Construction for eastern Illinois fertilizer plant delayed

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The company planning to build a massive fertilizer plant in eastern Illinois says the start of construction has been delayed until next year.

Cronus Chemicals had planned to begin building near Tuscola in 2015 but now says it anticipates building sometime next year. The plant is expected to employ about 175 people on land once considered for the FutureGen clean-coal project.

Cronus spokesman Dave Lundy said Friday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has granted the company a one-year extension on its air permit. Construction now must start by October 2017.

Lundy said Cronus is trying to finalize deals with contractors.

Cronus also now lists the cost as $1.9 billion on its website. The company originally listed the construction cost as $1.4 billion.

Lundy says the larger figure reflects finance costs.