Cronus Chemicals Llc. reports it needs more time before it will be ready to ink a deal to build a 1.2 billion dollar nitrogen production facility in the Midwest. The company has shopped locations in Iowa and Illinois and has gone so far as to win an effluent use contract with the Urbana-Champaign Sanitary District.
But Cronus officials say that in a project this large, things can get complicated in a hurry, and project managers want more time to consider the two offers, each amounting to $30 million in tax incentives.
Engineering issues can have a real impact on construction costs and designers are weighing the choice between Mitchell County, Iowa and Tuscola County, Illinois. A decision was expected by the end of the summer, but Cronus has said they will push that back by at least a few weeks.
Tax incentives and state financial assistance for fertilizer projects has been criticized in both Iowa and Illinois, but lawmakers recognize the long term value of domestic nitrogen production in the Midwest, where it is needed the most. Other nitrogen projects including the Iowa Fertilizer Company are progressing ahead of schedule as this summer's dry weather has allowed nearly uninterrupted progress.
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