CF Industries to invest $41.4 million at Donaldsonville complex

Michael Tortorich

CF Industries will invest $42.4 million to enhance nitric acid production at the Donaldsonville nitrogen fertilizer complex, which is the world’s largest of its kind.

The CF Industries Donaldsonville Nitrogen Complex is the world’s largest nitrogen facility, according to the company. It is located on 1,400 acres along the west bank of the Mississippi River in Ascension Parish, near the Donaldsonville city limits.

Louisiana Economic Development released the announcement last week from Gov. John Bell Edwards and CF Industries President and CEO Tony Will. 

The company expects to retain 487 jobs while creating seven new direct jobs through the project. The new jobs will have an average annual salary of $100,000, plus benefits, according to the release.

LED estimates the project will result in 24 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 30 new jobs in the Capital region.

The latest project follows a $2.1 billion expansion, which CF Industries completed in 2016. Parish officials have described it as the largest single capital investment project in Ascension Parish history.

In that project, the company exceeded its obligations to the state and has created nearly 50 percent more new jobs than projected.

“The latest reinvestment by CF Industries in their Donaldsonville facility is a testament to Louisiana’s economic strengths,” Gov. Edwards said. “From our highly skilled workforce to our strategic transportation infrastructure, Louisiana remains a key destination for new and renewed industrial investment. CF Industries’ investment will position the Donaldsonville facility for continued growth and ensure that it remains a key facility in the company’s global supply chain. On behalf of the entire state, I congratulate CF Industries on this new investment."

CF Industries is a global leader in the manufacture and distribution of nitrogen products for fertilizer, emissions abatement and other industrial applications. Based in Deerfield, Illinois, the company operates nine nitrogen facilities in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. 

The Donaldsonville complex is the largest production complex in the world producing anhydrous ammonia, urea, and urea ammonium nitrate (UAN), nitric acid and diesel exhaust fluid, which represent the nitrogen-based products most heavily used by agricultural, industrial and other markets.

“CF Industries is pleased to continue our long history of investing in and expanding our Donaldsonville Nitrogen Complex and creating jobs in Louisiana,” President and CEO Tony Will said. “The capital investment we are making to enhance nitric acid production at the site will further expand Donaldsonville’s production flexibility and enable us to meet strong demand for the product, particularly from Louisiana’s strong chemicals industry. We appreciate the support from Governor Edwards, as well as from Ascension Parish and local leaders, to bring this project to fruition.”

The company’s Donaldsonville site is located on 1,400 acres along the west bank of the Mississippi River in Ascension Parish. The CF Industries facility makes use of five major natural gas pipelines and multiple modes of transportation in Ascension Parish, which allows the facility to serve customers on every continent.

“The CF Industries Nitrogen Complex in Donaldsonville is the world’s largest nitrogen facility and the largest employer for the west bank of Ascension Parish,” said Clint Cointment, Ascension Parish president. “This investment in nitric acid speaks to the continued growth and success of the Donaldsonville facility in both operations and employees.”

The Donaldsonville facility is the world's largest and most flexible nitrogen facility, with six world-scale ammonia plants, five urea plants, four nitric acid plants, three urea ammonium nitrate plants and a diesel exhaust fluid plant. The site ships product to customers via the NuStar ammonia pipeline, rail, truck barge (river and ocean), and deep-water vessel.

In the latest project, CF Industries will increase the concentration of its industrial-grade nitric acid from 60 percent to 65 percent in the Nitric Acid No. 4 plant, which carries an annual production capacity of 600,000 tons. The investment also will include the addition of an air chiller and the installation of product storage. Additionally, new rail car and truck loading will be included as part of the reinvestment.

“It is great that CF is continuing to invest in the Donaldsonville area,” said Donaldsonville Mayor Leroy Sullivan. “We benefit not only from the increased spending but also from the new jobs created locally from these investments.”

The company is expected to utilize the state’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program for the expansion. Over the years, CF Industries has grown as a strong supporter of the local community and nonprofit organizations through its corporate giving and volunteering programs.

“The expansion of CF Industries’ Donaldsonville plant – already the world’s largest nitrogen facility – brings both new jobs and the positive signal of recommitting to the regional economy,” said President and CEO Adam Knapp of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “Expansion of major industry is always welcome news, but especially so in the current climate. We are grateful to our partners in Ascension Parish for their work on making this expansion as smooth as possible.”