Midwest Fertilizer negotiating new construction contract for $2 billion + southwestern Indiana plant

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Local officials in southwestern Indiana say they remain confident a proposed fertilizer plant costing more than $2 billion will be built even though more than four years have passed since it was announced.

Midwest Fertilizer says it’s negotiating a new construction contract for the project near the Ohio River city of Mount Vernon after the previous deal expired in December

Company interim president Les Wright tells the Evansville Courier & Press he remains confident the plant will be successful. Construction hasn’t yet started despite the company saying it expected to do so during 2016.

Midwest Fertilizer disclosed recently that proceeds from a $1.26 billion bond issuance, which was a state incentive for the project in 2013, are facing an Internal Revenue Service audit to determine compliance with federal tax requirements, the Courier & Press reported The bonds originally were made available as part of a federal disaster relief package.

“While the outcome of these audits cannot be predicted, the company believes that the IRS examinations should close with no change to the tax-exempt status of the bonds or the refunded bonds,” the Midwest Fertilizer disclosure states.

Despite those recent developments, “all the indications we’re getting, all the conversations we have had have been positive,”  Posey County Commissioner Jim Alsop has been quoted as saying. “They are positive about it, and so are we.”

Posey County Economic Development Partnership Board president Andrew Wilson and Greg Wathen, director of the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana, agreed with Alsop.

“A lot of this happened in December, and they are in the process of redoing everything,” Wathen said of the contract between Midwest Fertilizer and thyssenkrupp. “What they told us is that they anticipate things will move along. It’s a pretty complicated deal because of the size and complexity, but they are moving along and still anticipate (building the plant).”