Explosives Plant in Wyoming Plans $50M Expansion Project

Sat November 25, 2006 - West Edition
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) A plant that makes explosives near Cheyenne intends to increase its production by 50 percent by the end of next year, largely to meet increased demand from mining operations in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin.

The Dyno Nobel plant west of Cheyenne makes ammonium nitrate explosives that are used in coal mining. The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle newspaper reported that a planned $50-million-dollar expansion will help the plant increase production by next year.

“Our largest market area is the Powder River Basin,” said Plant Manager Doug Chandler.

Peter Richards, chief executive officer of Dyno Nobel, said the plant expansion will support a long-term contract with Peabody Energy, a key customer and the largest coal producer in the region.

Richards said the expansion will allow Dyno Nobel to capitalize on the current strength of the coal market.

The new equipment for making explosives will be installed at a site that previously made a gasoline additive called MTBE. That facility closed in 2003 and that equipment is being sold to a Colorado firm.

The schedule calls for the new plant to be in production by next October. It will employ between 10 to 15 new workers.

Randy Bruns, chief executive officer of Cheyenne LEADS, a private economic development agency for Cheyenne and Laramie County, said “One of the things that is clear is that Cheyenne is not removed from the growth and economic activity that has been driven by the mines and extractive industries.”

Dick O’Gara, director of the Wyoming Center of Business and Economic Analysis, said the plant currently generates approximately $24.3 million for the local economy.

O’Gara said the construction phase of the expansion project would create approximately 489 jobs and add approximately $19 million in personal income to the local economy, he said. The total contribution to the local economy would exceed $40 million, he said.

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