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Koch Nitrogen to build plant in Oklahoma

ENID, Okla. (AP) -- Koch Industries Inc. on Wednesday announced plans to build a urea plant at its Koch Nitrogen plant in Enid, Oklahoma and to renovate the existing facility.

Koch, based in Wichita, Kan., said it plans to invest about $1 billion in the project, with construction slated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2014 and the plant to become operational in 2016.

The company said the project will increase fertilizer production by more than 1 million tons per year.

"The investment we are making through Koch Nitrogen underscores our confidence in the future of our overall fertilizer business, said David Robertson, president and chief operating officer of Koch Industries. In addition to the significant increase in capacity, this investment will serve to improve our operational efficiency and competitive position in North America."

Steve Packebush, president of Koch Fertilizer LLC said the increased production is the result of increasing crop production in North America.

"We are seeing an increasing demand for fertilizer from our customers," Packebush said. "''With this additional production, we'll be in a much better position to meet that demand.

Enid City Manager Eric Benson said he's "thrilled" with the company's plans.

"They are an excellent corporate citizen and outstanding community partner. They have worked closely with us to address the pressing needs of our community, including recent efforts to find a solution for our community's water situation," Benson said.

Koch Nitrogen in Enid produces ammonia, liquid fertilizer and granular urea. It was built in 1974 and purchased by Koch Nitrogen in 2003.

The plant has 143 employees in engineering, operations and maintenance.