January 30, 2015 - A $1.9 billion fertilizer plant in southeast Iowa is scheduled to start production later this year.
Iowa Fertilizer Co., which is constructing the plant, said the plant is on track for mechanical completion by August in a project update released this week. Operations are expected to start during the last three months of the year.
Construction is about 70 percent complete, Iowa Fertilizer said.
The plant will employ about 240 people when complete and produce between 1.5 million and 2 million tons of nitrogen fertilizer a year. Company officials have said they also want the plant to produce DEF, or diesel exhaust fluid.
More than 2,700 people on working on the construction site, the company said.
The under-construction plant is one of the largest projects in state history. Iowa Fertilizer is building the plant on about 320 acres of land near Wever in Lee County.
Local, state and federal officials made about $545 million in incentives available to the company to build the plant. Opponents have cited those incentives as overly excessive while supporters have said they were necessary to secure the project for Lee County, which has historically had one of Iowa's highest county unemployment rates.
Iowa Fertilizer is a subsidiary of Netherlands-based OCI N.V.
(Article curtesy of Des Moines Register, Matthew Patane)