BRANDON, MAN. – Koch Fertilizer Canada, ULC, is in the process of constructing a new headquarters in Brandon, Man. that will bring together operations, logistics, sales and marketing under one roof, with office space for more than 100 employees.
The $33-million project, explains Paul Liddle, is one of the largest investments ever made at the site.
“This is the first of several significant upgrades designed for expansion, efficiency, and improved environment, health and safety performance,” he reports. “Koch Fertilizer expects to invest nearly $130 million into the overall improvements to the site over the next five years.”
Currently, he notes, Koch Fertilizer’s Brandon personnel are spread out in several buildings, some of which are off-site.
The plant is an affiliate of Koch Fertilizer, LLC. Koch Fertilizer, LLC and its affiliates own or have interests in nitrogen fertilizer plants in the United States, Canada, and Trinidad and Tobago. The companies cover global demand through state-of-the-art terminals in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Australia. Koch Fertilizer, LLC and its affiliates have the capability to market and distribute approximately 10 million tons of fertilizer products annually.
Koch Fertilizer, LLC in turn is a subsidiary of Koch Ag & Energy Solutions, LLC – part of Wichita, Kansas- based Koch Industries, Inc., one of the largest private companies in America, with estimated annual revenues as high as $110 billion.
The operations in Manitoba’s second-largest city have been producing nitrogen-based fertilizers and industrial products for agricultural use in Canada and the northern United States since 1967.
The contractor for the project is Brandon-based Horizon Builders Ltd. which has been in business for over 40 years.
Liddle reports that the new two-storey building will feature a tree-lined facade and contain several other upgrades, such as energy-efficient windows, doors and insulation. The facility will include a new control room, complete with significantly upgraded state of the art process control instrumentation, plus the laboratory and maintenance shop.
Koch Fertilizer also is building a new access road to improve the customer and driver experience at the facility.
“We are introducing several exciting new solutions and technologies in the plant,” Liddle says. “We are currently in the process of modernizing our instrumentation throughout the site. The new control room will be equipped with a state of art control system using fiber optic communication. And while our lab currently uses advanced analytical equipment, we are taking this opportunity to modernize lab benches and associated infrastructure.
He adds that the building is being constructed in a way that promotes a better work environment for employees and saves energy. Among the measures are the application of IPLC technology in the parking lot block heater receptacles to save significant energy in the winters and the incorporation of sensors inside the building for lighting controls.
“The building will also be equipped with superior wall and roof insulation,” he points out. “In many cases, the ‘R’ factor will be far and above the building code.”
As is usual on the Prairies, Liddle notes that the major challenge in the construction of the new plant is weather. “Right now,” he says, “the construction window is very tight to execute the concrete work this summer, which will enable steel erection during that fall.”
“Fortunately, we have hired an excellent contractor with an experienced staff for this kind of project.”
The new plant is expected to be operational by the fall of next year.
“Brandon is a critical part of the company’s overall operations, and we are always looking for ways to improve for our customers,” Liddle says. “Not only are we making a significant investment in our business and our community, but our plans are a clear demonstration we are growing in Manitoba and believe we have a strong future in the province.”