The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

May 15, 2013

News of Koch Nitrogen’s expansion is very welcome

Enid received some tremendous economic news Wednesday with the announcement Koch Nitrogen will expand its plant here.

The company will build a new urea plant at the facility east of town, and will revamp its existing production processes here. Together, the company is looking at a $1 billion investment.

Construction on the new plant, which also will include additional storage and enhanced loading facilities, is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2014. The plant should be operational in 2016.

The improvements to the existing processes will come in stages from 2014 to 2016. Fertilizer production will increase by more than 1 million tons per year.

The economic impact locally will be substantial. During the 18-24 months of construction, 500 to 800 new construction jobs will be created. Once the plant in ready, 20-30 permanent employees will be added.

This is not the first time Koch has put a lot of money into the local facility.

In the last five years, Koch Nitrogen has invested more than $100 million here, including construction of a 10,000-square-foot control facility in 2011, which improved operational reliability and overall plant efficiency.

Koch Nitrogen’s Enid facility is one of the largest fertilizer production plants in North America, producing ammonia, UAN (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 annual compensation and benefits totaling nearly $14 million.

Another bit of good news is Koch will substantially cut back on its use of fresh water provided by the city of Enid for plant operations.

All in all, it was a great day for Koch and a great day for Enid.

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