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Village of Clyde approves relocation of anhydrous ammonia vessel

Nutrien Ag Solutions expanding operations of Clyde fertilizer facility with moving of 90-tonne vessel from Dapp
WES - Clyde office spring 2021 hor

CLYDE — The Village of Clyde has given the go-ahead to Nutrien Ag Solutions to proceed with a proposed expansion to their Clyde fertilizer facility, which would entail placing a 90-metric-tonne vessel containing anhydrous ammonia on their property. 

Following a brief discussion during their June 11 meeting, Clyde councillors passed a motion to support the expansion, recognizing that the development will have a positive impact on the area with the creation of additional jobs and investment. 

“I think it’s a great thing for our region,” said Mayor Charis Logan. 

Clyde councillors first received a presentation about the expansion at their May 13 meeting from Nutrien Ag Solutions area manager Martin Van der Heever, who also oversees the company’s retail operation in Westlock. 

Van der Heever indicated the company wished to utilize the land south of the facility to install a vessel containing anhydrous ammonia that is currently located at their facility in Dapp. 

In an interview, Van der Heever indicated they actually have two “vessels” at their location in the Dapp area. One is a 60-tonne vessel placed on a local farm, while the 90-tonne vessel was previously installed at Boyle but had to be moved down south. 

The reason they want to move the 90-tonne vessel from Dapp to Clyde is the high cost of maintaining it at its current location. 

During the May 13 meeting, Van der Heever told council that there will be automatic and manual shutoff systems in place to prevent a release of anhydrous ammonia, which can become a toxic gas when exposed to air. 

“Ten years ago, it would be an issue because we didn’t have the correct shutoff systems," he said. “If there is any release or any ... incident at the vessel itself, it will shut off before it even hits the hoses." 

While the village has given the company its verbal approval, Van der Heever said they were awaiting written approval from the municipality. 

Once that’s done, it’s a matter of arranging for the proper permits in order to move the vessel, as well as hiring a contractor to perform the groundwork necessary before the vessel can be placed. 

“We want this vessel functional by the end of August, at the latest," Van der Heever said. “We can’t really afford to go later than August, because the season starts mid-September and we have a little bit of prep work from our side." 

This expansion of the Clyde facility is part of an overall effort by Nutrien Ag Solutions to grow their fertilizer capacity, Van der Heever indicated. 

The fertilizer stored and processed at Clyde goes out to several locations, including Westlock, Boyle, St. Paul , Vegreville, Bonnyville and Stony Plain. 

“There are at least 10 locations that Clyde supplies in the spring season when it comes to fertilizer,” he said. 

While Nutrien already has a number of job postings open, the installation of this new vessel will result in the addition of new positions, particularly for drivers who possess Class 1 and 3 licences. 

“With this build, especially for the fall season and the spring season, we’re definitely going to need more staff to maintain and handle it,” he said. 

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