02 December 2013 21:41 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Rentech Nitrogen confirmed on Monday that its ammonia plant in Illinois has been shutdown following a brief fire late last week that did not result in any injuries or release of chemicals.
According to company officials, a brief fire broke out the morning of 29 November within the ammonia synthesis loop at its East Dubuque facility. The situation was brought under control shortly thereafter, with plant personnel and local fire fighters extinguishing the blaze before there was any hazard to the surrounding community, the company said.
As a result of the accident, the plant has been shutdown and is expected to be offline for several weeks while the damage is assessed and repairs are undertaken.
The East Dubuque facility is located in the northwest corner of Illinois and has an annual production capacity of 275,000 tonnes. It uses natural gas as a feedstock to produce primarily ammonia and also urea ammonium nitrate (UAN), which is distributed to farmers in the US Corn Belt.
A Rentech spokesperson on Monday said that there has not been any preliminary determination as to the cause or extent of the damage to the facility.
“There is not any new information at this time that we are releasing. It is still being reviewed,” said Michael Kelly, a Rentech spokesperson. “I expect that there will be an update as we get further into the investigation.”
Kelly did confirm that the facility is expected to resume shipments of product held in inventory sometime this week.
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