Fertilizer company to decide between Iowa and Illinois

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Both Iowa and Illinois officials have offered Cronus Chemical LLC financial incentives to build a proposed $1.2 billion fertilizer plant in their states. The wait will end soon as Cronus Chemical announced it would make a decision on where it would locate its new fertilizer plant within 30 to 60 days.

The last economic incentive was offered as recently as last week when Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation offering more incentives to the fertilizer company.

Cronus is expected to choose between a site outside of Tuscola, Ill., and one in Mitchell County, Iowa. The plant is expected to employ about 150 people and create more than 1,500 short-term construction jobs.

Cheap supplies of natural gas have spurred several companies to propose similar fertilizer plant construction across North America. At least 20 are being proposed as new projects or expansion projects for currently existing plants.

“We’re trying to establish costs and work through some questions with contractors,” David Lundy, a spokesperson for Cronus Chemical, told the Quad-City Times. “That’s a fairly time-intensive, laborious process.”

Although details about either state’s offer to the fertilizer company have not been made public, speculation has estimated that Illinois’ offer is worth about $30 million and Iowa’s about $35 million, according to the Quad-City Times.

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