Austin Powder's new $225+ million ammonium nitrate plant was supposed to begin operations in March 2014. Now, more than two years late, the US Nitrogen plant at Greeneville, TN, is still in start-up mode.
Yes, there has been a lot of local opposition. Yes, permit revisions and all the appeals have slowed progress. But there were also technical, engineering causes for the ongoing delays.
US Nitrogen has just made some of these problems public.
SUMMARY STATUS: Operational
US Nitrogen broke ground in February 2012, when it expected its new plant to start up in March 2014 - but the project has been fraught with problems. Permits were revised and reissued repeatedly, and the site had major issues with compliance, which appear to continue even today. The local community demonstrated tremendous resistance, launching permit appeals and a slew of lawsuits, some still ongoing. Construction and design issues led to major delays and lawsuits. The start-up process eventually began in May 2015 but the ammonia plant didn't start up until June 2016. Then, in August 2016, the site was temporarily shut down under federal and state investigation; more emission mishaps occurred in April 2017. The company announced that the plant was fully operational in January 2017, although it wasn't clear whether plant was producing much if any product at that time.