Lower-Cost NYPA Power to Help Support Pfizer Expansion in New York City

Michael Saltzman

June 25, 2003


NEW YORK—An allocation of lower-cost electricity approved Tuesday by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) Trustees will help support a major expansion in New York City by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which is planning to relocate 1,000 jobs to the city by the end of 2004 and create another 3,300 new jobs over the next 15 years.

“The allocation of the discount-priced electricity is part of an economic development expansion agreement with New York State and New York City governments for Pfizer to invest $1 billion in the city over the next two decades and protect and create thousands of jobs,” said Louis P. Ciminelli, NYPA chairman. “The agreement, reached only last month, is one measure of the aggressive approach that Governor Pataki, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other state and local leaders have taken to support the growth of businesses at every opportunity.”

The allocation, for 4,400 kilowatts (kw), is being made through the New York City Public Utility Service (NYCPUS) from a block of 94,470 kw reserved for municipal utility service agencies downstate for resale to eligible businesses.

The allotted power is earmarked for Pfizer facilities in Brooklyn and will help support the company’s overall expansion in the city, where it currently employs approximately 5,500 workers. Brooklyn is where the company was founded more than 150 years ago.

Pfizer, which is the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, is planning to purchase and renovate a 31-story building at 685 Third Avenue in midtown Manhattan, where it leases space. It’s one of several buildings there that make up the company’s New York City headquarters.

Pfizer is eligible to apply for up to $1.4 million in grants from Empire State Development, the state’s economic development agency. The New York City Economic Development Corp. has also offered the company up to $46 million in incentives, in return for creating a total of more than 4,300 new jobs by the end of the 15-year term of the economic development expansion agreement.

The agreement helped persuade Pfizer to choose New York City over various facilities that it operates out of state for consolidating and expanding its work force.

In April, Pfizer completed a multibillion dollar acquisition of Pharmacia Corp., whose facilities include sites in New Jersey and Michigan. The deal expanded Pfizer’s already broad pipeline of pharmaceutical products and made it possible for the company to achieve savings through consolidation, even as it continues to grow. It followed a merger nearly three years earlier between Pfizer and the Warner-Lambert Co.

More than 400,000 jobs throughout New York State are linked to lower cost electricity supplied by the New York Power Authority, which is the largest nonfederal public power organization in the country.