by Daniel Moore
Press Staff Writer
The new Valley Wide fertilizer distribution plant in eastern Power County is going to be the largest in the state. However, that is not why the plant is garnering attention.
Its location is the reason state and local authorities gathered there on Wednesday, June 8, for a groundbreaking ceremony. The fertilizer distribution plant is on the site previously occupied by the former FMC phosphate plant.
Governor Butch Otter, speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony, spoke about the discouragement felt around the state when the plant was decommissioned and deconstructed.
“Who would’ve believed that 15 years later we are celebrating a whole new life at this site today?” Otter said.
Valley Wide and FMC officials gave visiting authorities, including the governor, a bus tour of the construction site, where concrete walls are starting to rise at the same time that FMC is working to cap the phosphate filled soil. Building on a site in the middle of a major environmental cleanup has had its problems, said Sid Jensen, the construction manager with Valley Wide.
Because each step needed the oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency, it took two years to get construction started on the plant. But the location of the plant, with easy rail access, was too much to pass up, Jensen said.
“Why did we locate here? The competitive advantages were great enough that we proceeded,” he said.
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