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LSB Industries receives $113 million insurance settlement for Arkansas plant explosion

A May 2012 explosion caused extensive damage to a concentrated nitric acid plant at LSB's chemical operations in El Dorado, Ark. The company is using the insurance settlement proceeds to build an updated nitric acid plant.
by Paul Monies Modified: October 26, 2013 at 3:00 pm •  Published: October 26, 2013

LSB Industries Inc. will receive a settlement of $113 million from its insurance company after a May 2012 explosion damaged one of its chemical plants in Arkansas.

Nobody was injured in the explosion, which happened at a concentrated nitric acid plant in El Dorado, Ark.

LSB said Friday it received $60 million from the settlement, and the remaining $53 million will be received in the next 30 days. LSB already paid a $1 million deductible on the claim.

The company plans to spend about $120 million to build a replacement plant at El Dorado that will make a less concentrated form of nitric acid.

Chief Financial Officer Tony Shelby said most customers want the less-concentrated form of the chemical. LSB also will build a concentrator to serve the handful of its customers that need the stronger version of nitric acid.

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

Nitric acid blends are used for several applications, including semiconductors, herbicides, pesticides and metal treatment.

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.

LSB also said Friday it is waiting on an insurance claim to be finalized for a pipe rupture in November at an ammonia plant in Cherokee, Ala.

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.

by Paul Monies
Energy Reporter
Paul Monies is an energy reporter for The Oklahoman. He has worked at newspapers in Texas and Missouri and most recently was a data journalist for USA Today in the Washington D.C. area. Monies also spent nine years as a business reporter and...
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