MOUNT VERNON, Ind. (AP) — A company backed by a Pakistani
group has selected a site near the Ohio River in southwestern Indiana for a
planned $2.1 billion fertilizer plant.
Midwest Fertilizer Corp. is seeking zoning approval from
Posey County officials for a 219-acre site that is now farmland in an industrial
area along the river just southwest of Mount Vernon, the Evansville Courier & Press reported.
The project faced doubts after Gov. Mike Pence pulled state
support in January, citing concerns U.S. military officials had about fertilizer
made by Pakistan-based parent company Fatima Group being used in explosives in
But local leaders continued to back it, with county
officials this summer approving $1.3 billion in bonds.
“Now they have a site, what this says to the public is ‘This
is the real deal. We’re moving forward,’” said John Taylor, executive director
of the Posey County Economic Development Partnership.
Project backers originally had wanted to build the plant to
the east of Mount Vernon on property owned by the Ports of Indiana, but that
location became unworkable after the state withdrew its support.
The Indiana Finance Authority originally issued bonds for
the plant last year, but Pence suspended the state’s involvement over the Fatima
Group concerns. Since then, U.S. military officials have said Fatima Group has
improved product safety with changes to its supply chain and work on a
Midwest Fertilizer officials have said the Posey County
plant would produce urea ammonium nitrate, which is a fertilizer not used in
explosives. The plant is expected to have about 200 full-time workers once it
starts production at the site about 20 miles west of Evansville.
Mike Chorlton, who is overseeing the project for Midwest
Fertilizer, said the company is working to obtain state construction approvals
and arrange financing. He said plans are for construction to start next spring.
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.