FILLMORE COUNTY — Officials from the state and local level Friday helped kick off a $75 million anhydrous ammonia plant that will be built near Geneva.
Gov. Pete Ricketts visited the site for a groundbreaking ceremony, praising Fortigen LLC’s new venture as the perfect intersection of two top industries in Nebraska — agriculture and manufacturing.
“When we’re talking about growing Nebraska, this is exactly what we need,” he said. “It’s about Nebraskans coming together.”
Geneva Mayor Rod Norrie said it was a community effort with lots of players behind the scenes working to make the new plant possible. He said the plant will be a huge economic boost to the community.
“It’s a great way to grow Geneva,” he said. “The excitement in the community is huge, as well.”
Nebraska Sen. Laura Ebke was excited about the plant coming to the area.
“This is a great day for District 32,” she said. “These are the kinds of things we need to be doing.”
Representatives from the offices of U.S. Sens. Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse and Congressman Adrian Smith also attended the groundbreaking.
The plant will be built on about 15-20 acres on the eastern edge of Geneva and will open next year.
In talking with Fortigen representatives, Norrie said he’s gotten the sense that they want to help the community, not just see what they can get out of the city.
“I think they’re going to be a great addition to the community,” Norrie said. “It’ll be great to see equipment show up out here.”
Shawn Rana, CEO of Fortigen LLC, said the $75 million project will produce anhydrous ammonia fertilizer for local farmers. About 150-200 construction jobs will be created to build the plant with another 25-30 full-time jobs needed once the plant is up and operational.
Eric Kamler, president of the Geneva Chamber of Commerce and president of Fillmore County Development, said the jobs will be high-paying, good quality jobs.
“It will be a very big bump to the community,” he said.
CEO David Scott of Tetrad Corp., which owns Fortigen, thanked local leaders for their hospitality and for welcoming Fortigen into the community. He stressed the importance of working with local partners to make such ventures successful.
“You guys have been great to us,” Scott said. “We look forward to continuing the growth of this operation.”