Oklahoma City Firm to Receive $113M Insurance Payment from Blast

October 28, 2013

Oklahoma City-based LSB Industries Inc. will get a $113 million insurance payment after a May 2012 explosion damaged one of its chemical plants in south Arkansas.

No one was injured in the blast at the El Dorado Chemical Co. plant that produced nitric acid in El Dorado, Ark.

LSB Industries said Oct. 25 it has received $60 million and get the remaining $53 million within 30 days. LSB earlier paid a $1 million deductible on the claim.

The company had previously announced plans to spend about $120 million to build a replacement plant in El Dorado that will make a weaker form of nitric acid than was previously produced. LSB Chief Financial Officer Tony Shelby told The Oklahoman that most customers now want the less-concentrated form of the chemical, which is sold for farming and industrial uses, including semiconductors, herbicides, pesticides and metal treatment.

Shelby said LSB is awaiting final action from the Environmental Protection Agency on a permit for the new nitric acid plant, which he said should be operating by late 2015.

The nitric acid plant isn’t the only project at LSB’s El Dorado factory. In August, the company said SAIC Constructors LLC will build a 375,000-ton-per-year ammonia plant. That project is expected to cost $250 million to $300 million and should be complete by the end of 2015.

The 2012 explosion at the chemical plant occurred when the facility was restarted after being shut down for more than two weeks for maintenance. Plant officials have said the blast occurred when acid, nitrogen tetroxide and oxygen combined.

Residents reported hearing the explosion from several miles away, but authorities said no chemicals were released into the atmosphere and no evacuations were ordered.

LSB shares fell $1.32, a drop of 3.6 percent, to close at $35.39 in Friday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

 

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