The official announcement came Wednesday: A new fertilizer plant is coming to Tuscola. Cronus Chemicals is the company, I-57 and U.S. 36 is the location, $1.4 billion is the investment – the largest in Central Illinois since Mitsubishi built its factory in Normal in 1988. Gov. Pat Quinn calls it a victory. “There were nine states competing for this plant, 76 different locations, but we’re right here, in Illinois, in Tuscola. We are the winners of this great investment!” he said.
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Proximity to a natural gas pipeline and railroad access played a role in the site selection. The plant is supposed to produce 2,000 construction jobs and 175 permanent jobs, plus 25 jobs at the company’s new headquarters in Chicago. The plant will produce non-flammable nitrogen-based products, specifically urea and ammonia fertilizers and diesel exhaust fluid, using natural gas as a feedstock. Production in Tuscola will help displace fertilizer products that are currently imported for the U.S. agricultural market.
The state is kicking in tax breaks and infrastructure work worth $52 million: $35 million in tax exemptions for the Tuscola site, $3.9 million in credits against the company’s state income tax liability over 10 years, a $1 million grant for public infrastructure and job training grant of $78,500, and $12 million for road improvements.