Wednesday, December 23, 2015
US Nitrogen Announces New Local Leader
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
US Nitrogen today formally announced the appointment of a new manager for the new $200 million ammonium nitrate manufacturing facility slated to open next month.
Jim Boldt, chief financial officer for Austin Powder, US Nitrogen's parent, said Andrew Velo has taken over the job of plant manager from Justin Freark, who is taking on a new role with the parent company.
Stating that Velo "stood out for his exceptional leadership skills and attention to detail," Boldt said the firm would continue "its laser focus on safety."
Velo joined US Nitrogen in March as construction and maintenance manager. Prior to that he worked for Rentech Nitrogen Partners serving as site general manager at a fertilizer facility in Texas.
Velo, a Navy veteran, took on the plant manager's job on Nov. 3o.
Freeark, according to the company announcement, has been appointed as director of nitrogen engineering projects for Austin. He will continue to reside in Tennessee.
State environmental officials were informed of the leadership change in a Dec. 15 letter from Freeark.
The change comes as US Nitrogen officials say they are preparing for a January start of operations of the new facility.