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El Dorado Chemical To Expand - Friday, August 16, 2013
Originally published in the El Dorado News-Times on August 16, 2013.

By: Sherelle Black

LSB Industries, Inc. announced Wednesday that a subsidiary in its chemical business has entered an agreement with SAIC Constructors, LLC to construct a 375,000 ton per year ammonia plant at an LSB subsidiary’s site in El Dorado.

LSB Industries, Inc., the parent company of El Dorado Chemical, is a manufacturing, marketing and engineering company based in Oklahoma City, Okla.

The agreement provides for SAIC to provide certain engineering services and to manage the construction of the ammonia plant and associated facilities. The obligations under the agreement are guaranteed by each party’s parent company.

Henry Florsheim, president and chief executive officer of the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce, said he is excited to see El Dorado Chemical flourish and bring more opportunities to town.

"El Dorado Chemical is one of our key employers, and we are ecstatic to see them not only rebuilding and upgrading their existing building, but also expanding,” he said. "This is another huge project in a strong list of projects that will help to continue to grow the economy in South Arkansas while expanding our opportunities.”

The total cost of the ammonia plant project is estimated to be between $250 million and $300 million, including additional support facilities that are not covered by the agreement and work to be performed under the management of LSB.

LSB will fund the construction of the ammonia plant and support facilities from the net proceeds of the $425 million Senior Secured Notes completed on Aug. 7, 2013.

Greg Withrow, general manager of El Dorado Chemical, said the plant will employ 40-60 new team members.

"The average salary for those new team members will be around $60,000 to $70,000,” he said.

Withrow added that the new plant has allowed El Dorado Chemical to be competitive not just locally, but nationally.

"This means long-term security for us,” he said. "It puts us in a long-term strategic spot to where we are able to be competitive with everyone in the U.S. And at this point, the U.S. is more competitive than everyone in the world. That wasn’t the case four or five years ago. This plant also means we will be a long-term business in El Dorado.”

The ammonia plant project is expected to be completed by the end of 2015, subject to timely receipt of environmental permits and assuming no unexpected delays.


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