Fire halts production at CF Industries fertilizer plant in Oklahoma

Author: Mark Milam


HOUSTON (ICIS)--A fire started on Friday at the Woodward, Oklahoma fertilizer facility, owned by US-producer CF Industries (CF), but was quickly brought under control by firefighters, company officials said.

According to company officials, the fire started around 9:00 local time (14:00 GMT) on Friday in the ammonia plant in the general area of the flare stacks, which resulted in employees being evacuated as the plant's fire crews entered the facility to fight the blaze. The fire was described as being minor, but it did cause the facility to shut down production.

Plant officials said that the plant operations will remain shuttered, possibly for several days, while an investigation is conducted.

There were no injuries but the extent of any damages to the plant is unknown at this time, and CF officials did not respond immediately to an inquiry on the cause of the fire or the cost of potential damages.

When the blaze was extinguished at around 10:30 local time, employees were allowed to reenter the site.

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.

This is the second fire at the facility within the last two years, as a fire started in an absorber tower in August 2012. No one was injured in that accident but it did require the assistance of the local fire department to bring the incident under control.