BY PEN CITY STAFF
WEVER – With construction of the Iowa Fertilizer plant nearly 98 percent complete, the facility will reach another critical milestone as the company begins ammonia plant start up activities later this week, officials said in a release this morning.
“This is a significant moment for Iowa Fertilizer Company and more importantly for the customers we will serve throughout the United States,” Darrell Allman, Site Operations Director at Iowa Fertilizer Company, said in a release this morning. “The start up activities taking place over the next several weeks underscore the tremendous progress that has been made at our plant in Wever and will help ensure the plant is operating correctly.”
During this period, 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.
Lighting – 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, the plant 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.
Flares – Natural gas, as both a feedstock and a fuel, is a crucial component, in making ammonia and 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,” Larry Holley, President of Iowa Fertilizer Company, said. “The activities that will take place at the plant over the next several weeks are standard steps in our start up process and we want to ensure the community is aware of all that is taking place.”
Today’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.
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.