Privately-owned chemical company Cronus delays choosing final site for proposed new US$1.2B fertilizer plant until late summer to evaluate engineering issues, building costs; company choosing between sites in Mitchell County, Iowa, and Tuscola, Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Illinois , August 29, 2013 () – Company looking at Illinois, Iowa for fertilizer plant pushes back decision on location

The company planning to build a new $1.2 billion fertilizer plant in either Iowa or Illinois is delaying a decision on the location, a spokesman said Thursday.

Cronus Chemical LLC has pushed its decision back "several weeks" over engineering issues and how those issues affect building costs, spokesman David Lundy told The Associated Press.

The privately owned company initially planned to decide between locations in Mitchell County, Iowa, and Tuscola, Ill., late this summer. The states of Iowa and Illinois have each offered the company $30 million or more in incentives.

"In any billion-dollar-plus project, things can get complicated, and this one is no exception," he said. "This is walking through each of those issues so they can ... pick the right location."

The company is still weighing the same two potential sites, he said.

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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