Orascom Construction Industries is actively exploring a site near Davenport, Iowa, as a location for its proposed $1.3 billion nitrogen fertilizer production plant. The Egyptian-based firm and its subsidiary Iowa Fertilizer Co. are reportedly looking at a 318-acre site located between Walcott and Davenport. However, the Quad City Times states the Scott County Planning and Zoning Commission denied a request for rezoning at its Tuesday meeting.
Orascom announced its intentions to build a new plant earlier this year. If completed, it would be the first such plant built in the U.S. since the 1970s. The U.S. was self-sufficient in nitrogen production until the spike in natural gas prices in the early 2000s forced the closing of many nitrogen fertilizer plants. The new economics of natural gas has the large fertilizer company looking at building a new plant.
Orascom has considered other locations in Iowa including a 300-acre site east of Wever in Lee County. Other locations in Iowa as well as Pekin, Ill., have been mentioned. Construction of the plant is expected to mean 165 or more full time jobs and 1,000 construction jobs.