Mosaic Plant Starts to Reopen in Hillsborough County

A company that makes what they call “environmentally friendly fertilizer is taking up space in a portion of the old Mosaic fertilizer plant near Plant City in Hillsborough County.

Back in 2016, a sinkhole opened up on the property of the phosphate plant, swallowing more than 200 gallons of polluted water from atop a gypsum stack and retention pond that contained phosphoric acid process water. At the time, the company waited 19 days before it notified the public about contaminants leaking into the sinkhole and, possibly, the Florida Aquifer.

The spill prompted new regulations, including notifying the Department of Environmental Protection about any spill of pollutants into groundwater. So far, no well near the Mosaic plant has tested positive for any type of contaminate or pollution. By last year, remediation of the sinkhole was complete and groundwater there continues to be tested.

Anuvia Plant Nutrients will expand its operations by leasing a portion of that now-shuttered fertilizer plant. The company plans to add 135 jobs by expanding from Apopka to Plant City. Currently, the company can make about 80,000 tons of fertilizer. With the expansion, the company will be able to produce 1.2 million tons.

“In the three years since the Zellwood plant went online, the market has been receptive to our products and its unique benefits,” said Amy Yoder, the CEO of Anuvia Plant Nutrients. “And now in response to the increased demand, we are increasing our production capacity. It is gratifying that farmers are realizing the performance and environmental benefits Anuvia products bring to crop production.”

The company will add those jobs over the course of the next five years with 35 of the jobs coming right away. Mosiac will finally be able to see some earnings on a facility that has been closed for years. The only thing that has been happening at the facility over the past two years has been the company’s environmental modeling.

“Mosaic has been looking to partner with successful, innovative companies and this arrangement which includes an equity position is an excellent fit for us,” said Walt Precourt, a senior vice president of strategy and growth for Mosaic. “Both companies are committed to operating safely and sustainably while providing customers with high-quality crop nutrient solutions. We look forward to exploring opportunities to further expand our relationship.”

Anuvia claims its products can improve yields and reduce nutrient runoff and greenhouse gas emissions, in many cases by 32 percent. The company wanted to expand at the old Mosaic plant because it could use much of the existing infrastructure. The plant is also centrally located for transporting products to heavy agriculture areas.

 

Reach Mike Synan at mike.synan@floridadaily.com.

 

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