About Us

Founded in 1956, Nelson Brothers is a leading manufacturer and distributor of mining explosives products and services to many of the largest surface coal and aggregate producers in the United States. Additionally, through Nelson Brothers Specialty Chemical Business, we provide products and services to customers throughout the world. With more than 350 employees and operations throughout the United States, Nelson Brothers has supplied over 14 billion pounds of its flagship emulsion product, PowerNel, to the mining industry along with reliable electronic blasting systems and the latest technical applications.


Nelson Brothers Core Safety Values

Nelson Brothers Believes:

  • All accidents can be prevented
  • Safety is equal to all other business considerations including product, service, quality, costs and profit!
  • Prevention of on and off the job injuries is a good business practice
  • All operating exposures can be safeguarded
  • Management is committed to ensuring safety
  • Safety is a condition of employment

It is Management’s responsibility to:

  • Train all employees in safe work practices
  • Conduct safety audits and take corrective action where necessary
  • Require every employee to perform safe work practices in their job duties

It is the Employee’s responsibility to:

  • Adhere to strict safety principles as a condition of employment
  • Integrate Safety as a part of each job function
  • Live by these Core Values in the performance of his/her job duties


Our business is comprised of a distributor network of companies that utilize our PowerNel emulsion products and advanced electronic blasting systems in their customer markets. Going back to the early 1980’s, Nelson Brothers has been a leader in advanced blasting design with emulsion products and leading manufacturing technology. Nelson Brothers’ PowerNel continues to excel in quality and handling. PowerNel is widely accepted due to its consistent robustness and performance across all best practice blasting applications. Our emulsion distribution network extends throughout the central and eastern United States.

Company Timeline

  1. 1956
    Founded by Dugan and Olen Nelson in Parrish, Alabama giving customers access to low cost ANFO. They soon gain reputation for reliability and on-time delivery.
  2. 1960
    Initiates the bulk ANFO delivery systems in the Southeast saving time, money and manpower effort for its customers.
  3. 1962
    Introduction of water-resistant HD-ANFO allows customers to take high-cost dynamite out of boreholes.
  4. 1968
    New high-speed production plant with rail site is built in Parrish, AL increasing production and lowering costs of raw materials. The savings are passed on to the customers.
  5. 1981
    Nelson Brothers develops and integrates new emulsion technology by building and operating an emulsion plant that quickly becomes a model for others worldwide. Low-cost, high-energy emulsions finally become available to local customers.
  6. 1984
    Nelson Brothers pioneers NBX2000AR, a major emulsion breakthrough increasing production shelf life tenfold. Out-of-state customers finally have access to PowerNel emulsion.
  7. 1988
    Full production Research & Development team begins in the Quality Control Laboratory.
  8. 1989
    PIBSA technology is developed to increase quality and lower costs. Both benefits are passed on to customers.
  9. 1992
    Special chemical division started and emulsifier raw material plant is built and Nelson Brothers expands nationwide and extends cost savings with the new customer Partnership Strategy.
  10. 1994
    Nelson Brothers starts shipping emulsifier internationally.
  11. 1995
    State-of-the-art emulsion plant is built outside of Alabama in Gillette, Wyoming. Within the same year, Nelson Brothers gets a national contract with the nation’s largest aggregate producer.
  12. 1997
    Nelson Brothers is a supplier to three of the largest surface coal producers in the US.
  13. 1999
    New state-of-the-art emulsion plant is built in Cherokee, Alabama which reduces raw material costs, increases manufacturing efficiency, doubles emulsion capacity and rate, and expands quality control. Additionally, Nelson Brothers and Orica USA Inc join together to provide products and services to the Powder River Basin by creating Nelson Brothers Mining Services LLC.
  14. 2000
    Nelson Brothers again joins with Orica and expands offerings to 33 US states creating Nelson Brothers, LLC.
    Nelson Brothers LLC
    Nelson Brothers Mining Services
  15. 2004
    Specialty Chemical Division is launched.
  16. 2012
    Rojo Junction plant Gillette, Wyoming increases emulsion production capacity.
  17. 2014
    Opens St. Paul, Kentucky plant which is a state of the art emulsion plant serving the 33 states in eastern territory.
  18. 2015
    Opens new emulsion plant in Wright, Wyoming.
  19. 2016
    Opens new distribution points in Illinois Basin, making us the largest provider of explosives in the Midwest.

