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Dyno Nobel Considers Building An $800 Million Ammonia Production Facility in Louisiana

Dyno Nobel is preparing $30 million study to establish the feasibility of building an $800 million ammonia production manufacturing facility in Waggaman, Louisiana, which will be located at Cornerstone Chemical Company's existing complex in Jefferson Parish on the west bank of the Mississippi River.

Cornerstone already produces acrylonitrile, melamine and sulfuric acid at the Waggaman complex. The ammonia plant will be integrated with Cornerstone's existing infrastructure. Gov. Bobby Jindal said the proposed project will produce 750,000 metric tons per of ammonia and create 50 new permanent jobs for Cornerstone Chemical, while Dyno Nobel would create another 10 new permanent jobs at the site. The 60 new direct jobs would also result in creation of 440 new indirect jobs. In addition, project would allow Cornerstone to retain 441 existing workers.

"Dyno Nobel's interest in building a new facility here speaks volumes about the affordable, abundant supply of natural gas across Louisiana, the performance of our energy markets, the state's strong business climate, and our world-class workforce. With the new production of unconventional natural gas plays in Louisiana, more and more companies are recognizing that our state is uniquely positioned to provide major supplies of natural gas to companies all over the country. We're confident that when the company's due diligence is done and a formal investment decision is made early next year that this project will move forward and bring tremendous economic benefits to this region," Gov. Jindal said.

Simon Atkinson, president of Dyno Nobel International, described the project as "a strategically compelling world-scale ammonia project that would take the Dyno Nobel global explosives business back to low-cost U.S. gas economics." He noted "The plant is on a Brownfield chemical complex site," Atkinson said.

Among any incentive package offered the firm, the site is designed as a federal Environmental Protection Agency Brownfield Redevelopment Program area, which makes any cleanup or redevelopment eligible for grant funding and tax credits due to the hazardous chemicals that may have been a stored in the area.

Atkinson said "the site currently has several downstream chemical plants operating and one that would off-take ammonia from the plant. In addition, it has a capital advantage, as the infrastructure for the ammonia plant already exists."

If the feasibility study confirms proceeding with the project, Dyno Nobel will announce a decision to move forward with the project in the first half of 2013, with initial production arriving in late 2015.

"We are excited to welcome Dyno Nobel to Louisiana," said Greg Zoglio, CEO of Cornerstone Chemical Company. "The U.S. Gulf Coast economic model has changed due to the advent of advanced drilling and extraction techniques and the associated impact on natural gas pricing. Dyno Nobel's foresight of this paradigm shift, coupled with the Brownfield offering by Cornerstone Chemical Company and project support provided by the State of Louisiana, will allow the resurgence of world-class ammonia production in the state."

Louisiana Economic Development's Business and Expansion Retention Group began discussing possibilities with the companies in April 2011 and has been working on the project with the Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission. To secure the project, the state will offer a competitive incentive package to be finally negotiated at the conclusion of the feasibility study, Louisiana Economic Development officials said.

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