The $2.7 billion expansion of a fertilizer plant in northwest Iowa is nearly complete. The CF Industries plant just south of Sioux City is entering the cleaning and start-up phases before full production begins. Woodbury County Supervisor Mark Monson has been briefed on this phase of the project.
“When they start, there’s gases that come off the process that they have to burn off, so they’ll be 200 foot of fire above the 320 foot stack, and I believe there’s a little bit of noise with that,” Monson says. “So they’re going to do a public campaign to let people know things are okay out there.”
The expansion started in the fall of 2013 and, at its peak, more than 5000 construction workers were on the site. Monson says there are about 2900 workers on the site this week.
“By the end of September, they hope to have around 2500, end of October around a thousand,” Monson says.
It’s unclear when the expanded plant at Port Neal, near Salix, will be running at full capacity.
“Mid-November, they think they might be up and running, although they didn’t nail that down,” Monson says. “Could be later than that.”
Ammonia is the basic ingredient for nitrogen-based fertilizer in liquid form. The expansion will triple the plant’s daily output of ammonia. The plant also will begin producing urea, a granular ingredient in solid nitrogen fertilizer.
(Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)