Built in 1971, the plant was has operated under several owners. Approximately 900 members of the Iowa Quality Beef Supply Cooperative purchased the facility and invested about $32 million to open it in 2003. It was closed the following year after demand for US beef exports plummeted as a result of bovine spongiform encephalopathy being discovered in a single cow in Washington state.
Reopening the plant will cost up to $10 million, Muchow said. Although Amber Capital is seeking additional funds, it has not received any government incentives.
Although up to 600 people were once employed at the plant, it will likely start with up to 100 workers and eventually increase to approximately 350, Muchow said.