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NYPA Approves Hydropower Allocations for Companies in Tonawanda, Buffalo and Lockport

Michael Saltzman

January 31, 2006


UTICA—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) Trustees Tuesday approved low-cost hydropower allocations from the Niagara Project for four Western New York manufacturers to create about 70 jobs while protecting more than 3,300 existing positions.

The new allocations, totaling up to 6,000 kilowatts, are for Goodyear Dunlop Tires North America, Ltd, Tonawanda; FMC Corp., Tonawanda; Ford Motor Co., Buffalo; and Allegheny Technologies Inc., Lockport.

“We’re determined to maximize the job benefits of the Niagara Project’s available power for Western New York,” said Timothy S. Carey, who was named NYPA’s president and chief executive officer at a meeting here today. “Governor Pataki keenly appreciates the value of the low-cost hydropower to the region’s economy, and we’re doing everything we legally can to take full advantage of it to spur investment and jobs here.”

Carey noted that Niagara’s power is sold at a fraction of market electricity prices, with more than 43,000 jobs at over 100 Western New York companies linked to the current allocations from the project.

The allocations for Goodyear Dunlop and FMC will come from a block of energy known as replacement power. Ford and Allegheny Technologies will benefit from a smaller block known as expansion power. Both industrial hydropower programs are reserved for businesses within a 30-mile radius of the project.

Goodyear Dunlop, with a current work force of approximately 1,400, will create 17 jobs as $19 million is invested to increase plant production in Tonawanda. The facility will receive a 1,000 kw allocation for an expansion involving equipment purchases and 7,800-square feet of additional manufacturing space.

FMC, which manufactures diversified chemical products, is undertaking a nearly $3 million capital project, to be supported by an allocation of 2,500 kw. The company is relocating a microbiology laboratory from New Jersey and a hair-care blending operation from Arizona as part of a multi-phased expansion of its Tonawanda facility. This will lead to 25 new jobs, in addition to the current 142 workers.

“We greatly appreciate the support that Governor Pataki and the Power Authority are giving us for bringing out-of-state jobs to our Tonawanda plant,” said James J. Scerra, FMC Corporation Manufacturing Finance Manager. “This is a good example of government working in partnership with business to promote a stronger economy.”

The NYPA trustees approved up to 1,500 kw for the Ford plant in Buffalo. The company’s investment of $215 million in facility upgrades will improve the stamping plant’s competitiveness in today’s market. The plant employs approximately 1,680 people.

Allegheny Technologies manufactures specialty steel ingots at its Lockport plant, where 55 people work. A $9.5 million upgrade is being undertaken for 11 new jobs for an existing work force of 55, in return for an allocation of 1,000 kw. The expansion includes furnaces and other new machinery and equipment.

“The Niagara hydropower will moderate the electricity costs at the Lockport plant as it adds equipment and new jobs,” said Dan L. Greenfield, director of communications, at Allegheny Technologies’ Pittsburgh corporate headquarters. “This contributes to our high regard for this manufacturing plant.”

The Western New York Advisory Group, consisting of the Power Authority, Niagara Mohawk, Empire State Development Corp., and the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise recommends the industrial allocations from the Niagara Project.

The 2,400,000-kw Niagara Power Project is the largest single source of electricity in New York State. In addition to Western New York industries, its output is also sold under state and federal laws to New York’s 51 municipal electric systems and rural cooperatives, three upstate private utilities, and to seven neighboring states. The project produced its first commercial power in 1961.

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