Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad last week defended state financial incentives and bonding assistance that helped lure an Egyptian-owned fertilizer project in response to questions being raised over contract fraud charges leveled against the company by the federal government.

The Iowa Fertilizer Co. sold $1.2 billion of Midwestern Disaster Area Bonds structured with a mandatory tender in April that gives the company some breathing room to finalize plans for its $1.4 billion nitrogen fertilizer plant slated for construction in Lee County. The company is owned by Orascom Construction Industries.

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