Egyptian Fertilizer Company Taps Iowa For $1.4 Billion Plant

October 2012, Vol. 239 No. 10

Orascom Construction Industries, Egypt’s largest company, plans to spend $1.4 billion building a fertilizer plant in Iowa, tapping into cheap U.S. natural gas supplies and the nation’s role as the world’s most important food exporter. Natural gas is a key raw material used to make fertilizer, particularly for use in corn fields.

Orascom is investing abroad as its access to cheap natural gas at home is in doubt, with the Egyptian government looking to reduce energy subsidies that account for almost 20% of total state spending. Iowa is offering at least $100 million in incentives to secure the plant that will provide 165 permanent jobs, together with 2,500 during construction.