Air Permit filed for billion-dollar fertilizer facility

FAIRFIELD, Ill., Sept. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Ohio Valley Resources LLC  (OVR) filed an air permit application with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) on September 17,2012, to construct  a new billion-dollar nitrogen fertilizer facility in Spencer County, IN.  At the same time, OVR entered into technology licensing agreements with KBR of Houston, TX, to provide the essential ammonia process production units necessary for the proposed facility.

The agreement with KBR also includes a front-end engineering design (FEED) package to develop a lump-sum turnkey engineer, procure, and construct (EPC) price for the project.  Weatherly, Inc., of Atlanta, GA, will supply the design of its proprietary urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) plant on a subcontract to KBR as part of the overall project.  OVR has retained Morley and Associates of Newburgh, IN, to assist with off-site utilities and related infrastructure.

The new ammonia plant for OVR will be the first entirely new facility of its type to be constructed in America by a U.S.-based firm in more than a quarter-century. It will use the latest version of KBR’s Purifier Process and therefore will consume less energy than ammonia plants currently operating in the United States. The project is made economically viable by a recent decrease in natural gas prices due to domestic shale gas development. It will feature state-of-the-art emission-control technologies that comply with current federal and state environmental regulations.

As global demand for nitrogen fertilizer has increased, the U.S. has become one of the world’s largest importers of this important commodity. This has resulted in America’s farmers and food supply becoming more dependent on foreign sources of essential fertilizer products. According to data from the Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 54 percent of the U.S. nitrogen supply – or approximately 10.79 million tons – was imported in 2011.

According to Doug Wilson, President/CEO of Ohio Valley Resources, this project represents a major step forward in reviving domestic production of critical nitrogen fertilizer products to serve the Eastern Corn Belt. “Our goal is to restore jobs to the United States that have been lost for years by displacing imported sources of fertilizer products,” Wilson said. “We are excited that our new plant will help to stabilize the supply and price of nitrogen fertilizers to support the regional agricultural economy.”

Tentative plans call for the nitrogen fertilizer plant to be located on approximately 150 acres in Spencer County north of Rockport. Its location will allow convenient rail and highway access, as well as the potential for river access. Other competing sites in Kentucky are still being evaluated.

The high-tech facility will produce approximately 2,420 tons per day of ammonia and 3,000 tons per day of urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) solution for fertilizer. Some of the ammonia production will serve the local utility markets for NOx control (known as selective catalytic reduction units or SCRs), which reduces emissions in coal-fired power plants and industrial facilities. In addition, the plant will produce 300 tons per day of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), a urea solution used to reduce emissions in diesel engines.

“Not only will our new plant play a key role in boosting domestic agricultural production, but it will also provide a reliable source of emissions-control products to support a cleaner environment,” Wilson said. “This will all be done by American workers using domestic sources of low-cost natural gas.”

Approximately 1,200 workers will be needed to construct the plant over a three-year period.  Upon its projected completion in 2016, the facility will provide approximately 80 full-time jobs.