US CF ammonia plant remains down as fire investigation continues

25 June 2014 22:17 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Following a fire last week at its Oklahoma fertilizer facility, CF Industries said on Wednesday it remains unsure when production at the ammonia plant will resume and confirmed that the investigation into the cause of the blaze is still ongoing.

On 20 June, a fire started in the area of the ammonia plant during the morning hours at the Woodward, Oklahoma, fertilizer facility owned by the US producer. It was quickly brought under control by firefighters.

No one was injured from the accident as employees were immediately evacuated as fire crews entered the facility to fight the fire, which was described as being minor. When the blaze had been extinguished, the employees were allowed to re-enter the site.

The extent of any damage to the plant is still unknown but production remains shuttered at this time until the producer can resume operations in a safe manner.

“CF Industries is conducting an internal investigation into the cause of a minor fire which occurred last Friday morning at its Woodward, Oklahoma, nitrogen complex. Although emergency services were called as a precautionary measure, the fire was quickly extinguished by plant personnel and there were no injuries or impact to employees or the local community,” said a spokesperson with CF. 

“It is too soon to know the impact, if any, this incident may have on the process of bringing the plant back on stream. We will restart the plant when we believe it is safe and prudent to do so and remain in contact with our customers about the resumption of production and deliveries from the facility.”

The Oklahoma facility was built in 1975 and has an ammonia plant with upgrading capability that consists of two nitric acid, two urea and two urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) plants.

It produces approximately 1,425 tons (1,293 tonnes) of ammonia per day with a significant portion of that output upgraded to UAN solution, with capacity estimated at 1,500 tons per day.

By Mark Milam