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Muirside Explosives Depot

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Depot entrance, 2006
Depot entrance
© Paul McIlroy

Muirside explosives depot is one of Orica's main UK depots, and is located at Blairhall, near Dunfermline.

Orica is probably the largest supplier of commercial explosives in the world, having acquired ICI's interest in this business in 1997 - ICI themselves having formerly acquired the same business when they took over Nobel's Explosives, located on the Ardeer Peninsula.

The company's history is interesting in relation to Nobel and ICI:

We have come a long way and have undergone several transformations since we started operating more than 130 years ago as a supplier of explosives to the Victorian gold fields in Australia. The original company, Jones, Scott and Co, was bought by Nobel which went on to merge with Brunner Mond and Co, United Alkali Company and British Dyestuffs Corporation to form Imperial Chemical Industries Plc (ICI Plc).

In 1928, Imperial Chemical Industries of Australia and New Zealand (ICIANZ) was incorporated to acquire and coordinate all the Australasian interests of ICI Plc. In 1971, the company became ICI Australia.

In July 1997, ICI Australia became an independent Australasian company after its parent company, ICI Plc, divested its 62.4 per cent shareholding in the company.

As a result of the selldown ICI Australia was required to change its name and on 2 February 1998 we became known as Orica.

The name Orica was selected following extensive research, workshopping and feedback from stakeholders that included employees, customers and shareholders. The aim was to find a short, sharp and memorable name that gave an impression of the business. Feedback indicated that the name Orica evoked words such as the future, knowledge, expertise and technology, all of which were considered positive attributes.

© Orica

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