- Associated Press - Thursday, March 5, 2015

SERGEANT BLUFF, Iowa (AP) - The cost of a fertilizer plant being built near Sioux City will climb to more than $2 billion, up from an initial estimate of $1.7 billion, an executive with CF Industries said.

The new estimate stems from an increase in labor and construction materials necessary to winterize the plant at its Port Neal nitrogen complex in Sergeant Bluff, said Tony Will, CEO and president of the fertilizer manufacturing company. He said additional dollars are also needed to establish competitive wages to attract and retain skilled laborers, resulting in the $2.1 billion price tag.

The budget for a similar project in Donaldsonville, Louisiana, also rose, bringing the company’s total expenditure from $3.8 billion to $4.2 billion.

The company, based in Deerfield, Illinois, upped its estimate of workers at peak construction to 2,200, the Sioux City Journal reported (https://bit.ly/1BUlaoZ ). Ground broke on the project in 2013 at the site just north of its existing plants, and CF Industries officials said construction remains on schedule, with completion expected in early 2016.

The new plant is projected to triple the company’s production of ammonia, a key component of nitrogen-based fertilizer, and help to grow urea and urea-ammonium nitrate production, CF Industries officials said.

Chris McGowan, president of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce, said the uptick in spending will benefit the local economy and the community overall.

The project is among the largest private capital expenditures in Iowa history.

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Information from: Sioux City Journal, https://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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