BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An agreement has been reached to build a new $2 billion fertilizer plant in American Falls.
ConAgra Foods and Magnida also announced an agreement on groundwater Tuesday, The Idaho Statesman reported.
The two companies say arrangements for financing the new fertilizer plant have been in the works for more than six years. Construction on the new plant could begin in 2015.
“Our proposed state-of-the-art facility will allow American Falls to be home to another world class manufacturer,” said Ric Sorbo, Magnida CEO.
Magnida would turn natural gas into ammonia nitrate fertilizer for domestic farmers. It plans to hire 1,500 workers during construction and employ 170 workers permanently. The plant could open as early as 2018.
ConAgra, which operates a french fry potato plant that would be next door, previously opposed the fertilizer plant.
In April, ConAgra came out against the air quality permit required for the plant and ran a full-page ad in Idaho newspapers in June raising concerns about potential safety issues.
“We’re pleased to have amicably resolved this matter and appreciate Magnida’s willingness to work together to come to an agreement that will benefit the entire American Falls community,” said Greg Schlafer, president of ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston, headquartered in Eagle.
Schlafer said the agreement between the two companies fully addresses each of their prior concerns.
“With the agreement now in place, we’re confident both facilities can safely and successfully coexist as major employers and contributors to the American Falls community,” he said.
He expressed his appreciation for Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter who helped them negotiate and reach common ground.