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Koch Fertilizer plans $140M local investment

Upgrades to boost capacity at ammonia plant near Fort Dodge

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Koch Fertilizer plans to expand production at its Duncombe plant, located east of Fort Dodge.

Koch Fertilizer will invest about $140 million to increase production capacity at its ammonia plant east of Fort Dodge, company officials announced Friday.

The upgrades will boost yearly production by 85,000 tons, the company reported.

Work is set to begin next year and be completed by the fall of 2022.

“These investments reinforce our confidence in the future of the ammonia market and allow us to better serve our customers,” Scott McGinn, executive vice president of Koch Fertilizer, said in a written statement.

The company did not indicate in its announcement if any new jobs will be created.

“You can only imagine that kind of investment in production capacity will lead to new jobs,” Mayor Matt Bemrich said Friday evening.

The mayor described Koch Fertilizer as “a good local partner in Webster County and the greater region.”

He added that having a large number of contractors working on the plant will give the local economy a boost.

“The effects of a project like that reverberate throughout our economy,” he said.

Webster County Supervisor Mark Campbell estimated that as many as 1,500 employees of contractors could be working at the plant as the project progresses.

“That affects our restaurants, hotels, everything,” he said. “This is another opportunity for local businesses and it couldn’t come at a better time.”

“We’re excited that Koch Fertilizer continues to invest in Webster County,” Campbell said.

The project will increase production, improve safety and improve compliance with environmental regulations, according to Dennis Plautz, the chief executive officer of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance.

“It will increase production significantly to keep it cutting edge,” Plautz said.

“It’s a very good thing,” he added. “We’re happy to see the investment.”

The plant is located along Webster County road D20 between Fort Dodge and Duncombe.

Over the years, Koch Fertilizer has made upgrades to the plant. Replacing a cryogenic storage tank at a cost of about $20 million was the most recent upgrade.

“In the last five years, we’ve made several investments to improve the customer experience and ensure the longevity of the Fort Dodge plant,” Shawn Campbell, the plant’s manager, said in a written statement. “Modification to our ammonia heating and pumping capability was a key improvement.”

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