C.F. Industries  announced a $1.7-billion expansion at its Port Neal facility in northwest Iowa’s Woodbury County. It’s billed as the largest capital investment project in Iowa history.

Stephen Wilson, C.E.O. of the fertilizer manufacturer, says the expansion will add 100 new jobs to the plant and increase its production capability.

Governor Terry Branstad came to Sioux City to make the announcement, along with state economic development director Debi Durham and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds. Branstad says the project will give a huge boost to the state and local economies.

Branstad says the project will also create 1,500 to 2,000 temporary construction jobs. The deal includes a variety of incentives from the state and county levels, including $22-million in tax credits, a 20-year tax abatement schedule beginning in 2016, and a new five million dollar access road to the Port Neal plant.

Larry Clausen, of the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors, says the property tax generated by the project will create a windfall for the county. The new jobs will have an average starting salary of $50,000 per year, ranging upwards to $80,000.

Current Port Neal manager Nick DeRoss will oversee the expansion with construction to be completed by 2016.

By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City