Niagara Hydropower to Help Bring 25 New Jobs to Lockport Abrasives Company

Michael Saltzman

July 27, 2004


MASSENA—A total of 25 new jobs will be created in the City of Lockport thanks to an allocation of low-cost hydropower approved Tuesday by the New York Power Authority Trustees to help make possible the relocation of an Illinois manufacturing and distribution facility operated by Duraline Pres-On Abrasives. Additional job creation support was provided through a $75,000 Capital Grant from Empire State Development.

“The allocation of this low-cost power from the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) Niagara Power Project is another example of the aggressive efforts under Governor George E. Pataki to create new jobs and promote economic development in Western New York,” said Louis P. Ciminelli, NYPA chairman. “More than 45,000 jobs in the region are linked to Niagara power, with the allocation to Duraline the latest example of the hydroelectric project’s critical importance to the area.”

The NYPA trustees approved an allocation of 150 kilowatts (kw) from a 250,000-kilowatt (kw) block of Niagara power known as expansion power, reserved for businesses and industries within 30 miles of the project switchyard. (A second, larger block of Niagara power, called replacement power, is similarly assigned to Western New York businesses.)

Duraline is a privately-owned business, started in 1992, that makes coated abrasive products for power tools, construction equipment, floor refinishing and various other purposes. The company is purchasing a 30,000-square-foot building on Niagara Street in Lockport and plans to invest $625,000 in the new facility, relocating the manufacturing equipment from its Addison, Ill., plant to the new location. The company also owns a plant on Mill Street in Lockport.

The new facility is expected to enhance Duraline’s ability to serve abrasive users in the Eastern and Central regions of the U.S. and Canada.

“Low-cost hydropower along with Empire State Development’s grant were both important factors in Duraline’s decision to expand its operations in Lockport,” said State Senator George D. Maziarz. “The story has become a familiar one for Western New York, with the Niagara project absolutely essential to the success of more than 100 of the region’s businesses and industries, not to mention tens of thousands of jobs.”

“Providing low-cost electricity means businesses can grow and prosper--and retain and create jobs. The Niagara project, which provides some of the lowest-cost electricity in New York State, may be the best example,” said Charles A. Gargano, chairman, Empire State Development (ESD). “Governor Pataki is making sure that Western New York companies like Duraline are allocated the power they need as soon as possible.”

“ESD is providing a $75,000 Capital Grant to assist Duraline in renovating the facility to accommodate additional manufacturing operations. The grant made it possible for the company to move to Western New York,” Gargano added.

Late last year, members of a Western New York group, including NYPA and ESD, signed a memorandum of understanding for allocations of leftover Niagara power on a continuous basis to maximize the economic development benefits of the 2,400,000-kilowatt project. The other members of the Western New York Advisory Group are the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, Niagara County and Niagara Mohawk.

Since the agreement, a total of 20 Western New York companies have received allocations, promising to create 2,174 jobs, including the 25 at Duraline.