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Low-Cost Hydropower Allocations for Two Western New York Companies to Support 94 New Jobs

Michael Saltzman

November 28, 2006


WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) Trustees Tuesday approved low-cost hydropower allocations, totaling 3,250 kilowatts (kw), for two manufacturers in Erie and Orleans counties in support of plans to add 94 new jobs and significant capital investments. 

The allocations, from NYPA’s Niagara Power Project, are slated for New York Tungsten, in Depew, and Irwin Industrial Tool Co. (known as Bernzomatic), in Medina, and were recommended by the Western New York Advisory Group, consisting of NYPA, National Grid, Empire State Development Corp., the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise and Niagara County. 

The allocation to New York Tungsten would be in connection with its selection of Depew, one several locations being considered around the country for its construction of a new tungsten powder manufacturing facility. In return for NYPA’s allocation of 2,500 kw, the company would create 60 jobs at the $6 million facility.  

The hydropower would come from a 445,000-kw block of Niagara power called replacement power. New York Tungsten, which is a joint venture of Buffalo Tungsten and Silver Eagle Technology, is also working with Empire State Development and Erie County on other economic development incentives. 

Bernzomatic, a worldwide manufacturer of handheld torches and accessories, had been considering moving its Medina plant to China in order to lower its production costs for competitive operation. The company will add 34 jobs to a current workforce of 213 in return for an allocation of 750 kw from another, smaller block of Niagara industrial power called expansion power.  

The allocation to Bernzomatic will be provided for under a provision of the Public Authorities Law permitting grants of expansion power to Western New York industries for revitalization. The company is investing more than $1 million on new equipment for the Medina operation.

Replacement power and expansion power together account for 695,000 kw, or more than one-quarter of the Niagara Project’s net dependable capacity of 2,400,000 kw. Nearly 44,000 jobs on the Niagara Frontier are linked to allocations from the project, reflecting more than 70 percent of the area’s manufacturing jobs.

About NYPA:

 ■    NYPA uses no tax money or state credit.  It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.  ■    NYPA is a leader in promoting energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.

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