State approves further aid for fertilizer plant

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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