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Rail News: Shippers

Shippers: Koch Nitrogen to expand fertilizer plant in Oklahoma; Hi-Crush to ramp up frac sand unit-train shipments in Wisconsin


Koch Nitrogen Co. L.L.C. in mid-September plans to launch a $1.3 billion expansion of its Enid, Okla., facility.

To be implemented over the next three years, the project will increase fertilizer production capacity by more than 1 million tons per year, Koch Nitrogen officials said in a press release.

The expansion includes the construction of a 900,000 ton-per-year urea plant; improvements and capacity increases to existing ammonia plants and urea storage facilities; and construction of high-speed rail and truck loading facilities to complement existing access to BNSF Railway Co. and Union Pacific Railroad lines.

"This is one of the largest construction projects in the history of Koch Industries [and] reflects the ongoing growth of our fertilizer business,” said David Robertson, president and chief operating officer of Koch Nitrogen owner Koch Industries Inc.

Meanwhile, Hi-Crush Proppants L.L.C. announced the first unit train of frac sand departed Sept. 3 from its recently completed mine and processing facility near Whitehall, Wis., and arrived at its destination yesterday.

The 80-car unit train pulled into a customer's frac sand terminal in the Niobrara Shale, marking the first shipment using CN's North American rail network, Hi-Crush officials said in a press release. The company's third and largest mining operation, the Whitehall facility can produce 2.6 million tons of frac sand annually.

"We not only completed Whitehall ahead of schedule, but were able to start operations ahead of schedule, as well," said Hi-Crush Chief Operating Officer Jay Alston. "Our efficiency is a testament to our employees, our rail network relationships and our broad-based community support."

With the Whitehall facility now operational, Hi-Crush is focused on developing its fourth plant, which is in the development phase, he said.

CN's deployment of unit-train service for Hi-Crush will improve origin-to-destination transit times and introduce new efficiencies into the company's supply chain, said CN Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer JJ Ruest.

"CN is focused on providing supply chain solutions that enhance the competitiveness of its customers and expand their market reach," he said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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