27 August 2012 21:32 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US fertilizer makers with production facilities in Louisiana began preparing on Monday to protect their assets ahead of the arrival of a possible hurricane.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) on Monday was expecting Tropical Storm Isaac to make landfall as a hurricane on late Tuesday or early Wednesday, somewhere along the northern Gulf of Mexico, possibly in the area of New Orleans.
At 14:00 hours Houston time (19:00 hours GMT) Monday, Mosaic was in the process of idling its fertilizer production facilities at Uncle Sam and Faustina, Louisiana, "for the duration of the storm", said Russell Schweiss, Mosaic spokesman.
"This entails following our standard shutdown procedures and securing the facility for the high wind conditions," Schweiss said.
"Also, we are ensuring backup generators are in place to maintain water management system operations in the event of a power failure," he added.
Canada-based PotashCorp said it has initiated a hurricane action plan and would begin shutting down all operations at its production facilities at Geismar, Louisiana, on Monday evening, with the office closing at noon on Tuesday and reopening on Thursday morning.
At Geismar, PotashCorp operates a 575,000 tonne/year nitrogen solutions plant where it makes fertilizers such as urea ammonium nitrate (UAN).
Illinois-based CF Industries, which produces about 2m tonnes of ammonia each year at four plants in Donaldsonville, Louisiana, said it is watching the storm and has hurricane procedures in place should they become necessary, a company spokesman said on Monday.
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