Mosaic plant sustains minor damage from fire

  • : Fertilizers, Natural gas
  • 24/03/28

Florida-based phosphate and potash fertilizer producer Mosaic anticipates limited damage to a production plant near Tampa and minimal disruption to operations in the coming weeks following a brushfire on Monday.

The brushfire ignited Monday evening during routine maintenance near Mosaic's Riverview phosphate production facility and was initially contained before rekindling Tuesday morning because of heavy winds. The fire was fully under control by Tuesday afternoon, according to local first responders.

Mosaic told Argus on Tuesday the fire was not considered a threat to the facility initially, but now expects the plant sustained "limited damage to ancillary operations" and the impact could last between four to six weeks.

The Riverview plant has a production capacity of 1.8mn metric tonnes (t) of processed phosphate products, and produces 30,000 t/week, according to Mosaic. The facility was producing phosphates primarily for exports to Brazil at the time of the fire, the company added.

Smoke was observed Monday from the fire as a result of foam retardants used by local fire officials to cool the high-density polyethylene pipes. Polyethylene gas piping is often used for natural gas distribution.

Natural gas flows delivered to the plant fell slightly Wednesday at 2.42mn cf/d, down from 2.45mn cf/d on Monday, once the fire was extinguished, according to data from Florida Gas Transmission. Flows at the plant on Thursday rebounded to 2.45mn cf/d, in line with expectations that affected phosphate output at the plant should only be temporary.

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