Midwest Fertilizer Corporation has settled on a site in Posey County, Indiana and hopes to break ground in March 2014. The project was slow to take off as allegations of misdeeds on the part of managing partner Fatima Group surfaced in Pakistan. Department of Justice officials raised the red flag when it was suggested that product produced by Fatima in Pakistan had been diverted away from the farm to insurgents who used CAN to construct roadside bombs.
That controversy prompted Indiana Governor Mike Pence to balk at funding the project. But Fatima, working in cooperation with now retired Lt. General Barbero, made improvements to handling and distribution practices in Pakistan and raised the level of accountability for what happens to Fatima fertilizer products. New packaging and even a new, less explosive formulation of CAN, along with other improvements satisfied General Barbero.
Given Barbero's go-ahead, Governor Pence stuck to his guns and refused to fund the project. From there, the people of Posey County took it upon themselves to get the project off the ground and have funded incentives to Midwest Fertilizer through county level bond issuances.
"The success of this project has been a team effort by many, many people in our region,” said John Taylor, Executive Director for the Posey County Economic Development Partnership. “It will be a game changing investment and employer to Posey County and the region."
Construction is expected to take roughly three years, and the facility will be the largest single project planned in the state of Indiana in 2013. Midwest's CEO Mike Chorlton says, “The county (Posey) is a perfect fit for the project and won out over numerous U.S. sites and two Canadian provinces.”
As the United States looks to increase domestic nitrogen production, the Posey County project joins a host of expansions and greenfield startups across the Midwest. The United States is the number one importer of nitrogen fertilizer in the world. Capacity increases over the next five years will reduce imports by more than half, and increase availability of nitrogen in the Midwest where farmers need it most.