Dunkirk business among firms to receive hydropower allocation

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the New York Power Authority Board of Trustees has approved new allocations of low-cost hydropower for four firms in Western New York, one which is in Dunkirk, that will support 335 jobs and more than $28 million in capital investments in the region.

“By providing upstate manufacturers with the means to grow their operations, we are strengthening the economy and providing new opportunities for New Yorkers in the region,” Cuomo said. “These latest low-cost hydropower allocations are giving companies in Western New York the support they need to lower their overhead costs, expand their workforce, and refocus on growing their business well into the future.”

The NYPA trustees recently approved hydropower allocations to Captive Plastics in Dunkirk and Durez in Niagara Falls. Additionally, the board approved hydropower allocations to the village of Castile Electric Department, in Wyoming County, on behalf of Upstate Door, and to the village of Bergen Electric Department, in Genesee County, on behalf of Liberty Pumps.

The four allocations are made possible by economic development programs for allotments of power from NYPA’s Niagara Power Project in return for job and capital investment commitments.

“As someone who has worked his entire life in the private sector, I can tell you that the benefits of these low-cost hydropower allocations cannot be overstated,” said John R. Koelmel, NYPA chairman. “These four firms will now be able to further invest in everyday operations, expanding their payrolls and core businesses.”

“These hydropower allocations will not only support hundreds of jobs and stable employment, they’ll also allow these four businesses to grow, adding new positions and growing the Western New York economy,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and chief executive officer.

Captive Plastics is a subsidiary of Berry Plastics Group, a leading global manufacturer and marketer of plastic consumer packaging and engineered materials. The firm was awarded a seven-year hydropower allocation of 500 kilowatts (kW) so that it can expand its Dunkirk facility by 20,000-square-feet to increase bottle production. The $18.5 million project will lead to the creation of 10 jobs while allowing the firm to retain its more than 50 employees.

Captive Plastics was also awarded a nearly 1,300-kW power allocation under the governor’s ReCharge NY program in December 2013, with a commitment to create 15 new jobs. The 10 new jobs committed as part of the hydropower allocation to the company are in addition to the jobs committed under ReCharge NY.

Additional state support for the expansion by Captive Plastics includes approximately $979,000 in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits from Empire State Development, in return for the company’s proposed investment and job creation commitments.

“Securing continued manufacturing operations in New York state is a top priority,” said Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “With NYPA and ESD’s assistance, Captive Plastics will be able to upgrade its current production facility to help secure new contracts and offset the anticipated closure of ConAgra’s two plants in New York.”

Durez, a worldwide leader in engineering thermoset resins and molding compounds for the coatings, abrasives, automotive and aerospace markets, was awarded a seven-year hydropower allocation of 100 kW so that it can expand its facility and repurpose existing unused equipment. The $800,000 project will allow the firm to retain its 56 employees and lead to the creation of six new jobs.

Upstate Door, a hardwood door manufacturer, will benefit from an allocation of 210 kW of hydropower provided through the village of Castile to facilitate the expansion of the company’s factory, providing the increased capacity needed for meeting the firm’s rapidly growing demand. The $2.2 million, 30,000-square-foot expansion will lead to the creation of 22 jobs and the retention of ten existing positions.

Liberty Pumps, a leading manufacturer of pumping products for ground water and wastewater removal in residential and commercial applications, is experiencing significant business growth and requires additional space to expand its operations. The firm will benefit from an allocation of 450 kW of hydropower provided through the village of Bergen to facilitate the $7.5 million expansion on land adjacent to its current facility. The company currently employs 134 people and the expansion will lead to the creation of 26 new positions.

The low-cost Niagara hydropower is currently priced at more than 50 percent less than wholesale market electricity in the region of the hydropower allocation recipients. In addition to new permanent jobs, the capital investments by the companies receiving the latest power awards are expected to support dozens of construction jobs.

Congressman Tom Reed, said, “Efficient, low-cost energy means lower energy bills and more jobs in our backyard. Giving local manufacturers and businesses the opportunity to expand, add jobs and improve their infrastructure through energy upgrades is the right thing to do to care for the health and well-being of our local economy. Pursuing an ‘all-of-the-above’ approach to energy will help communities further reduce their costs.”

Senator Catharine Young said, “Lowering energy costs will help employers create and retain jobs. Hydropower is an environmentally-friendly energy source that will allow these businesses to be competitive. I salute the governor and NYPA for making this allocation a reality.”