The Simplot Company, one of the largest private food & agribusiness Corporations in the United States, has started building an ammonia plant, near its phosphate fertilizer complex in Rock Springs, Wyoming.
The construction works of the facility, part of the company’s expansion plans to face up growing tough competition in the phosphate industry, are expected to be completed late 2016.
The new plant will produce 600 tonnes per day of ammonia destined to supply the Rock Springs and Pocatello phosphate fertilizer production sites.
This project will enable the company be self-sufficient on ammonia, which is a key raw material in the production of fertilizer.
“Output from the new ammonia plant will significantly enhance our long term sustainability in the phosphate marketplace”, said President & CEO of the J. R. Simplot Company Bill Whitacre.
This project is “a big step for us and a key to our future in ensuring long-term, low cost raw materials to our facilities”, he added, stressing that the investment earmarked for this important undertaking is one of the largest in company history.
The new unit will benefit from synergies created within the phosphate complex and create approximately 25 permanent jobs at the Rock Springs site, besides more than 400 construction jobs through the building process.
The Simplot Company was founded in 1929 by John Richard Simplot near the small agricultural community of Declo in south central Idaho. The business expanded due to high war profits serving the military dehydrated onions and potatoes during World War II.
Simplot made billions from the commercialization of frozen french fries by one of its scientists, chemist Ray L. Dunlap. By the early 1970s it was the primary supplier of French fries to McDonald’s; by 2005 it supplied more than half of all french fries for the fast food chain. Simplot also produces fertilizers for agriculture, the mining of which has been a cause of recent environmental concerns.