Fertilizer plant 98% done with start-up activities this week
Ft. Madison Daily Democrat
By Jeff Hunt
Even before New Year’s festivities get underway, final strides in the Iowa Fertilizer Company are being made.
According to IFC Site Operations Director Darrell Allman, the plant, which is now 98 percent complete, will begin ammonia plant start up activities this week.
Allman said this is a major step for the company, and more importantly, for the customers across the country who will be using the product. He said the start up activities will be going on over the next few weeks. The purpose is to make sure the plant is running properly.
Allman said the activities will include several things, most of which can be seen off site.
According to a press release, start up activities will include steam processes. Sections of the plant will release steam indicating that pipes are being cleaned or from equipment in operation. Also, a low-level hissing from the steam may be heard and observed as the steam is released, ensuring all of the pipes and other equipment are ready to safely produce fertilizer products.
Also, lighting will be involved. As new components of the facility are connected to power, there will be increased lighting on the site. The lights used at the facility utilize new advances in technology that will reduce the impact locally. In particular, IFC will use 180 degree lights that focus on the plant rather than out to the community. These lights will be visible at night during the start up and operation of the facility.
Almost as spectacular as a light show, there will be flares. Natural gas, as both a feedstock and a fuel, is a crucial component in making ammonia. When the start up phase begins a flare or flame of natural gas and hydrogen will be visible, particularly in the evening. Those in the community and those traveling by the plant may notice the flame. However, this is a normal process that marks the start-up operation of the facility and ensures the plant is operating safely and correctly. When the plant reaches full operation, the flaring will not normally be burning.
“Safety and environmental stewardship are the guiding principles of Iowa Fertilizer Company and central to our commitment to Wever, Lee County and the entire southeast Iowa community,” said IFC President Larry Holley.
Holley said the purpose of notifying the community about the start up activities is to keep it in the loop about what goes on at the factory.
Monday’s announcement follows the company’s recent celebration of the completion of a $10 million road project to safely access the plant, the startup of the boilers, and air blows of pipe and other equipment.
Once production begins later this year, Iowa Fertilizer will deliver 1.5 to two million metric tons of fertilizer products every year, providing farmers in the United States a stable, high-quality and domestic source of fertilizer.
Iowa Fertilizer Company is a leader in the fertilizer industry. The plant in Wever is the first greenfield nitrogen fertilizer facility constructed in the United States in nearly 30 years. With state-of-the-art production, the company will help provide farmers in Iowa and around the country with a stable, domestic supply of fertilizer while also utilizing industry-leading technology and environmentally sustainable processes. For more information, visit Iowa Fertilizer Company at iowafertilizer.com.