Construction is being proposed for a new $1 billion nitrogen fertilizer plant for Spencer, Ind., which would be the first new ammonia plant of its type constructed in America by a U.S.-based firm in more than 25 years.

Ohio Valley Resources LLC (OVR) filed an air permit application with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) on Sept. 17 to construct the nitrogen fertilizer facility. At the same time, OVR entered into technology licensing agreements with KBR of Houston, Texas, to provide the essential ammonia process production units necessary for the proposed facility. The agreement with KBR also includes a front-end engineering design (FEED) package to develop a lump-sum turnkey engineer, procure and construct (EPC) price for the project. Weatherly Inc. of Atlanta, Ga., will supply the design of its proprietary urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) plant on a subcontract to KBR as part of the overall project.

The facility’s construction is expected to take up to three years to complete and is estimated to provide employment for up to 1,200 people during that period. Upon projected completion in 2016, the facility would provide about 80 full-time jobs.

Tentative plans suggest the plant will be located about 150 acres north of Rockport, which would allow for easy access to rail and highways as well as the potential for river access.

Other competing sites in Kentucky are still be evaluated, said Doug Wilson, president and chief executive officer of Ohio Valley Resources.

“Our goal is to restore jobs to the United States that have been lost for years by displacing imported sources of fertilizer products,” Wilson said. “We are excited that our new plant will help to stabilize the supply and price of nitrogen fertilizers to support the regional agricultural economy.”

The high-tech facility will produce about 2,420 tons per day of ammonia and 3,000 tons per day of urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) solution for fertilizer. Some of the ammonia production will serve the local utility markets for NOx control (known as selective catalytic reduction units or SCRs), which reduces emissions in coal-fired power plants and industrial facilities. In addition, the plant will produce 300 tons per day of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), a urea solution used to reduce emissions in diesel engines.

“Not only will our new plant play a key role in boosting domestic agricultural production, but it will also provide a reliable source of emissions-control products to support a cleaner environment,” Wilson said. “This will all be done by American workers using domestic sources of low-cost natural gas.”