Farm field fertilizer

Anhydrous ammonia is used as fertilizer on farm fields, such as this one southwest of Lincoln, shown in March 2015. A company is proposing a $75 million anhydrous ammonia manufacturing plant in Geneva.

GWYNETH ROBERTS / Lincoln Journal Star file photo

A new $75 million fertilizer plant planned for Geneva will be "kind of a game changer" for the local economy.

A company called Fortigen has submitted plans to the Geneva City Council calling for an anhydrous ammonia fertilizer plant to be built on about 15-20 acres on the eastern edge of the Fillmore County town of about 2,200 that's 70 miles southwest of Lincoln.

Geneva City Administrator Kyle Svec said the proposal has already gone through two of the required three rounds of hearings, and he expects the City Council will approve it at its meeting Monday night.

Svec said there has been no opposition to the plan to rezone and annex the land for the fertilizer plant, which is right across the street from the town's existing industrial park.

"Everybody is pretty excited about it," he said. "It's kind of a game changer for the economy around here."

Assuming approval, Fortigen plans to start construction this spring and have the plant open by fall of 2017. Once up and running at full strength, the plant would employ about 25-30 people, Svec said.

The construction phase, which would last for more than a year, could provide about 150 temporary jobs.

Fortigen is owned by Tetrad Corp. of Omaha, which is part owner of Tetrad Property Group, the company that is developing Innovation Campus and other projects in Lincoln.

Joshua Westling, a representative of Tetrad Corp., confirmed the plans for the plant but said the company won't provide specific details until after the council vote.

He said this would be the first fertilizer plant the company has built. Anhydrous ammonia is a liquid form of the substance that is injected into the ground. It is prized by farmers because of its high nitrogen content.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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