road – just as the Great Depression started. The motor industry was one of the first industries hit and the demand for coated fabric slumped. Tony Cox, then Chief Chemist, said that at the “tail end of the depression, men stood at the Leather cloth factory gate looking for work.”Frank Grimes from Dyestuffs remembers that“on late work nights tea money provided us with a three course meal at a number of small cafes for one shilling and sixpence and two beers at the corner pub for the other shilling."
Botany - A War Baby
With the outbreak of World War Two, shipping and interstate transport became more difficult and war products were needed. ICI decided to produce some essential war materials – carbon bisulphide, caustic soda, chlorine, phenothiazine, carbon tetrachloride, rubber chemicals – in or near Sydney.
In 1941 a block of 140 acres of land was bought at Botany, New South Wales (Australia), conveniently adjacent to a railway siding and near Botany Bay and Bunnerong power station. The site was largely covered by bigs and dunes. By the end of 1942 30 acres had been levelled and fenced and the first load of carbon bisulphide left the factory.
ICI House - A Tall Story
ICI House was the tallest building in Australia until 1961.
Built to serve as the headquarters of ICI ANZ, the 70 metre high office block and 84 metre service block exceeded Victoria’s 132 foot (40 metre) height restriction. Planning approval for the ICI House design led to the end of the old height limit and the eventual redefinition of the central Melbourne skyline.
The Architectural firm of Bates, Smart & McCutcheon set out to design a building with ample space, pleasant outlook and natural light. Completed in 1958 at a cost of £3,375, the building
was officially opened on 11 December 1958 by Sir Alexander Fleck, Chairman of Imperial Chemicals Limited, London.
In 1990 ICI House was added to Victoria’s Historic Buildings Register.
CoDé – Clever Chemical Delivery
In 2009, Orica Chemicals New Zealand delivered more than 200,000 metric tonnes of bulk liquid chemicals to 842 customer sites using a fleet of 80 trucks.
This was a fully manual delivery system that presented an unacceptable health and safety risk. So a New Zealand project team set about developing an automated, safety-first solution to prevent cross-contamination of chemicals during delivery.
The multi-discipline team’s smart design – the CoDé System® – uses RFID (radio frequency identification) technology to ensure that chemicals can’t be incorrectly loaded into the wrong tank. The right match means that delivery can go ahead. The wrong match locks the trailer compartment out and delivery won’t be allowed. Very clever thinking to solve a very tricky problem.