CF Expansion Project complete

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Urea Synthesis and Granulation Plant at CF Industries in Donaldsonville.

In 2016, the Donaldsonville Expansion Project was completed adding 93 additional permanent CF jobs to the existing workforce.

When it was announced in late 2012, the more than two billion dollar expansion was the largest economic development project in Ascension Parish history and included more than 5,500 construction workers at its peak.

The project increased annual shippable product at the site by more than 50%, making the Donaldsonville site the largest of its kind in the world. It included the world’s largest operating single-train UAN plant and the largest ammonia plant by nameplate capacity in the world, sharing that distinction with three ammonia plants in Saudi Arabia.

The project also included a 3,850 ton-per-day urea plant (identical to Port Neal’s urea plant) as well as expanded product storage and rail facilities including unit train capabilities.

The project required more than 20 million construction man-hours and was completed with a total recordable incident rate (TRIR) of 0.36, well below the industry average.

The Donaldsonville Nitrogen Complex, owned by CF Industries, is a global leader in the manufacture and distribution of nitrogen-based plant nutrients used by farmers worldwide. 

The complex is located on the west side of the Mississippi River near the city of Donaldsonville, Louisiana. The complex encompasses nearly 1,400 acres and is capable of producing more than 10 million gross tons of fertilizer product annually including anhydrous ammonia, granular urea, and urea ammonium nitrate (UAN). The site will also begin producing diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) in August of 2017. With the completion of the expansion project in September 2016, the complex became the world’s largest nitrogen manufacturing site. 

The Donaldsonville location was selected due to its proximity to abundant North American natural gas which serves as the key raw material in the synthesis of ammonia, the most basic nitrogen fertilizer product. 

Mississippi River access provides a key transportation route for northbound barging fleets which deliver product to interior major crop producing states, as well as providing access to ocean-going vessels to destinations such as Europe, South America and Asia. Its products can be shipped via pipeline, rail, truck, as well as barge and ship through one of five marine docks.

Today, the site’s state-of-the-art production capabilities, coupled with its unparalleled flexibility in changing product mix to suit product demand, make it unique in the industry. Accounting for nearly 40% of the company’s production capacity, the Donaldsonville site remains well positioned some 50 years after the first ammonia plant came online in December 1966. 

Contributed Report