Iowa Fertilizer Company broke ground on its roughly $2-billion production plant in 2012. Four years later, the company is preparing to bring the plant online.
In a prepared statement, this week, IFC announced that construction is nearly 98% complete, allowing it to begin what it describes as “start-up activities.”
“The start-up activities taking place over the next several weeks underscore the tremendous progress that has been made at our plant in Wever,” said Darrell Allman, IFC Site Operations Director. “[They] will help ensure the plant is operating correctly.”
IFC said the public will notice these activities, which include the venting of steam, the addition of exterior lighting and natural gas flares.
“When the start-up phase begins, a flare or flame of natural gas and hydrogen will be visible, particularly in the evening,” said the company in the statement. “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.”
The flares are not expected to continue once ammonia production begins, which IFC Spokesman Jesse Harris said should get underway in early 2017. That’s roughly 18-months later than anticipated at the time of the groundbreaking.
Once fully operational, the plant outside Wever is expected to produce up to 2-million metric tons of fertilizer products annually.
The plant is expected to employ a couple hundred people. IFC’s website lists several open positions, including a safety specialist, a staff accountant and a drafter.