CF Industries Announces $3.8B Expansion of Industrial Facilities

Deerfield, Illinois-based CF Industries Holdings, Inc. has announced expansions worth $3.8 billion at existing plants in Donaldsonville, La. and Port Neal, Iowa.

Deerfield, Illinois-based CF Industries Holdings, Inc. has announced expansions worth $3.8 billion at existing plants in Donaldsonville, La. and Port Neal, Iowa.

“We are pleased to announce definitive, large-scale nitrogen capacity expansion plans at our North American operations focused on substantially increasing our ability to serve our customers”, stated CF Industries Holdings’ chairman and chief executive officer, Stephen R. Wilson in a  press release. “We believe that our projects will be among the first in North America to be in production. We already own suitable sites, have retained a world-class engineering partner and have completed the front end engineering and design study for key components of the projects.”

CF’s board of directors approved the construction of  new ammonia and urea/UAN production units at CF’s existing 700-acre Donaldsonville operations, and new ammonia and urea units at its complex in Port Neal. Upon completion the projects will have an annual output of 2.1 million tons of gross ammonia and upgraded products ranging from 2.0 to 2.6 million tons of granular urea and up to 1.8 million tons of UAN.

The engineering partner is Uhde Corporation of America, ThyssenKrupp Uhde’s North-American affiliate. Uhde Corporation of America will be handling engineering and procurement services for both projects, having had extensive experience in the field of developing nitrogen plants worldwide.  According to Anthony W. Will, senior vice president manufacturing and distribution, brownfield construction of new ammonia and upgraded product plants will be the most cost-effective way to expand CF’s operations and production. “We have completed a significant amount of engineering and design work with them, and the rigor of that work along with bids we have received from several construction firms give us confidence in our project cost estimates and timelines.”

Some of the major equipment necessary for both projects have already been ordered, and permit applications for the Donaldsonville location are to be submitted by the end of November 2012. Funding for the projects is already being lined up, as CF Industries also expects a strong balance sheet, investment grade credit ratings and dependable access to debt financing as well as a solid cashflow.

Donaldsonville was selected due to the advantageous cost of North American natural gas combined with the five natural gas pipelines that serve the area. Furthermore, the state of Louisiana and Ascension Parish has offered incentive packages to attract the multibillion development.

The Donaldsonville facility is expected to create 93 direct jobs with average starting salaries of $55,000, increasing to $85,000 per year when full certification is reached by employees. The plant will also create 700 indirect jobs. The new urea and UAN plants are slated to be completed in the second half of 2015. The new ammonia plant is expected to open in 2016.

Photo credit: Sharon Loxton via Wikimedia Commons