Iowa economic development leaders approved a proposed $1.3 billion nitrogen fertilizer plant. Iowa Fertilizer Co., a subsidiary of Orascom Construction Industries, propped the construction, which would create 165 new jobs. The new plant would be built in Wever, Iowa, which is in southeast Iowa.

The leadership’s approval came with $37 million in state incentives, the bulk of which is tax credits at an estimated $31.5 million, which is based on the company’s capital investment. This capital investment will be the largest in the state.

The announcement was met with positive response since the area has been hammered by the past two recessions, costing many manufacturing jobs and leaving Lee County with one of the highest unemployment rates in the state.

“This is an area that has been an important part of Iowa’s manufacturing core, and it’s been hurting badly,” Dave Swenson, Iowa State University economist, told the Des Moines Register. “I don’t think it’s gotten nearly enough attention from central Iowa’s administration and political structure.”

Despite the excitement of the approval, local leaders said the project wasn’t a finished deal. A package of incentives is still in the works. In addition to the tax credits, the state agreed to offer $1.61 million in loans and $1.7 million for job training.

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