The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

July 27, 2013

Koch expanding here

Staff reports
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Koch Nitrogen is another of the companies looking to boost fertilizer production.

In May, Koch announced a $1 billion plan to increase production at its plant located just east of Enid. A major part of the project, on which construction is scheduled to start late next year, is a urea fertilizer plant. Urea fertilizer is considered a successor to the more volatile ammonium nitrate, which has been blamed for industrial accidents and terrorist bombings. According to the University of Minnesota, urea is not combustible or flammable.

Koch’s proposal would increase fertilizer production locally by more than 1 million tons per year. The new urea plant would be operational in 2016.

“The investment we are making through Koch Nitrogen underscores our confidence in the future of our overall fertilizer business and our commitment to customers for the long-term,” said Koch President David Robertson when the announcement was made in May. “In addition to the significant increase in capacity, this investment will serve to improve our operational efficiency and competitive position in North America.”

Koch plans to hire Black & Veatch, KBR and Stamicarbon to complete the project. Officials are expecting up to 800 new construction jobs and 20 to 30 new permanent employees for the plant.

The Koch Nitrogen facility in Enid is one of the largest fertilizer production plants in North America, producing ammonia, liquid fertilizer and granular urea. It was built in 1974 and purchased by Koch Nitrogen in 2003. The site employs 143 people in the fields of engineering, operations and maintenance, with an annual payroll of nearly $14 million. According to company documents, Koch Nitrogen has invested more than $100 million into the Enid facility over the past five years, including construction of a 10,000-square-foot control facility in 2011.