Plant explosion limits Cherokee's ammonia output until early 2013

15 November 2012 15:02  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--A pipe rupture at an Alabama chemical plant run by subsidiary Cherokee Nitrogen will halt ammonia production for between 3-5 months, US-based parent producer LSB Industries confirmed late on Wednesday.

An explosion caused damage to the “heat exchanger portion” of the ammonia facility, the company said, adding no-one was badly injured and no environmental damage reported. Local media reported one employee suffered a minor head injury in the explosion on Tuesday night.

“The company is determining whether damages extend beyond the area where the rupture occurred,” added Oaklahoma-headquartered LSB Industries. “Management preliminarily estimates a three to five month outage at the ammonia plant, depending on lead times for repair parts.

“Until the ammonia plant is repaired, we believe the Cherokee Nitrogen Facility can produce, on a limited basis, nitric acid and ammonium nitrate (AN) solution to be produced from purchased ammonia.”

LSB Industries - whose interests include the manufacturing of chemical products for the agricultural, mining and industrial markets – added the cost of repairing the damage will be met by its insurers, although the policy contains a $2.5m (€1.95m) deductible (excess).

($1 = €0.78)

By: Richard Ewing
+44 208 652 3214

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