Iowa will get a second huge new fertilizer plant, with each one hitting a new record for capital investment. The latest announcement came on November 1 when CF Industries said it will build a $1.7 billion fertilizer manufacturing facility near Sioux City in northwest Iowa, making it the single largest capital investment ever in Iowa.
In September, Orascom Construction announced its Iowa Fertilizer Company will build a plant in Lee County in the southeast corner of the state. When the Iowa Fertilizer Company plant was announced, it was declared to be the largest capital investment ever in the state. State officials say the plants will replace imported fertilizer and meet increasing demand from corn farmers.
"It seems like yesterday when we were saying something similar and welcoming a $1.4 billion project in Lee County," said Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, announcing the CF Industries project at a press conference in Sioux City. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds were on hand, along with CF's CEO Stephen Wilson and other state and local leaders.
CF Industries project will receive economic incentive package from state of Iowa
The CF Industries project is expected to receive a much smaller incentive package from the state of Iowa than that awarded to Iowa Fertilizer Co., which attracted a firestorm of criticism for the tax breaks and other economic incentives it was awarded by the state to get Orascom to build it in Iowa. Still, the Sioux City project is drawing criticism. "These deals were going to happen in Iowa," says state Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City. "The question is, what level of incentive is needed? In both cases, I think the state of Iowa has spent tens of millions of dollars more than we needed to."
The Iowa Economic Development Authority or IEDA board held a special meeting to take action to award direct financial assistance and tax credits to CF Industries for an expansion of its existing fertilizer manufacturing operation in Woodbury County, just south of Sioux City along the Missouri River at Port Neal.
$1.7 billion project now the single largest capital investment in Iowa history
The Port Neal project will add new state-of-the-art ammonia and granular urea production units to meet customer demand. The project will supplement existing production of ammonia and urea ammonia nitrate or UAN. The CF Industries project will have a total capital investment of $1.7 billion and will create 100 new jobs with a qualifying wage of $20.12 per hour, say company officials.