ROCKPORT, Ind. (AP) — A businessman has chosen a southern Indiana location for his first foray into an industrial project — a nitrogen fertilizer plant that's projected to cost about $950 million to build.
Ohio Valley Resources president Doug Wilson of Fairfield, Ill., announced Thursday his selection of a 150-acre site near the Ohio River town of Rockport for the plant, which would produce agriculture fertilizer along with ammonia for use in emissions control at coal-fired power plants and factories.
The site was selected in part because two interstate natural gas pipelines are nearby, which will reduce the cost of obtaining the gas needed for nitrogen production, Wilson told the Evansville Courier & Press.
Wilson said he hoped to start construction in March, with completion of the plant expected in 2016. About 80 people are expected work at the plant once production starts.
Wilson told The Indianapolis Star he's still working to arrange financing for the expensive project. He said he believes the project will be attractive to lenders or investors because "there's an international market" for anhydrous ammonia, a common fertilizer used by farmers.
Wilson, 48, said he has no previous experience in industrial development. He worked as an independent trader for 16 years at the Chicago Board of Trade and in 2005 bought 7,000 acres of cropland with partners in southeastern Illinois.
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. said it offered Ohio Valley Resources up to $1.2 million in tax credits based on the company's job creation plans. It also said the state will assist with site infrastructure improvements.
"Indiana's agriculture industry will reap the rewards of this substantial investment for years to come and we are thrilled to welcome OVR to the state," Gov. Mitch Daniels said in a statement.
Tom Utter, executive director for the Rockport-based Lincolnland Economic Development Corp., said he's talked with companies interested in establishing or expanding operations in connection with the fertilizer plant to be located about 30 miles east of Evansville.
Utter said Spencer County officials are discussing "a very carefully and prudently structured incentive package" of property-tax phase-ins for the project.