The Wyoming Industrial Siting Council has approved a plan for a new ammonia plant about four miles outside Rock Springs. Simplot currently operates a phosphorous fertilizer plant on the site, and ammonia is one of the raw materials they need for production. With the cost of shipping it long distances by rail, Simplot decided to start producing their own.
Luke Esch is the administrator for the Industrial Siting Division. He says the plant’s application approval process was rigorous. “There was a great deal of discussion on how Simplot planned to address any potential risks of fires and explosions,” he says. “And Simplot presented several witnesses that discussed the measures they have in place to prevent the risk of these things happening.”
More than 19 agencies including the Department of Environmental Quality and Wyoming Game and Fish were consulted in the application process. Esch says construction will create over 300 jobs, and 21 jobs will be created long term.