Growing Since 1947
Today’s Tessenderlo Kerley is the descendent of The Kerley Chemical Company, founded by four brothers who recognized a growing demand for sulfur plant nutrition in Pecos, Texas, shortly after the end of World War II. The Kerley Brothers developed a unique process for manufacturing sulfur-based liquid fertilizers that are safe, easy to handle and can be applied through irrigation equipment. In the early 1950s, Kerley Chemical opened retail stores and began selling fertilizers to farmers, retailers and distributors throughout the western United States and midwestern corn belt.
Acquisitions, ownership changes and growth guided the company through the years, while TKI established itself as a leader in the production and marketing of specialty products used in the agriculture, mining and process chemical industries.
TKI is now the world’s largest producer of sulfur-based thiosulfate fertilizers.
An important joint venture
The company formed a joint venture with refinery giant Phillips 66 in 1986. At two key refining facilities, TKI processes 100 percent of the hydrogen sulfide gas generated at the plant, and the working relationship is ongoing.
Acquisitions along the way
In 1988, Hickson International PLC acquired Kerley. Then, in 1995, Belgium-based Tessenderlo Chemie acquired the Kerley business without changing the company’s focus on processing refinery byproducts into added value chemicals. Since then, the company has been operating as Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc., or TKI.
TKI acquired the Mobile Process Resources (MPR) company in 1999, which had technology to assist oil refineries with providing a more efficient way to operate equipment that separates gases in the refining process.
Now, MPR provides both mobile and permanently installed, technically advanced equipment for the cleaning and recovery of gasses around the world. MPR has expanded these technologies to have applications in gas plants, ammonia plants, steel manufacturing and LNG facilities.
NovaSource is formed
Specializing in niche agricultural markets globally, NovaSource serves the Crop Protection market delivering high value agricultural herbicides, and fungicides, turf and ornamental fungicide, fumigants, insecticides and heat stress protection products.
This TKI business unit continues to selectively expand and add proven labeled products to its portfolio, and has been a key area of growth and investment for TKI in recent years.
Expertise in toll processing and warehousing
TK Formulators (formerly Ag Formulators), which provides toll processing formulation services and secure warehousing to customers in the San Joaquin Valley of California and beyond, became part of TKI in 2007 through acquisition.
TKI goes global
In 2008, TKI acquired the assets, and marketing and distribution channels of Agrochem, based in Izmir, Turkey. Agrochem had been a key distributor for TKI in the area for the previous 14 years and had been manufacturing TKI plant nutrient solutions.
Expansion into wastewater management
Environmentally Clean Systems LLC (ECS) was formed as a joint venture between MPR and Jet Oil Solutions in 2010 to serve the oil and gas industries. ECS provides water reclamation for produced water, flow back water and black water – tailoring technologies that reduce or eliminate the use of reagents and equipment associated with chemical systems of wastewater treatment.
Entering a Golden Age
By late 2014, the TKI Mining & Industrial business unit began operations of a new, environmentally safe thiosulfates production facility on the site of a mining operation owned by Barrick Gold Corporation, the global leader in gold production.