Spencer Co. in running for a billion dollar fertilizer plant - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Spencer Co. in running for a billion dollar fertilizer plant

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The developers are considering a site in Spencer County off US Highway 231 across from the American Electric Power Plant. The developers are considering a site in Spencer County off US Highway 231 across from the American Electric Power Plant.

Ohio Valley Resources LLC filed an air permit application with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to construct a new billion-dollar nitrogen fertilizer facility in Spencer County, IN.

That would mean about 1,200 workers would be needed to construct the plant over a three-year period.  Upon its projected completion in 2016, the facility will provide approximately 80 full-time jobs.

The company has staked out a 150-acre site just north of Rockport and they're serious enough about that location that they've already filed a 600 page air permit.

Now, economic leaders in the area say they're going to do to make sure it comes to Rockport.

"Spencer County has been named a potential location for a billion dollar project," said Tom Utter, the Executive Director of the Lincolnland Economic Development Corporation.

The fact that Spencer County is in the running for this project is not only exciting to economic leaders, but also some residents.

"In times like these, everybody could use a good job. So yeah, if they could bring it here, we'd love it," resident Guy Chapman said. 

The developers are considering a site in Spencer County off US Highway 231 across from the American Electric Power Plant. 

With a four lane highway and a railroad going through the site where the plant could be built, it makes Spencer County a good location.

In a release Wednesday, the developers said the plant would make fertilizer products for the ag industry and ammonia to reduce emissions power plants.

Ohio Valley Resources says the plant would bring 1200 jobs for three years during construction, which is slated to begin next year.

Economic development leaders say the 80 permanent positions that plant would offer, won't be regular paying jobs.

"They look like they are going to pay around $35 on average," Utter said.

Sources tell 14 News the company has also been looking at sites in Owensboro and Henderson.

Spencer County Economic Development leaders say they are now working with state and local governments on incentive packages to make the project a reality in the field three miles north of Rockport.

"I would hope the community would invite it with open arms," Chapman said.

"We're going to do what we can do to bring it home," Utter said.

Spencer County economic leaders also say they already have been speaking with hotels and service providers who have expressed interest on coming to Rockport if the deal comes through.

A press release said the new ammonia plant will be the first entirely new facility of its type to be constructed in America by a U.S.-based firm in more than a quarter-century.

It will consume less energy than ammonia plants currently operating in the United States.  The project is made economically viable by a recent decrease in natural gas prices due to domestic shale gas development.  It will feature state-of-the-art emission-control technologies that comply with current federal and state environmental regulations.

According to Doug Wilson, President/CEO of Ohio Valley Resources, this project represents a major step forward in reviving domestic production of critical nitrogen fertilizer products to serve the Eastern Corn Belt. 

"Our goal is to restore jobs to the United States that have been lost for years by displacing imported sources of fertilizer products," Wilson said.  "We are excited that our new plant will help to stabilize the supply and price of nitrogen fertilizers to support the regional agricultural economy."

"Not only will our new plant play a key role in boosting domestic agricultural production, but it will also provide a reliable source of emissions-control products to support a cleaner environment," Wilson said. "This will all be done by American workers using domestic sources of low-cost natural gas."

We will keep you updated.

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