Koch spending nearly $130M on upgrades

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Koch Fertilizer Canada is about to begin a massive upgrade to its Brandon facilities, investing nearly $130 million over the next five years.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/04/2019 (1320 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Koch Fertilizer Canada is about to begin a massive upgrade to its Brandon facilities, investing nearly $130 million over the next five years.

“We are pretty excited about it,” managing director Kelly Simonson said Wednesday.

As part of this investment, Koch Fertilizer Canada is building a new headquarters in Brandon that will bring together operations, logistics and sales and marketing under one roof, with office space for more than 100 employees. They are currently spread out in several buildings, including an office in downtown Brandon for the sales and marketing team.

Submitted An artist's rendering of Koch Fertilizer Canada's new headquarters in Brandon, to be built at a cost of $33 million.

The two-storey building, to be located on the northwest corner of the property on 17th Street East, across from Pfizer Canada, is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The initial $33-million headquarters project is one of the largest investments ever made at the site, according to a company news release.

It is the first of several significant upgrades designed for expansion, efficiency and improved environment, health and safety performance in Brandon.

The Koch Fertilizer (pronounced “coke”) plant and terminal, located at Brandon’s east end industrial area, opened in 1967.

Construction on the headquarters building is expected to begin in the next few weeks, Simonson said, while the balance of their almost $130 million in local investments will follow.

Horizon Builders Ltd. of Brandon has been selected as the headquarters project’s general contractor.

“One of the main things is really to just get everybody all under one roof,” Simonson said.

The new building will feature a tree-lined facade, as well as numerous other upgrades, including energy-efficient windows, doors and insulation, while a new control room will feature significantly upgraded state-of-the-art process control instrumentation. It will also house the laboratory and maintenance shop.

“We really want to make a good work environment for all of our employees,” Simonson said, “really just, sort of, a little bit state-of-the-art for the future, as well.”

A new access road at the north end of the property will also be built to help streamline the movement of vehicles in and out of the property.

“We’re proud to be part of the Brandon community,” he said. “Brandon has treated us very well. We’re confident in Manitoba’s future. We’re confident of agriculture in Manitoba, and we’re just real proud to be part of that landscape.”

Employing 270 people, the Brandon plant is the only Canadian fertilizer production facility owned by Kansas-based Koch Industries, Inc.

“Manitoba is one of Canada’s leaders in attracting private capital investment, and Koch Fertilizer’s new investment in Brandon shows our province is a great place to do business,” Premier Brian Pallister said in a statement.

“Agriculture drives Manitoba’s economy, and this significant investment demonstrates the confidence Koch Fertilizer has in our producers to continue the important work of feeding the world each and every day.”

Brandon Mayor Rick Chrest was not available for comment Wednesday, but Sandy Trudel, the city’s director of economic development, said the project will bring significant spinoff benefits for the community as a whole.

“Just Koch, itself, has so many spinoffs when you look at trucking and contractors and goods and services,” Trudel said, and when you add in a local company as general contractor you are multiplying the spinoff benefits.

“When you see an investment of that nature, it really speaks strongly to, you know, their confidence in the market, in the provincial climate and of course in Brandon as a home base in which to make those investments,” she added.

An affiliate of Koch Fertilizer LLC, the Brandon plant and terminal system serves the agricultural areas in Canada and the northern United States. The plant produces nitrogen-based fertilizers and industrial products.

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.

» brobertson@brandonsun.com

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