Ground broken for $1.4B Iowa fertilizer plant

Published On: Nov 20 2012 09:58:52 AM CST   Updated On: Nov 20 2012 09:58:46 AM CST
WEVER, Iowa (AP) -

State and local officials dug in deep as they broke ground for a $1.4 billion fertilizer plant in southeastern Iowa.

The ceremonial shovels were wielded Monday near the Lee County town of Wever.

Egypt-based Orascom Construction Industries and its subsidiary, the Iowa Fertilizer Co., acquired nearly three-quarters of a square mile of farmland just off U.S. Highway 61 for the factory.

When completed by summer of 2015, the plant is expected to employ about 165 full-time workers who will produce up to 2,200 tons of anhydrous ammonia a day.

The state offered $110 million worth of tax breaks, loans, job training funds and transportation improvements to get the company to build in Iowa. Lee County approved a property tax incentive that is worth about $130 million over 20 years.