|Fertilizer plant now operating|
|March 24, 2011 Jerry Purvis Photo by Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen|
After almost six months of construction, the WESTCO fertilizer plant in Gering mixed its first load on March 16.
Branch manager David Shields said construction began around Labor Day 2010 and mild weather into October allowed them to stay on schedule in completing the 15,500 square foot facility.
“Our target completion date was March 15,” he said. “We were concerned an early winter would delay getting the concrete poured, but nature cooperated with us.”
The new facility, called the “dry plant,” joins the liquid fertilizer and anhydrous ammonia plant already at WESTCO on Rundell Road in the Gering Industrial Tract.
“The facility has an overhead mixer so we can mix fertilizer blends,” Shields said. “We also have a lot more room for storage so we can load out of here and deliver it to the site. The farmers can then apply the fertilizer or we can custom apply it for them.”
Shields said there are a number of advantages to the new plant. Their former facility was located in the old Blue J Feed plant on 10th St. just north of the railroad tracks.
“It was less efficient for us to load the fertilizer downtown and then move it out here,” he said. “We also had to have an employee at the plant throughout the day and when we weren’t mixing fertilizer, there was nothing else for him to do. Having the plant here makes for better utilization of our employees.”
Shields added that local sources were used for most of the work, from the contractor and subcontractors to materials used in construction.