Specialty Chemicals

Emulsions, blends, oxidizers, sensitizers—Nelson Brothers understands that the right chemicals must be matched with the conditions at hand. Performance varies with weather, location, and season; a failure to take this into account can be costly. Partner with us, we can help you win.

Specialty Chemicals division at Nelson Brothers primarily focuses on the manufacture of highest quality emulsifiers and fuel phases required to produce highly stable and efficient emulsions. These emulsions are used in surface, underground, bulk, packages and up-hole applications.

Across the globe, there are many variants of key raw materials that go into the production of explosive emulsions. It is highly imperative that the emulsifier used in the process is the right one that promotes stability, viscosification and emulsification while managing the ability to gas reliably.

The Right Chemicals For The Right Conditions

Our range of emulsifiers offer properties that address various raw materials. Our flagship emulsifier, NB2424 is a very robust product that is highly successful in forming excellent emulsions when presented with just about any kind of feedstock of ammonium nitrate, often with impurities and other substances.

A key precursor to almost all of our emulsifiers is PIBSA (Polyisobutylene Succinic Anhydride), which is derived from a high-reactive feedstock.

We take this key material and modify the head group to address various customer requirements, and we are highly conversant with many of the requirements such as:

Viscosity Shelf Life Compatibility with Dopants Re-pump Stages Short Residence
Faster Gassing Viscosification with Carrier Oils Available Nitrates Sensitivity Hardness Retention in Inclines
Availability in Concentrate Droplet Comminution Small Droplet Size Economical Generally Robust
Sulfamic Acid Gassing Liquor or Melted Prill 1 Salt or Metal Salts Catalyst Oil Content
Sensitizers Energetic Dopants Gassers Propellants Storage & Temperature

With decades of experience in manufacturing these types of products, we are the only emulsifier manufacturer that is also a consumer of our own products. We use a 100% of our own manufactured emulsifiers and make a world class emulsion, which we also ultimately use in our own mining services. This gives us a unique edge over others, in that we not only need to rely on our products to work efficiently, but we also need an intimate, deep knowledge that they perform under various conditions as well.

Uniquely Positioned

Spread over 100 acres of pristine west Alabama country, located in the small but quaint town of Parrish, AL, we are uniquely positioned to manufacture a wide range of emulsifiers, concentrates, blends and fuel phases required by the industry.

With very easy access to several of the ports on the east coast, as well as Houston, TX, we have been able to reach over 20 countries competitively and efficiently with our shipments on a regular basis.

We are flexible to our customer’s needs on packaging requirements and our products can be shipped by most common modes. (Drums, ISO Tanks, IBCs, and Flexi-tanks).


Nelson Brothers offers the specialty chemicals, explosive products, such as industry leading PowerNel, and the experience you need to be successful in your business. We partner with you to get the job done with maximum safety and efficiency.

Technical Services

We can assist you in all aspects of blasting technology including:

  • Velocity of Detonation
  • Blast Design
    • Laser Profiling
    • Blast Simulation (2D DMC)
    • ShotPlus 5 (Blast Design and Timing)
    • AutoCad
    • Borehole Layout
  • High Speed Video and Analysis
  • Video with Drone Technology
  • Response Time and Face Velocities
  • Vibration and Signature Hole Analysis
  • Drilling and Blasting Audits
  • Budget and Cost Analysis
  • Blasting Seminars

Contact Us

For more information on Nelson Brothers and to learn how we can help power your business, please contact our international or domestic representatives below.



Shashi Kanth



205.414.2900 Local

800.217.2936 Toll Free

820 Shades Creek Parkway
Suite 2000
Birmingham, AL 35209

United States
Nelson Brothers LLC
Nelson Brothers Mining Services

United States

205.414.2900 Local

800.217.2936 Toll Free

820 Shades Creek Parkway
Suite 2000
Birmingham, AL 35209