Koch Fertilizer announced that it anticipates investing nearly $140 million at its Fort Dodge, Iowa plant to revamp existing production processes, which is expected to increase yearly ammonia production capacity by 85,000 tons. The investment also will further improve reliability as well as environmental and safety performance.
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2021 and the revamped processes are expected to be fully operational by the fall 2022 season.
“These investments reinforce our confidence in the future of the ammonia market and allow us to better serve our customers,” said Scott McGinn, Koch Fertilizer executive vice president.
The project builds on previous projects that increased ammonia storage and improved loading at the plant. Koch Fertilizer recently spent around $20 million to increase ammonia storage at the site by replacing and upsizing one of the site’s cryogenic storage tanks.
Additionally, the company completed improvements to the ammonia loading process — doubling ammonia loading capacity at the site. The improvements included new loading racks and pumps, and improved heating capacity for the loading racks, allowing trucks to fill faster and greatly reducing customer wait times during peak seasons.
“In the last five years, we’ve made several investments to improve the customer experience and ensure the longevity of the Fort Dodge plant,” said Shawn Campbell, Fort Dodge plant manager. “Modification to our ammonia heating and pumping capability was a key improvement. Not only can we load trucks faster, but the loading rates are no longer impacted by plant operating rates.”
Further improving the loading experience, Koch Fertilizer developed a transportation management app, called LoadView, which was introduced to the Fort Dodge plant in 2019.
The app allows truck drivers to pre-check into Koch Fertilizer facilities and track their training and inspection requirements, so they can load faster. With LoadView, Koch Fertilizer has reduced loading time by approximately six minutes per truck during the peak fertilizer season.