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Nebraska Ag News Headlines
Nebraska to Welcome $750M Electric Fertilizer Factory
Nebraska Ag Connection - 06/30/2023

Gothenburg, Nebraska is about to witness a remarkable transformation as JWC Gburg LLC, a local startup, announces plans to invest a staggering $750 million in a revolutionary electric fertilizer factory. With a focus on eco-friendliness, this monumental project aims to replace natural gas with electricity, ushering in a new era of sustainable agriculture.

Governor Jim Pillen, alongside over 300 attendees, gathered at the manufacturing site along the Platte River to celebrate the launch of "Project Meadowlark. This mammoth investment is being hailed as one of the most significant in central or western Nebraska in recent years, contributing to the region's economic growth. Governor Pillen emphasized the plant's sustainability, highlighting its potential to reduce costs and decrease reliance on fossil fuels, thus benefiting both the environment and businesses.

Gothenburg Mayor Will Rahjes expressed enthusiasm for the city's growing prominence as an agricultural hub. With the addition of JWC Gburg's fertilizer factory and an upcoming Wearparts factory for agricultural equipment, the community is poised for newfound prosperity. However, this growth has spurred the urgent need for workforce housing, an issue Mayor Rahjes is committed to addressing promptly.

State Senator Teresa Ibach, co-sponsor of Legislative Bill 249 focused on workforce housing, emphasized the importance of state support for smaller cities and local economic boosters. Although funding was limited in the previous bill, Ibach intends to reintroduce it in the future, recognizing the pressing need for additional housing.

JWC Gburg co-founder Joshua Westling expressed pride in growing the business in Nebraska and described the palpable excitement surrounding the factory. The unique approach of the Meadowlark project involves utilizing liquid CO2 waste, wastewater, groundwater, and renewable electricity sources to produce fertilizer in a more responsible manner.

The factory's production capacity is impressive, expected to manufacture up to 1,000 tons of ammonium nitrate per day, along with ammonium thiosulphate and diesel exhaust fluid. The project will benefit from federal and state tax incentives and grant funds from the U.S. Department of Energy, aligning with the regional "hydrogen hub" initiative.

Upon completion, the factory plans to employ 50 full-time workers directly and create an additional 246 local and regional jobs indirectly, bolstering the local economy. The project's purpose, process, and payoff have garnered support from State Senator Ibach, who recognizes its potential to empower farmers and contribute to their success.

The electrification of fertilizer production in Gothenburg marks a significant milestone, propelling the region towards sustainable agriculture while fostering economic growth and creating a brighter future for Nebraska's farming communities.

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