ENID, Okla. — The Koch Fertilizer nitrogen production facility in Enid just completed a turnaround to perform maintenance and upgrade systems.

According to a press release from Koch, the maintenance and upgrades performed during the turnaround improved efficiency, further enhanced safety and ensured long-term viability of the Enid plant.

“Turnaround activities are a key part of keeping this state-of-the-art facility running at peak efficiency so Koch can continue delivering long-term value to our customers,” Mike Kleis, Koch Fertilizer Enid plant manager, said in the release.

Some of the maintenance performed during the turnaround include replacing equipment, performing stress tests, repairing critical equipment and cleaning, Kleis said in an email.

In addition to the nearly 300 Koch employees in Enid who take part in maintenance activities or perform their normal duties, around 3,000 workers from 36 outside contractors to the area were brought to Enid for the turnaround, the release said.

These out-of-town workers delivered a boost to the local economy and benefited the community as well, visiting various local businesses during their stay.

“Enid’s successful turnaround is a result of dedicated employees and a mutually beneficial relationship with the local Enid community we call home,” Kleis said in the release.

Rob Houston, director of Visit Enid, said anytime a large number of people come into town like this, they’re benefitting the local economy.

“They’re also working 8 to 10 hours a day, whatever their shifts are, then they have the rest of that time to relax and do things in our city,” Houston said.

“They’re staying at hotels, eating at restaurants and shopping around town, so it’s been a really, really good deal to have them come here because those are people that have never seen Enid before and have never been here before.”

Houston said a woman who was in town for the turnaround stopped by Visit Enid and told him she and her husband loved Enid.

“She was talking about, ‘Maybe, at some point when (her husband) isn’t traveling so much for his job, we might come back here and come for a long weekend or a week because we enjoyed our time here,’” Houston said. “They were both just very happy with Enid and were disappointed that they were leaving, so that’s always nice to hear.”

This isn’t the first time the Enid plant has gone through a turnaround, Kleis said. Turnarounds are done periodically to conduct the maintenance on various parts of the facility.

Turnarounds typically last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks due to the variability of maintenance schedules. As for specific timing, Kleis said in the email that maintenance schedules for Koch facilities are not discussed.

Depending on the maintenance and upkeep scheduled to keep the plant running at optimum efficiency, some or all of the facility may be taken offline during a turnaround, according to Kleis.

In March, Koch announced it will invest approximately $150 million at its Enid nitrogen production facility to increase urea production, enhance reliability of existing production units and improve rail infrastructure and ammonia truck loading facilities.

“As with any asset (your car, for example), routine maintenance is critical to protecting the investment you’ve made and necessary to keep the asset running at peak efficiency,” Kleis said.

Construction is anticipated to begin this year, with startup occurring in 2022, the release said.

Article by: Kelci McKendrick – ENE 6.19.21
Photo by: Billy Hefton