Low-Cost Niagara Hydropower to
Support Niagara Falls Factory’s Manufacture of Body Armor for U.S.
January 30, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority (NYPA)
trustees Tuesday approved an allocation of low-cost hydropower to
support the manufacture by Saint-Gobain Ceramics, in Niagara Falls,
of various ceramic products, including armor materials for
protecting U.S. soldiers.
“I can think of nothing more imperative than
protecting our brave men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan from the
dangerous conditions they face everyday,” said Timothy S. Carey,
NYPA president and chief executive officer. “These body-armor
materials can mean the difference between life and death, so we’re
proud to be making our hydropower available for their manufacture by
Saint-Gobain and protecting our soldiers.”
Saint-Gobain will receive an allocation of 1,400
kilowatts (kw) at one of its two manufacturing facilities in Niagara
Falls for the production of silicon-carbide plates for body vests.
The company is investing nearly $3 million toward equipment required
in the production of these various ceramic components, and will add
18 new jobs to a current workforce of 164 at the facility where the
new machinery is being installed.
“The possibility of low-cost hydropower was a
critical factor in obtaining project approval from corporate
headquarters for this important expansion. The approval of this
allocation is key to the cost effectiveness of our group within
Saint-Gobain, and is vital to our continued growth,” said Ed Asbach,
manager, Facilities & Capital Engineering, Saint-Gobain Ceramics,
Niagara Falls. “We’re excited about the expanded opportunities to
manufacture armor plates for military use, electronics, chemical
processing components and the other opportunities available to serve
our customers with silicon carbide Hexoloy® products. Our sincere
thanks to NYPA for supporting this endeavor.”
The hydropower allocated Tuesday will be drawn from
a block of 445,000-kw of Niagara power called replacement power.
Saint-Gobain’s plants in Niagara Falls have received earlier
allocations of replacement power totaling 3,750 kw, in support of
millions of dollars in capital investments and job growth.
Replacement power and expansion power, another
block of Niagara hydropower reserved for economic development in
Western New York, account for 695,000 kw, or more than one-quarter
of the Niagara project’s net dependable capacity of 2,400,000 kw.
The project’s power is the lowest cost in New York State.
The Western New York Advisory Group, consisting of
the Power Authority, National Grid, Empire State Development Corp.,
the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, and the Niagara County Department of
Economic Development, recommends the industrial allocations from the
Niagara project. The process provides for allocations of available
Niagara power on a continuous basis in accordance with a 2003
Memorandum of Understanding, renewed last year.
■ 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