Southeast Iowa Fertilizer Plant Gets Another $25 Million In Tax Incentives

In this Nov. 19, 2012 photo Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris, left, CEO of Cairo-based Orascom Construction Industries, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, center, and Iowa Republican Gov. Terry Branstad sign their name in concrete during a groundbreaking ceremony for a fertilizer plant in Wever, Iowa. State and local officials promised Orascom $200 million in tax breaks to build the fertilizer plant in southeast Iowa without knowledge of a pending lawsuit alleging one of the company's subsidiaries defrauded U.S. taxpayers out of millions of dollars, officials told The Associated Press. (AP Photo/The Hawk Eye, Brenna Norman) MANDATORY CREDIT

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By Richard Pratt

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa economic development officials have approved additional tax incentives for an Egyptian company spending nearly $2 billion to build a fertilizer plant in southeast Iowa.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority voted Friday to approve an additional $25 million in tax credits for Orascom Construction Industries. The money is part of the original contract for the project approved in February 2012.

State and local governments already promised more than $200 million in incentives including loans that do not have to be paid back if promised jobs are created and tax credits.

The company also is financing more than $1 billion of the cost of construction with specially authorized federal bonds saving millions in interest costs.

Construction of the plant is under way near U.S. Highway 61 between Fort Madison and Burlington.

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