Reprinted from the Lee County Economic Development Group Newsletter, November, 2013
Questions regarding Iowa Fertilizer Company's progress and plans were detailed during the Industry Summit. The President of the Iowa Fertilizer Company, Shawn Rana, reinforced their commitment to Southeast Iowa, emphasizing Iowa Fertilizer’s mission to utilize local resources as frequently as possible. Mr. Rana stated "approximately 80% of the plant's products would be shipped by truck." With Mr. Rana’s desire to keep business transactions local, he specifically noted opportunities to capitalize on local truckers in the distribution plans.
As construction progresses on schedule, the Iowa Fertilizer plant currently has approximately 500 construction workers on site. Before its completion in 2015, the number of construction workers is set to rise to nearly 2,500. Construction of the ammonia storage tanks are currently underway at the facility. The plant is scheduled to begin full production by 4th quarter of 2015; with some production workers starting as early as summer 2014 in their on-site water treatment facility.
Mr. Rana assured everyone that once the plant is open, it is going to be here for many years—up to 60 years. "People will retire from our plant, it's not something that is going to be open for two years and leave." At full operation the plant is expected to employ 165 permanent workers.
The Lee County plant will be the first, world-scale natural gas-based fertilizer plant built in the U.S. in nearly 25 years and will supply urea, ammonia and urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) fertilizers that farmers need. The plant’s total sellable product is expected to range between 1.5 and 2.0 million tons per year.