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Iowa bidding for new fertilizer plant

By Staff | Oct 17, 2013

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois and Iowa are not the only states being considered as the possible home of a $1.2 billion fertilizer plant, Gov. Pat Quinn said.

“There are other states that are competing with us, and we have to put our best foot forward,” Quinn said during an event Monday in Urbana. “We still have a ways to go. They have to make their decision.”

Quinn didn’t say what other states be believes are in contention.

But a spokesman for Cronus Chemical told The Associated Press on Tuesday that locations in Mitchell County and Tuscola, Ill., remain the leading candidates.

The privately owned company had hoped to select a site this summer, but is still working through engineering issues and other considerations as it weighs potential locations.

“It was probably overstated that there is a hot competition right now among several states,” spokesman David Lundy said. “You want to know what your options are, but you focus on a couple of key places.”

Both Iowa and Illinois have each offered the company $30 million or more in incentives.

The plant would employ about 150 people and create more than 1,500 construction jobs.

Cronus’ proposed plant is one of at least 20 massive fertilizer plants being proposed across North America, a wave driven in part by growing supplies of natural gas.

Natural gas is a key component in the manufacture of nitrogen-based fertilizers like those used heavily on Midwestern corn and soybean farms.

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