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Governor Quinn Announces Cronus Has Chosen Illinois for New $1.4 Billion Fertilizer Plant

Press Release - Wednesday, October 29, 2014

TUSCOLA - Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by company officials to announce that Cronus Fertilizers, a much-anticipated $1.4 billion fertilizer plant, will be built in Tuscola. Following a search process that included 76 sites in nine states, Cronus has chosen Illinois to expand their business with a new facility that will create approximately 2,000 construction jobs and 175 permanent jobs.

The Cronus fertilizer plant is one of the largest private investments in central Illinois since 1988, when Mitsubishi Motors North America opened its auto factory in Normal. Governor Quinn aggressively worked to secure this investment, personally meeting with the company and mobilizing his cabinet to bring the project to Illinois. Today's announcement is part of his agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois' economy forward.

"We are proud to partner with Cronus Fertilizers as they bring their thriving and innovative business to Tuscola, Illinois," Governor Quinn said. "Building this new plant here in the heartland will be a big boost for our central Illinois economy, provide a locally made product for our farm industry and create thousands of good-paying jobs. With Illinois now leading the Midwest in job creation, companies like Cronus are helping us keep the momentum going."

"After an exhaustive process, we are thrilled to bring this fertilizer plant to Illinois and look forward to working with the Tuscola community to create high-quality fertilizers for Midwestern farmers," said Erzin Atac, CEO of Cronus Chemicals LLC, which is building the plant. "Cronus Fertilizers is grateful for all the support we have received from Governor Quinn, Speaker Madigan, Representative Brown, Senator Rose, Tuscola Economic Development and numerous state and local officials who helped make this project a reality."

Illinois' central location, world-class transportation infrastructure, proximity to natural gas pipelines and a highly trained and motivated work force were key factors in Cronus' decision to locate near Tuscola.

The new Cronus fertilizer plant will be built on a 235-acre site at 765 E. U.S. Highway 36, just west of Tuscola and near Interstate 57. Production in Tuscola will help displace fertilizer products that are currently imported for the U.S. agricultural market.

The plant will produce non-flammable nitrogen-based products, specifically urea and ammonia fertilizers and diesel exhaust fluid, using natural gas as a feedstock. State-of-the-art technology will be used to minimize emissions, maximize safety and meet Illinois' stringent environmental standards.

Construction of the new plant is expected to last 33 months and support approximately 2,000 union jobs. The Illinois EPA has determined that the application for the fertilizer plant meets all applicable requirements, and has issued a construction permit to Cronus.

"Today marks the culmination of years of effort by state and local officials to put this excellent industrial site into productive use," Tuscola Mayor Daniel Kleiss said. "We are so thankful that Cronus Chemicals has selected the Douglas County site near Tuscola, and we look forward to the tremendous positive impacts that Cronus will have on the local economy, labor market, agricultural market and tax base. Tuscola is proud to be their new home."

"The state's investment here is substantial, but it leverages one of the largest private developments ever in central Illinois," DCEO Director Adam Pollet said. "The Quinn Administration has worked with all the state's available tools to make sure this project takes place here. The plant's product will help our farmers while construction workers and nearby residents will have a new source of quality jobs."

Cronus Fertilizers will be built on a CSX Select Site, a CSX Corporation program that identifies and certifies sites that are ready for development along CSX's rail network. CSX Select Sites meet a rigorous list of criteria, including infrastructure and utility availability, environmental reviews, appropriate zoning and entitlement, air quality permitting, rail serviceability, proximity to highways or interstates, and other attributes.

The company's $1.4 billion investment will be supported by a targeted state incentive package that includes an estimated $35 million in tax exemptions for the Tuscola site. The benefit was authorized by legislation that passed the Illinois General Assembly last spring on a bipartisan vote and was signed by Governor Quinn. The exemptions for Cronus are contingent on the plant's successful completion and operation, as well as the company meeting its targets for hiring and capital expenditures.

The project also will receive $12.3 million for road improvements through the Illinois Department of Transportation, an estimated $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. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will administer the tax credits and grants.

Cronus Fertilizers is a project of Cronus Chemicals LLC, a company led by industry veterans with decades of experience in the development, manufacturing and marketing of fertilizer products. The Cronus team has successfully developed and operated fertilizer plants and other projects both in the U.S. and internationally.

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