Explosion Stops Production at El Dorado Chemical Plant

A reactor explosion caused "significant" damage to the El Dorado Chemical Co. plant last week, forcing it to cease production.

The explosion occurred at about 4 a.m. Tuesday, destroying a reactor and much of its surrounding equipment, and reportedly shaking nearby residences. No one was killed or injured in the explosion.

The company is a subsidiary of LSB Industries Inc. of Oklahoma City. According to an LSB news release, no "environmental release" of harmful materials occurred, and the company is unsure how long the plant will remain out of commission.

"The company does not have an estimate on the extent of the damages or repair time, but at this time the El Dorado facility is out of operation due to damage, and it is unknown at this time how long the El Dorado facility will be out of production," the release said.

The plant produces several types of acid, as well as explosive ingredients for the agricultural, mining and industrial markets. LSB manufactures and sells mostly climate control products like heat pumps and geothermal chillers.

LSB reported chemical sales of $124.2 million for its first 2012 quarter, and stated the El Dorado plant produced "very efficiently," benefiting from a strong customer demand for fertilizer.