California firm Purchases Nebraska fertilizer plant

California firm Purchases Nebraska fertilizer plant

Rocky Mountain Resources, through a subsidiary company called Nebraska Nitrogen, announced it has bought the Fortigen Geneva plant, which is about 70 miles southwest of Lincoln.

A California-based company that owns an eclectic mix of companies in various industries has purchased the anhydrous ammonia fertilizer manufacturing plant in Geneva.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed, although the company said the plant has an asset value of about $130 million.

Tetrad Corp. of Omaha, the same firm that developed Nebraska Innovation Campus in Lincoln, built the plant in 2017 at a reported cost of $75 million and had owned and operated it since. It has the capacity to produce 36,000 tons of nitrogen-based fertilizer annually.

“Domestic nitrogen facilities are fortress assets, (and) this chemical business intersects strategically with our industrial complex throughout the West,” Chad Brownstein, chairman of Rocky Mountain Resources and Nebraska Nitrogen, said in a news release.

Among the company’s other assets are an oil and gas company that operates in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, a limestone quarry in Colorado and a firm that invests in farming and water projects.

Heidi Kelly, the company’s chief operating officer, said the company’s involvement in agriculture was a big reason it purchased the plant.

“We are dedicated to supporting the regional farming community,” said Kelly, who is based in Denver.

She, along with plant manager Amber Hoban, make up what the company believes is the only female-led management team of a U.S. facility in the chemical and fertilizer industries. Kelly said the company is excited about the opportunity and is excited to be a part of the community in Geneva.

Nebraska Nitrogen kept the vast majority of the plant’s employees, including all who are involved in the day-to-day operation. It currently has 27 employees, but is looking to hire more and is focusing on recruiting locally, she said. Kelly also said the company will be focusing on “operational improvements” to improve reliability and safety at the plant, although she did not specify whether there had been previous safety or reliability problems there.

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